Interesting story in Politico talking about the political future of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. I think they have caught this one dead on, as Lieberman now lives in political no mans land, with Democrats loathing him and Republicans looking for a “real” Republican to occupy that Senate seat. Even his independent party line has been hijacked by political forces hostile to Lieberman. Senator Lieberman managed to win re-election after losing the Democratic primary by virtue of the fact that the Republican Party sat still and nominated a deeply flawed candidate who got zero Party support. That will not happen again.
The story speculates on what appears to be Lieberman’s only option at this point, which is to run as a Republican. His prospects along those lines do not appear promising, as the Republicans would not likely nominate someone with a liberal voting record on domestic issues. Party hopping to preserve a political career did not work for Arlen Specter as a Democrat, and will not likely work for Lieberman as a Republican. What about running as an independent again? The poll numbers are not looking so good.
In the PPP poll, Lieberman failed to crack 20 percent of the vote in hypothetical three-way matchups that pitted him as an independent against both a Democrat and a Republican. His best showing was in a one-on-one race against Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, though Lieberman was still described as an independent in the survey. The result: Murphy 47, Lieberman 33, with 20 percent undecided.
Ouch. It may have taken an additional six years, but the Democrats will likely knock Lieberman out of the box in 2012. And they will do it with Republican help. I guess Texas agitator Jim Hightower may have had Lieberman in mind when he said: “There is nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” I think Joe Lieberman does not want to resemble that armadillo and will retire.