Lieberman Campaigns with Republicans and Faces New Problems

Facing a tight race against Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman has had a couple of set backs this week. The Hartford Courant reports that Lieberman’s name will be fifth on the ballot. Consider his name recognition I don’t know if this will be a major factor. Probably a more significant factor will be Lamont receiving the endorsement of the United Auto Workers.

What is Joe Lieberman doing on the campaign trail? Jame Hamsher reports he is out campaigning with Republicans. Ned Lamont is appearing at a fund raiser for Katrina victims, and has criticized Lieberman for not doing enough to hold George Bush accountable for his failures on Katrina and for agreeing to place FEMA under the control of the Department of Homeland Security.


  1. 1
    astronautagogo says:

    As far as I can see it, this story thus far is lacking sufficiant evidence. I am a strong Lamont supporter but it kinda seems like someone’s jumped the gun here. Beating up Reid over a huge unconfirmed claim ain’t cool either.

    A top diary at Kos is reporting:
    “private meeting over how to keep a sub base open has suddenly turned into a campaign rally where Lieberman is promoting the election of republican candidates?

    Since when has a policy meeting where (for the love of god!) people from the opposing political party attended been considered a campaign rally for that opposing party?”

    Were we mislead and worked up over a false claim? If so, FDL owes us an apology. Being a true progressive to me is winning by telling and exposing the truth. Exaggerations and lies for “the means justifies the end” logic is for repubs.

  2. 2
    astronautagogo says:

    Exaggerations and lies for “the means justifies the end” logic is for repubs AND Joe Lieberman..

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Maybe this was exaggerated by FDL, but it is curious that Democratic Senator Chris Dodd is not present and that none of the Democrats in the CT Congressional delegaton are present. This time of year there are often events which are not officially billed as campaign events which, for all practical purposes, are really campaign events.

  4. 4
    Pamela Leavey says:


    Check this news story –

    Although the headline is a little misleading, reading the story it seems as though it was a meeting to work “to enhance the sub base so that any future BRAC commissions won’t attempt to close it.”

    I read through the Kos diary. Dodd was out of the state. Kerry had meeting with Republicans during the campaign — they have to do their jobs even in an election year.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Without more background about the reasons for the meeting this story doesn’t really answer if this was a staged event by Republicans to help Lieberman. It would look a lot better for Lieberman if there were other Democrats there. It does look a bit better for Lieberman if Dodd was out of the state and otherwise would have attended.

    Unless more went on than the story says, this sounds more like a PR event than any type of serious meeting and is not analogous to Kerry meeting with Republicans doing legitimate Senate work.

    This exchange doesn’t help him either–raising questions if the meeting was a set up to help him:

    The Republican 2nd District congressman warmly greeted Lieberman today, though he stopped short of saying Republicans should vote for Lieberman.

    “It really helps me to have a senior guy on the Senate Armed Services Committee,” Rep. Simmons said.
    “So if this process happens again you’d rather have Lieberman still in office?”
    “It really helps me to have a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. It really helps.”

  6. 6
    Pamela Leavey says:


    Maybe he means that because Lieberman is a “senior member” of the committee it helped saved the base. It also helped to save a base in MA because Kennedy is senior member.

    The BRAC hearings were a big deal last year – very bipartisan in all the states invovled. They involved both the House and the Senate and local politicians as well. I remember that JK and Kennedy were involved in MA hearings and I believe NH too.

    The Groton base in question was a big deal. I remember it. Lieberman has done some dumb things, but saving that base was good for CT.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s all irrelevant to today’s event. Nobody is questioning Lieberman’s involvement in a bipartisan effort last year. Meeting a year later reeks of a political event, esepcially if the other Democrats didn’t show up.’

    Being “senior member” doesn’t change anything. It is still a case of a Republican all but endorsing Lieberman. Republicans in other states aren’t going around talking about the good senior Democrats are doing for their state.

    Reading thru the media reports,it looks pretty bad for Lieberman. Sure he’s smart enough not to campagin at something officially billed as a campaign event with Republicans, but the apparent lack of other Democrats involved last year is extremely suspicious. This all gives the impression of Lieberman and the Republicans who did show up as being on the same team.

