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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Al From Fears for the DLC's Joe Lieberman

Damn, I knew the DLC was bad but I had no idea that Al From was so out of touch:

"Joe, I'm certain, will be fine, but if I were in his shoes I wouldn't be taking chances with an August primary," said Al From, the founder and chief executive of the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist group of which Senator Lieberman is a past chairman. "Because nobody's paying attention, and you don't know who's going to vote."
Uh, if nobody was paying attention do you really think the New York Times would be calling for quotes six months before the election?
"A very simple thing happened that changed Democratic politics dramatically, and that was that the war turned bad," Mr. From said, adding of the senator's critics: "There's a group in our party that makes a lot of noise and I don't think they've ever won an election. They're trying to take out one of the great statesmen our party has and that's wrong."
So now anyone outside of the DLC has never won an election? The war didn't turn bad, the war was a bad idea as Democrats tried to explain to the DLC before it started.

A year ago, the talking point on Lieberman was that bloggers could only raise money (more here). Of course, the intrinsic value of the blogosphere is to communicate. I found the above NYT article via this Joe Lieberman post on Daily Kos -- read it and it is clear that the blogosphere can communicate.

The NYT points out that Lamont is earning the support necessary to pull off an upset win:

"Connecticut's a progressive state," Mr. Lamont said at a fund-raiser in the home of a Yale professor in North Haven on Sunday. "You're not going to lose a senator. You're going to gain a Democrat."

A growing cast of prominent activists is backing Mr. Lamont. Markos Moulitsas, who advised the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004 and founded the blog Daily Kos, is appearing in a campaign commercial for Mr. Lamont. James H. Dean, the brother of Howard Dean and the chairman of the grass-roots group his brother formed in 2004, supports Mr. Lamont. Tim Tagaris, recently the Democratic National Committee's Internet outreach coordinator, has become director of Internet operations for the Lamont campaign. Even the state's best-known independent, former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, has announced his support for Mr. Lamont because of Mr. Lieberman's support of the war.

On Tuesday, the National Organization for Women's political action committee endorsed Mr. Lamont, in part because he said, unlike Senator Lieberman, that he would have supported a filibuster to prevent confirmation hearings for Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

MoveOn is expected to join the battle next week. In fact, I don't see any reason why any Democrat who thinks we can do better than the DC establishment has done won't be joining the battle.

Lieberman is panicking because his advisors realize he has fucked up...again and again on issue after issue.

Here is the deal with tomorrow's Connecticut Democratic Party Convention, from DavidNYC:

Connecticut's state Democratic convention begins tomorrow. The main event is candidate selection, which is done by a vote of the delegates. If any candidate gets 15% or more, s/he wins at automatic spot on the August primary ballot. Unsurprisingly, Joe Lieberman is trying to play the expectations game, making ridiculous, grandiose predictions that Ned Lamont will take 30% or or move of the delegates. To its credit, the Hartford Courant is aware of the shtick Joe is trying to pull, but I wouldn't be surprised if other tradmed outfits fall for this pathetically transparent gambit.

While it would be terrific if Lamont got 15%, and extraordinary if he did hit 30%, we need to be realistic here. Lieberman has been an institution in CT politics for decades. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to support him. Anyone interested in a future in Connecticut politics has to realize that if they back Lamont and Lamont loses, they'll be pariahs for as long as Lieberman is alive. Backing Joe is the safe move. Remember, we're talking about Democrats here - these are not the people who are usually inclined to ever take risks.

But there's also some very good news: Getting 15% doesn't matter. Not only does it not matter, it might even be salutary if Lamont doesn't hit that mark. No, I didn't just get fitted for rose-colored contact lenses. Here's why: Lamont has been working hard to get on the ballot via an alternate route: gathering signatures from 15,000 of the state's Democrats. It's an expensive and difficult process, but well worth it.

When you have to petition to get on the ballot, that does two things for you. First, you're forced to ramp up your field operation early. That means you've got a bigger volunteer base, more experienced campaign workers, and a field team that runs like a proverbial well-oiled machine months ahead of schedule. Second, you get the names of tons and tons of supporters. The law requires 15K sigs, but because of the inevitable challenges and invalid names, you generally want about twice that. And psychological research shows that the mere act of getting people to sign a statement of support (which is what a petition is) makes it much more likely that they'll continue in that support at a later time.

This is turning into a perfect storm. I'm following the race at Ned Lamont's blog and the Connecticut bloggers including:

Tomorrow's convention coverage will include live-blogging from Tagaris and Matt Stoller from Mydd will be on the ground.

Joe Lieberman has been worthless enough to listen to Al From, undermine the Democratic Party, and prop up George Bush. But the latest Survey USA poll shows that Bush has a -75% approval rating among Connecticut Democrats. It is accountability time!

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