Boltin' Joe has left and gone away ... hey hey hey ...
So it's official. Joe Lieberman is facing such a threat in the Democratic primary in Connecticut that he will petition to run as an independent, just in case he loses the primary to dark-horse candidate Ned Lamont.
In the story in Connecticut's own Hartford Courant, Lieberman is quoted as saying, "I've been a proud, loyal and progressive Democrat since John F. Kennedy inspired my generation of Americans into public service and I will stay a Democrat, whether I am the Democraitic party's nominee or a petitioning Democratic candidate on the November ballot."
Ah, Joe. You're a Democrat, sure. Anyone who registers with the party counts. But "proud, loyal and progressive?" Seriously? The reason Lamont has been steaming ahead in the polls is because you lack progressive creds. So, how again are you progressive?
And, you say you're loyal in the speech in which you announce your intent to run as an independent if you lose the primary? Come again?
And proud, you say? I offer the above examples as evidence that your pride in the Democratic Party is sorely lacking. There's nothing wrong with being a Republican, Joe -- well, OK. There's plenty of things wrong. But no one likes a political chameleon, Joe. You should stand up for what you believe in. And, by all accounts, the Democratic Party platform isn't one you get along with too well these days. No big deal -- just join the Republicans. Then you can be for the Iraq War and not have to explain your position to anyone.
"Boltin' Joe" Lieberman, alleged harbinger of "Joementum"
Politically, though, this is actually the best move Joe could make -- at least on its surface. Lamont has gained ground by leaps and bounds in the polls. Now just 10 or 12 points behind, depending on what poll you look at, he was 40 points behind in the polls just a few short months ago. In fact, the latest Rasmussen poll has Lieberman ahead by just six points.
Meanwhile, the June Quinnipiac poll in which Lieberman runs as an independet against Democrat Lamont and Republican challenger Alan Schlesinger shows Lieberman winning with 56 percent, compared to Lamont's 18 percent and Schlesinger's 8 percent.
But, now that he has looked at these hard polls and decided to make the independent jump, how will that affect future polls? I imagine a lot of Democratic Lieberman hold outs will see this as a sign of disloyalty and jump on the Lamont bandwagon. If it goes that way -- and I think it will -- Lieberman will lose the primary, and then be saddled with an independent bid with no help from the party. In that case, that Quinnipiac poll will mean nothing. Support for Lieberman will drop like a bomb within weeks. If this plays out the way I imagine it will then...
... Say hello to Sen. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.)
Mind you, I'm not necessarily a Lamont supporter, though I do like a lot of what he says. But more than anything, I enjoy the idea of his election. What will it mean to the rest of the Democratic Party? It could be another stepping stone on the road to crafting the Democratic Party into a viable opposition party, rather than just the center-right/center-left coalition that it has become.