    If Lieberman didn’t have such a strong history of back stabbing Democrats and cozying up to Republicans this wouldn’t create a problem, but Lieberman’s past actions make this event all the more suspicious. It is hardly the worst thing Lieberman has done (and not sufficient to back the calls to strip him of seniority or party membership) but it looks like Lieberman is deserving of criticism for this.

  8. 8
    Pamela Leavey says:


    Dodd was invited but was out of the state. I personally don’t see it as a campaign event.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:


    Everything I’ve read makes this sound like more of a PR event than any type of official business. An event to commemorate something a year after is virtually by definition a PR event as opposed to official business. Such PR events represent a large percentage of campaigning for incumbent politicians.

    Dodd may have an excuse, but what of the other Democrats who were involved but didn’t show either? I also wouldn’t be surprised if Dodd was intentionally unavailable. It’s very suspicious that Lieberman was the only Democrat to show up. The CT Attorney General and other Democratic Congressmen were involved but none of the reports I’ve seen indicate that they were present.

  10. 10
    Pamela Leavey says:


    Politics and hype go hand in hand don’t they.

    Here’s an interesting piece from tomorrow’s AP about the campaign event: Officials plot strategy for keeping sub base off closure lists

    The Pentagon’s plan last year was to close both Navy bases in New England (CT and Kittery, ME). Kennedy & Lieberman fought hard for both and won. It may be insignificant to people out of the area or folks not familiar with the area, but I understood the concern, having lived there for 33 years. When Pease Airforce Base was closed in Portsmouth, NH (1988 – Reagan) it was a direct hit to the economy there.

    Sure Joe was doing some politicing. I guess there’s something wrong in wanting to continue to protect jobs he fought to save last year? Maybe it’s me, I just think there are better things to crucify the man over.

  11. 11
    Pamela Leavey says:


    The flip side of this is that Ned Lamont would probably be smart to issue a statement of what he sees as key strategies to keep the base off future closure lists. There’s a lot of voters who’s jobs would be on the line again. Those voters may want to know what Ned will do for them if he wins. Just a thought. While Joe was “campaigning” in CT to assure a block of voters he’d continue to fight for their jobs, Ned was in NY talking Katrina. Those voters will remember that when it’s time to go to the polls. Sad, but true. For many the economy and jobs is a big issue.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:


    “Politics and hype go hand in hand don’t they”

    Yes. The problem is that Lieberman’s hype is too often with Republicans. This comes off far too much as a PR event in which Lieberman is seen as the Republican-preferred candidate.
    “Sure Joe was doing some politicing. I guess there’s something wrong in wanting to continue to protect jobs he fought to save last year?”

    Not what anyone is stating. Your’re slipping into staw men arguments, misstating what the other side is saying rather than discussing the issue under discussion.

    “Maybe it’s me, I just think there are better things to crucify the man over.”

    Again, irrelevant and not what I’m saying. The question is if the statement that Lieberman was campaigning with Republicans is accurate and worthy of a link. The reports make this appear true. It was worth linking to as it was a major topic of discussion in the blogoshere yesterday. I’ve also noted that, while true, it does not make the case to remove Lieberman’s seniority or party afiliation (as some were trying to use this to push).

    “The flip side of this is that Ned Lamont would probably be smart to issue a statement of what he sees as key strategies to keep the base off future closure lists. . .”

    That gets to one of the key elements of the race. Lamont has been campaigning on principle, while Lieberman has been countering with what he can do for the state. He definately has a real advantage here as an incumbent with seniority, but by this logic we would never remove an incumbent. This is the main thing keeping Lieberman in the race. If he didn’t have the advantages of his seniority I don’t think there is any question Lamont would blow him out. Lamont does need to make the case that he can also be effective in stopping base closures and keeping jobs.

    “Ned was in NY talking Katrina. Those voters will remember that when it’s time to go to the polls.” I think most voters will respect that he was helping Katrina victims. It is still a question if people will vote for Lieberman because they think he can do more for the state despite being closer to Lamont on the issues. That question remains difficult to predict, especially this long before the election.

  13. 13
    kj says:

    LOL I remember one of the key arguements against voting for Lieberman and for voting for Weicker was keeping Weicker in his senior senate seat. As I faintly recall, the base in New London was an issue then (80’s) as well.

