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Joe Lieberman lost Dem primary
Joe Lieberman lost Dem primary
Shows the Dems are not looking for a guy who is too close to Bush, especially on the disastrous Iraq war! Joe should accept that choice and become an ambasador or a federal Judge as Bush owes him some favors. So much for being a party leader as he was as VP candidate in 2000!
The concept of a primary was letting the voters decide and then accepting their decision and being loyal to your political party! So much for putting principle over ambition to stay in the Senate.
Dems Rally Around Lieberman Opponent
August 09, 2006 2:02 PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. - Down but not out, Sen. Joe Lieberman filed to run for re-election in November as an independent, saying Wednesday it would be "irresponsible and inconsistent with my principles if I were to just walk off the field."
But top Democratic leaders threw their support to the anti-war challenger who defeated him on for the nomination, Ned Lamont.
In a statement issued in Washington, two top Senate Democrats said they "fully support" Lamont.
"The perception was that (Lieberman) was too close to George Bush and this was, in many respects, a referendum on the president more than anything else," said Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Chuck Schumer of New York, the party's leader and the head of its campaign committee.
Similarly, Lieberman's fellow Connecticut senator, Chris Dodd, who had been campaigning for Lieberman, said he regretted his close friend's decision and would now campaign for Lamont.
The final returns from Tuesday's primary showed Lamont defeating Lieberman 52 percent to 48 percent.
Early Wednesday, the Lieberman campaign delivered two boxes of petitions to the secretary of state's office, and aides said they contained more than enough signatures to qualify the three-term senator for the November ballot.
The move would set up a three-way race this fall among Lamont, Lieberman and Republican Alan Schlesinger, who has trailed far behind both Democrats in recent polls.
"I think it would be irresponsible and inconsistent with my principles if I were to just walk off the field," Lieberman said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Lieberman said he not bothered by losing the support of his Democratic peers, noting he lost Tuesday's primary even with their support.
"In the end the people make up their own minds and this is going to be a people's campaign," Lieberman said.
At a Democratic unity rally Wednesday morning, Lamont, a political newcomer who has only held local office, grinned broadly as he took his place with his new Democratic colleagues - most of whom had originally endorsed Lieberman and campaigned for him.
"Nancy, I got to tell you," he told party chairwoman Nancy DiNardo, "I like being on your team."
Lieberman was undaunted by the challenge of going against his own party.
"This race is going to be all about who can get more done and who can be a better representative for Connecticut," the former presidential contender said.
Reid, Schumer and Dodd all stopped short of calling for Lieberman to reconsider, as did two potential presidential candidates for 2008, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Not so, Lamont.
"I hope that over the course of the coming days, Joe's friends, neighbors and constituents will prevail upon him to reconsider and unite with Democrats across Connecticut who voted for change tonight," his campaign said in an e-mail sent out late Tuesday night.
Asked Wednesday if there was anyone who could call and get him to change his mind, Lieberman replied:
"Respectfully no. I'm committed to this campaign," he said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.
Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman seized on the results in the Connecticut primary to assail the Democrats on national security and called Lieberman's defeat a "shame."
"Joe Lieberman believed in a strong national defense, and for that, he was purged from his party. It is a sobering moment," Mehlman said.
Though having both Lieberman and Lamont on the ballot could split the Democratic vote, Schlesinger is not considered a major threat. His campaign stumbled in July after revelations that he used a fake name to gamble at a Connecticut casino and had been sued over gambling debts at two New Jersey casinos. Republican Gov. M Jodi Rell urged him to drop out of the Senate race, but Schlesinger called the gambling a "non-issue."
Lieberman's loss made him only the fourth incumbent senator to lose a primary since 1980, and came just six years after he was the Democrats' choice for vice president.
Connecticut's results posed questions that went far beyond state lines.
Critics targeted Lieberman for his strong support for the Iraq war and for his close ties to President Bush. They played and replayed video of the kiss President Bush planted on Lieberman's cheek after the 2005 State of the Union address.
Vote totals showed roughly 16,000 more ballots cast for the Democratic Senate primary than the party primary for governor.
Lieberman has had poll results on his side when it comes to a general election. A mid-July Quinnipiac University poll found that while Lieberman trailed Lamont among Democrats, he came out well ahead of both Lamont and Schlesinger among registered Connecticut voters of all affiliations.
The race has been watched closely by the liberal, Internet-savvy Democrats who lead the party's emerging "netroots" movement, groups such as Moveon.org that played a big role in pushing Lamont's candidacy.
In the run-up to the primary, 14,000 new Connecticut voters registered as Democrats, while another 14,000 state voters switched their registration from unaffiliated to Democrat to vote in the primary. The Lieberman petitions signatures must be validated over the next two weeks for his name to appear on the ballot.
New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg last week suggested that Lieberman drop plans to run as an independent if he loses by a wide margin.
"I think he really has to take a look at what reality is," Lautenberg said.