Thursday, August 10, 2006

Justin Rood this morning with perhaps the most detailed account anywhere regarding Joe Lieberman's website crashing.

Josh has a dissection of the White House/GOP talking points, and a dissection of Mike Allen's recitation of them over at Time. And Jacob Weisberg spouts the converntional wisdom-- it's only two two days after the election and yet somehow Weisberg's column seems sooo old.

The Washington Post reports this morning: "Democratic leaders are willing to prod, but not quite yet push, or worse, shove, Lieberman out of the race as`Democratic officials gently signaled their desire that Lieberman abandon his independent candidacy but appeared reluctant to press him publicly. A senior Democratic official in Washington said leaders had met and decided to put off confronting Lieberman at least for a few days, to allow the senator time to absorb the implications of his loss and his new isolation from longtime colleagues and supporters. `There's a feeling that the dust needs to settle,' the official said."

The persuasion and prodding will go on for sometime, and then the pushing and shoving will commence. And, waiting in the wings, is a certain former President who will will make a phone call if necessary, as I have written about here before. (A couple of posts ago: I am not one of those bloggers to link to their own blog!)

I have my day job to go to now, so I recommend that everyone tune into Dan Froomkin for better stuff (content and analysis) than I have to offer.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tomorrow morning's WSJ has this story by political reporter Jeanne Cummings asserting that the defeat of three incumbents in recent primaries-- Sen. Joe Lieberman (Dem.? Ind.? Rep.?) and Reps. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) and Joe Schwartz (R-Mich.) are "the latest evidence of a broader anti-incumbent sentiment."

She also writes:

The dissatisfaction affects both parties, but voter unrest is more dangerous to Republicans since they are the party in power and have more seats at risk. According to Wall Street Journal polls, the anti-incumbent mood in the 2006 cycle mirrors that of the 1994 midterm election in which Democrats lost control of both chambers of Congress. In the latest Journal/NBC News survey, 38% of voters said their representative "deserves re-election," while 48% said it is "time to give a new person a chance." Such numbers have in the past been a good indicator of a coming congressional shake-up.
The public is in "a very, very sour mood," says Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey with his Republican counterpart Bill McInturff. "Only a quarter of the people say the country is headed in the right direction. The public is going to view any incumbent with a jaundiced eye," said Mr. Hart.

My own thoughts: McKinney and Lieberman , the two Democrats went down to defeat, were not typical instances of anti-incubentism. Lieberman's problems with Conn. voters were longstanding, and were also, as well known, in part because of the perception that he was too close with Republicans and supported the war with Iraq. McKinney had assaulted a Capitol police officer, and had been an ineffective legislator and embarasment for her constituents for some time.

The critical question will be whether voters are going to the polls in anti-incumbent mood or anti Bush mood, or in part both.

On the other hand, the 2006 congressional midterms may turn out very different from the 1994 insurgent Republican upheaval. More on that later....

Geroge Stephanopoulos has quite a scoop, one that I haven't seen elsehwere: On his ABC News blog, he reports:

"Karl Rove, has reached out to the Lieberman camp with a message straight from the Oval Office: `The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do it."

"But in a year where even some Republican candidates are running away from the President on the campaign trail, does this offer have any value to Lieberman? Still smarting from all the coverage of "the kiss" at last year's State of the Union, the Lieberman camp isn't looking for an explicit endorsement. That could create more problems than it solves.

"The White House might help Lieberman by putting the kibosh on any move to replace the weak Republican candidates, Alan Schlesinger, with a stronger candidate."

The post was later updated to say that "Dan Gerstein called from the Lieberman campaign to say the above account from another Lieberman adviser is not accurate. While confirming that Rove called Lieberman, he added: `Rove made a personal call, no help was offered, and we are not interested regardless.'"

I for one trust Stephanoupolous' reporting. Even though I have had concerns about the increasing numbers going through the political operative/journalist revolving door, Stephanoupolous has become one of our better political reporters-- and I find him to be meticulous and careful in his reporting.

Regardless of what was said between Lieberman and Rove, one would thing that the phone call itself would be bigger news.

Update: The Stephanoupolous report is the top headline at Huffingtonpost, along with this analysis. I am not so prescient after all! Meanwhile, the story has still not been given any attention by any major newspaper.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It is not even the morning after, but Hillary Clinton's PAC is giving $5,000 to Ned Lamont.

Hotline names four prominent Democratic Senators, who "although they supported Lieberman in the primary, they will back the Dem nominee": Hillary Clinton, Tom Harkin, Barrak Obama, and Frank Lautenberg.

Evan Bayh, also to support Lamont, according to Chris Cilliza: "Sen. Evan Bayh-- who, like Lieberman, has close ties to moderates within the party but is considering a 2008 Connecticut presidential bid-- quickly announced he would support Lamont." Bayh spokesman Dan Pfeiffer: "The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken, and Senator Bayh respects their choice and will support their nominee."

NYT editorial: "Revenge of the Irate Moderates"

What to expect sometime very soon: A phone call from a certain former President to Lieberman. You don't need me to tell you what he is going to say. Not that soon, but not so far in the future either. The $5,000 check being written by the same said former President's wife not even before all the votes had been counted, was a harbinger of what is to come.