Democratic national chairman Howard Dean says Joe Lieberman ought to quit and Democrats “have an obligation” to get behind Lamont. What do you expect? The Democrats are a political party, and Lieberman lost because he didn't align sufficiently with Democratic values. He's being portrayed as pathetic. Not only did he lose the primary, he's "too angered by his loss to accept ... counseling" that he needs to give up.
How will Lieberman frame his independent campaign? Can he say sharp things about all the Democrats abandoning him? Can he fall into the embrace of the Republicans, who seems to only want to say nice things about him to make the rest of the Democrats look bad? This embracing of Joe to make the rest of the Democrats look bad is a painful reminder of that kiss, and we can only imagine how terrible Joe feels about that. (I picture Joe singing "He Kissed Me and It Felt Like a Hit.")
Meanwhile, the Republicans don't seem to care at all about their guy in Connecticut:
[Alan] Schlesinger, a lawyer who won his party’s nomination back in May, when few thought Mr. Lieberman’s bid for a fourth term was in much jeopardy, is not widely known. He has raised very little money. Not a single national Republican figure has come forward to promote his cause. And, amid some murmuring by fellow Republicans that he step aside, Mr. Schlesinger said he was in the race for good, and could not and would not be removed.What an awful candidate! Either Schlesinger needs to step aside or Republicans should just all get the message to vote for Lieberman, right?
“I’m not going anywhere. The way the numbers stack up, I can win this thing,” he said cheerfully.
Mr. Schlesinger, a former mayor of the town of Derby, first burst into the headlines this summer after The Hartford Courant reported that he had gambled under a fake name and once had gambling debts (he dismissed the accounts as irrelevant).
UPDATE: Peggy Noonan writes:
So it's Lieberman versus Lamont unless Mr. Schlesinger drops out, in which case a Republican with his own money could conceivably come forward and shake things up. A new candidate like that would take votes from Mr. Lieberman.
I wonder how national Republicans will play this? Would the White House allow a conservative to come forward? Personal ties and gratitude aside, a newly elected Joe Lieberman, free of the constraints of the Democratic Party, might be a much more reliable supporter than an independent Republican moneybags with a lot to prove.