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July 10, 2006
Le Parti, C'est Moi, or It's My Party And I Can Cry If I Want To

I've made a point of defending Joe Lieberman's efforts to stand against the folly of the netroots in Connecticut, but he went a little far out on the limb today. When he filed papers to allow him to run as an independent, Lieberman made a rather silly mistake by creating his own political party in doing so:

Lieberman also filed papers with the secretary of the state's office Monday to create a new party called Connecticut for Lieberman.

Marion Steinfels, Lieberman's campaign spokeswoman, said the 25 people who signed on to help Lieberman form the Connecticut for Lieberman party will oversee the petition drive. ...

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Lieberman will be able to secure a higher position on the November ballot by creating a new party rather than petitioning his way on as an individual. Bysiewicz said Lieberman would be fifth on the ballot under the new party, compared with eighth or ninth as an individual.

He must collect 7,500 signatures by 4 p.m. Aug. 9, the day after the primary.

Quite frankly, this is one of the dumbest political decisions I have seen in quite a while. What does Lieberman gain in this move? Four spaces up the ballot in a race where everyone already knows who he is. I mean, if Lieberman has to worry about ballot placement in order to get votes, then he's practically conceding the race already.

More importantly, what does Lieberman lose? His independent run, which had the cachet of a man standing for his principles, suddenly looks a lot like a vanity project. He claims that he remains true to his Democratic affiliation, but suddenly he will have to register as a Lieberman Party member if he wants to run in November against Ned Lamont. In one fell swoop, he has underscored every criticism leveled at him by the netroots of selfishness and egotism. After all, who was the last candidate to run for national office for a party named after himself? Even Ross Perot created the Reform Party, not the Perot Party.

Lieberman will take a well-deserved shellacking over this decision. I'm sure he will find the 7500 voters necessary to sign the petitions, but even if he wins, he will spend a lot of time living this down.

UPDATE: Some readers think that I am criticizing Lieberman for running as an independent. That's not the case; I have actually been rather neutral on that point. However, what I intended with this post was to point out how silly it is to create a phony party for his independent run, and to name it after himself, just to gain a couple of spaces on the ballot. He wants people to believe that he is the true Democrat in the race, but he will have to register as something else if he runs in the Connecticut For Lieberman Party. It's unnecesary, and it gives the Lamont netroots ample ammunition for satire and ridicule.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 10, 2006 10:49 PM

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» Kos The Democratic Keyboard Kingpin from All Things Beautiful
In turn, the Democratic Keyboard Kingpin PR machine has brushed off his critics as unimportant, although he clearly does not like to be at the receiving end of bad press. Clearly Joe Lieberman's 'Lone Ranger' moment of madness stunt in Connecticut, doe... [Read More]

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» Senator Joe Lieberman Watch: Lieberman Files To Create NEW Political Party from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., left, talks with Chaplain Stephen Fornckewicz., of Willimantic Conn., right, at the Boom Box Parade in Willimantic, Conn., Tuesday, July 4, 2006. AP: Lieberman campaign files forms to run as petitioning candidate Democrati... [Read More]

Tracked on July 11, 2006 9:59 AM


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