    It all comes round again, doesn’t it?

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:


    There is a certain irony to this. I wonder how many Senators won their seats by upsetting an incumbent and how many won when a seat became open. Beating an incumbent in their own party is even more rare.

    As rare as beating an incumbent is, partially because they may be in a better position to deliver for the state, Lieberman himself is an example that sometimes it is done.

  15. 15
    kj says:

    Sometimes it is done. And I won’t be sad to see Joe go. And, truly, there isn’t a pol in New England on either side of the aisle who wouldn’t go to bat for those bases. Same here in Missouri. Ike Skelton’s seat is safe, despite the fact that he’s a (conservative) Democrat, forever and a day because of what he’s done for Whiteman AFB and what the base has done for the economy of MO.

    I think Joe knows exactly what he’s doing and although I rarely post on him or take the time to read about him, I don’t doubt at all that he’s courting the Republicans and their votes.

  16. 16
    kj says:

    Imo, Joe got a nice big head of himself after Gore tapped him to run as Veep. Old Joe didn’t have the sense that Dan Quayle had… that he was picked less for his brain than for what he “represented,” and, again imo, has been running on a false high and sense of himself since.

    I campaigned for Al Gore, but his choice of Lieberman vs Kerry always stuck a negative chord with me. Bill Clinton had the sense and courage to choice Gore, a near equal, and Gore didn’t have the confidence to do the same thing for the party, or the country. Lieberman as veep? Oy.

  17. 17
    kj says:

    But then, pretty much all I’ve ever had to say about Joe is, “Bye now.” @;-)

  18. 18
    Pamela Leavey says:


    I don’t consider my thoughts on the subject “straw man” arguments. I’m not the opposing side just because I happen to disagree with something. Have a great day. Sorry I bothered to interject with my silly “straw men” here.

  19. 19
    Ron Chusid says:


    The speciifc line I quoted is exactly an example of a straw man argument. (“I guess there’s something wrong in wanting to continue to protect jobs he fought to save last year?”) That is a dishonest debating tactic which we see frequently from Republicans. I call out Republicans all the time for this, and I will do it every time someone pulls this on me.

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:


    Did Quayle really have sense to realize his limitation? I thought reality was thrust upon him when he tried to run.

    I had qualms about some of Lieberman’s statements in 2000 but as he was only VP candidate it wasn’t a problem. More recent events, especilaly Iraq and Terri Schiavo, made my differences with him more obvious.

  21. 21
    Pamela Leavey says:


    Whatever. Atleast I can say I have never voted for a republican and never will. Always been a liberal and jobs matter to liberals. Nothing straw man about that argument.

  22. 22
    kj says:

    Ron, I really dunno about Dan Quayle. I thought that maybe, finally, he realized his limitations, or his wife realized them for him… but he eventually faded away from the political stage.

    I’ve never cared for Lieberman. Even way back when, he seemed to me to be not only calculating and power-hungry (even more so than the average pol) but showed far too much identification with his “moral” beliefs. I don’t care that politians have religious beliefs, I have an distaste for those who seem to want to wear those beliefs on their sleeve to the point where it might rub off onto others. Joe fit that description for me.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:


    Hardly relevant to the topic.

    While this is also getting off topic, I can’t go along with a statement that I never will vote for a Republican. Principles matter more than party affiliation, and it is impossible to say that one party will always have the best candidate. Besides in local elections I have no choice as everyone here runs as a Republican. Party labels are important in this year’s Congressional elections as it can determine who controls Congress, but that is not the situation in all elections.

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:


    Agree about Lieberman wearing his religious beliefs on his sleeve, but I didn’t worry about that as he was only running for VP, and seemed far more benign than George Bush.

  25. 25
    kj says:

    Ron, I agree, compared to GWB, Lieberman is/was benign. I had hopes at the time of a: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Gore, Kerry, Kerry seat in the White House. 🙂

  26. 26
    Ron Chusid says:


    You continue to misquote to argue against straw men when you are wrong.

    I didn’t label you as someone who uses “republican tactics.” I complained about you resorting to attacking straw men rather than discussing honestly0–which you do quite freeuently.

