If you ever feel like the folks in Washington (including the DC press corps) are out of touch with the reality of life outside the Beltway, reading Manu Raju’s Politico piece Wooing Joe Lieberman for 2012 will do nothing to disabuse you of the notion.
It was like reading badly written scene from a young adult novel, depicting Harry and Patty as they duke it out with John and Jim to have Joe be their BFF and sit with them in the cafeteria at lunch LOLing. Lieberman, of course, simpers that he is “touched — and I mean, it sincerely — by the number of Democratic colleagues who have said to me that they hope I will run again.”
All I could think while reading this piece was: Did I miss the breaking news about pot being legalized? If not, can I have some of whatever the hell Raju and all these Dems allegedly urging Joe to run again are taking?
Then Chris Cillizza wrote in The Fix in the Washington Post, “Could ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ save Joe Lieberman?” He must have been out partying with Manu Raju.
From here on the ground in Connecticut, it looks like these people are high. Or else they’re so busy trying to get Lieberman to share their sandwiches in the lunchroom like teenage girls who haven’t learned that life’s so much better when you date a mensch than a schmuck, that they haven’t noticed his dismal approval ratings here at home. Face it, in an October PPP poll the guy came in third with 19% in a hypothetical three way race against Rep. Chris Murphy (39%) and Peter Schiff (25%).
You know things are grim when after 22 years in office, the voting public dislikes you even more than Peter Schiff, the guy Stu Rothenberg just dubbed “the smuggest and most clueless of them all.” If Lieberman is thinking about forming another sham political party to run as an Independent, he’s not exactly in the running for Prom King with CT’s indies either, with 56 percent of independent voters disapproving of his job performance.
The problem for Joe is, we Nutmeggers have neither forgotten nor forgiven the lies. Like when he told us back in 2006, “I have long supported the goal of universal health care,” and then once safely back in D.C. threated to filibuster to thwart its passage. Democrats certainly haven’t forgotten how he two-timed us by “pallin’ around” with Sarah Palin and John McCain, culminating with his speech at the 2008 Republican Convention.
As recently as this summer Lieberman refused to endorse now Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal, because his opponent, Linda McMahon “was good enough to support me financially and politically in the 2006 general election.” Of course, Blumenthal supported Lieberman until he lost the primary to Ned Lamont, at which point he respected the voice of the voters and offered support (albeit clearly reluctant and somewhat chilly) to the Democratic nominee. But that brief act of party loyalty was enough to break the bond of BFF-ship, as far as Joe was concerned.
Lieberman seems to be really enjoying keeping everyone guessing and pissing off as many people as possible. He’s channeled his inner McCarthy by proposing the clearly unconstitutional Shield Act, and threatening to pursue espionage charges against the New York Times. Meanwhile by leading the drive to push through the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he’s not exactly endearing himself to the social conservatives.
So Joe had better enjoy his brief stint as Prom Queen. Because while NRSC Chairman John Cornyn might be batting his eyelashes and engaging in flirty “friendly banter” with Lieberman, he’s also planning a tete a tete with Connecticu’s one-woman stimulus package, Linda McMahon. I’m thinking maybe Joe should eat at Rob Simmons’ lunch table to offer a little gossip about how well the whole “Linda” thing worked out for him.
Sarah Darer Littman is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers and an award-winning novelist of books for teens. Long before the financial meltdown, she worked as a securities analyst and earned her MBA in Finance from the Stern School at NYU.