I’m not sure why Rasmussen would release a poll with only 218 respondents. But, for what it’s worth, Lieberman leads Lamont 46% to 40%. Rasmussen also notes:

It is worth noting that the most likely of our Likely Voters were a bit more inclined to support Lamont than the overall sample.

Lieberman is now responding by using Swift-Boat tactics. Lieberman knows that his biggest weakness (and thus Ned Lamont’s strength) is that he is insuffienctly Democratic. He’s 3/5ths of a Republican. So, he’s accusing Lamont of being 4/5ths of a Republican. In 1988, Lieberman used a cartoon of a hibernating bear to lampoon his oppenent, Lowell Weicker, for missing votes. Now the bear is back. (click here to watch).

The new cartoon ad reprises the figure of the Weicker cartoon bear. And it adds a new one: a little “bear cub,” aka Ned Lamont.

The same DC consultant hit man, Carter Askew, designed both ads. The new one shows Weicker coming out of his cave, still angry 18 years later that Joe Lieberman beat him. But he’s too lazy to run again. “Instead of coming out of hibernation,” the narrator informs us, “he sent his bear cub instead.” (In fact, Weicker had nothing to do with Lamont choosing to run for Senate.) It portrays Lamont as a whining, hop-about baby who doesn’t want to run against Lieberman because he previously gave Lieberman a campaign contribution. “But I agree with the Republicans 80 percent of the time!” cartoon Lamont protests in a shrill toddler’s voice. But as a “cub” he has to listen to the big bear.

Setting aside the idiotic and infantile nature of the commercial, this is a tactic that Smokin’ Joe decryed in his 2000 book, In Praise of Public Life. Paul Bass, in the New Haven Independent, pretty much nails it.

Whether Lieberman’s ads succeed will
signal how much politics is changing — whether corporate-financed,
Beltway-style puerile attack ads, the kind Lieberman himself criticized
in a 2000 book, can still silence debate and pound out of contention
challengers to incumbents.

About Lieberman’s ads, the Manchester Journal-Inquirer (a conservative newspaper more aligned with Lieberman’s than Lamont’s views) recently editorialized:
“The whole point of being Joe Lieberman used to be decency, dignity,
and thoughtfulness. Lieberman’s attack ads look like the appeals of
just another sleazy, desperate pol, grasping madly to hold on to

I think the wingnuts at the Manchester Journal Inquirer have it about right. Lieberman’s appeal is his moderation in tone and his bipartisan style. Rising above strident partisanism always has a special appeal. Lieberman is about to lose his last bit of strength.

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