    “I disagreed with the assertion that the event yesterday was an all out campaign event.”
    Another strawman. Nobody ever said that this was an all out campaign event. In the discussion I made of point of the ambiguities, but that it was enough of a campaign event for the statement by Hamshder to be correct.

    By definition, saying you will only vote for a Democrat is a partisan decision and not a principled decision.

  27. 27
    Ron Chusid says:


    I have thought of the situation we might have been in if Gore/Lieberman had taken office and eight years later Lieberman had a lock on the nomination.

    Things could have really been interesting if somehow the Republicans had come up with a real life Arnold Vinick to run against Lieberman. In such a situation, I would take the principled position and vote for Vinick regardless of party affiliation.

    At least we never had to face the situation of Lieberman winning the nomination.

    Have you seen the SF news yet? There’s a bit in there that might make you happy.

  28. 28
    Pamela Leavey says:


    I give up. If I can not disagree with you with out your twisting my words, there is no sense in commenting.

    I stand on the principles of the Democratic party, so yes I am partisan. I’m a lifelong liberal, always have been and always will be.

  29. 29
    kj says:

    I wouldn’t have any problem pulling the lever for Vinick over Lieberman.

  30. 30
    Ron Chusid says:


    Speaking of voting for Vinick, see my latest post. I’ve always wondered how far Goldwater would have evolved had he stayed in politics in his later years when he considered himself a liberal and opposed the direction the Republicans were going in. If he had continued to guide the Republicans philosophically, perhaps they would have candidates like Arnold Vinick rather than George Bush.

  31. 31
    Ron Chusid says:


    Actually I think I’ll add that last thought on to the Goldwater post.

  32. 32
    kj says:

    Hey, nothing wrong with a good arguement, on the merits, you know. @;-)

  33. 33
    Ron Chusid says:

    “On the merits” is the key thing,. Misstating the issue (“I disagreed with the assertion that the event yesterday was an all out campaign event” and”I guess there’s something wrong in wanting to continue to protect jobs he fought to save last year”) or turning it into a question of purity as to whether one would ever vote for a Repubican is a different matter.

    Getting away from this nonsense was a major reason for starting up this blog as opposed to writing at Dem Daily!

  34. 34
    Ron Chusid says:

    Jane Hamshsher has another post responding to those who claim Lieberman was not campaigning yesterday, entitled Wonder Years:

    I must say I was thoroughly charmed by the childlike innocence of those who thought Joe Lieberman’s trip to the Groton sub base with Republicans candidates Jodi Rell and Rob Simmons yesterday did not, in fact, constitute “campaigning.” Most people leave that kind of wide-eyed credulity in childhood; how wonderful that some manage to carry it into their adult years.

    I guess the logic wraps around the fact that a “conference” was held at Groton in order to determine “specific recommendations on steps to be taken to avoid having the base targeted again in future base closing rounds.” No politics involved at all, right? It’s just a concidence that “saving” the Groton sub base is one of the fundamental claims Joe makes in trying to prove his value to Connecticut voters, and that Democrat Chris Dodd refused to be a part of a GOP dog and pony show.

    If so, perhaps Joe would like offer up an explanation for his trip later in the day with Simmons, candidate for the hotly contested House seat against Joe Courtney, to the Millstone nuclear power plant?

    As Lamont campaign manager Tom Swan was overheard to say, “What were they doing at Millstone, a fucking inspection?”

    Perhaps if those buying into the “non-political conference” tale can tear themelves away from emailing their bank account numbers to that international lottery they just won, we’ll get some answers.

    She then quotes the following–anyone still want to defend Lieberman’s actions?

    Lieberman — who after losing an Aug. 8 Democratic primary to Ned Lamont has launched a third-party bid to hold onto his seat in the Nov. 7 general election — was asked whether he still endorses Diane Farrell, Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, three Democrats looking to unseat endangered Republican incumbents Chris Shays, Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson.

    “I’m a non-combatant,” Lieberman declared. “I am not going to be involved in other campaigns. I think it’s better if I just focus on my own race.”…

    “It’s a little awkward for me now” to endorse the Democratic candidates in the general election, he said, “since they all endorsed my opponent,” Democratic primary winner Ned Lamont.

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