Notes from Lieberman Country
Connecticut reader James Somers suggests that Lieberman's major asset is . . . Chris Dodd:
Ms. McArdle, I was intrigued by your post on what exactly Joe Lieberman's angle is on HC "reform." A couple additional thoughts basically consistent with your suggestion that Obama is the target of Lieberman's pique. First, John McCain - Lieberman's good buddy - has emerged as a major opponent of reform. And there might be no one in the Senate better at acting out of pique than McCain. You can't tell me that McCain doesn't hold numerous grudges against Obama as a result of last year's campaign, so I can easily imagine McCain and Lieberman gleefully conspiring on how to best twist up Obama's main legislative initiative. Second, Lieberman has a lot of room right now to maneuver against HC reform. I live in Connecticut, and people here aren't talking about how Lieberman's vulnerable in 2012 because of his game-playing on reform. They're talking about how our other senator, Chris Dodd, is probably doomed in 2010. Which raises the question: is Lieberman thinking that if Connecticut tosses out one incumbent senator in 2010, it's much less likely to boot another in 2012?
The lesson of 2006 is that the progressives do not have the power to take Lieberman down; they won't in 2012 either. Of course, that assumes Lieberman runs.
And if he doesn't run, where does he go? If he kills health care reform, he can count on speaking tours and book deals aimed at Republicans. If he votes for it . . . well, the Democratic base still hates him.