Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Dr. Feelgood Lieberman At Business Luncheon

A Joe Sandwich For The Bipartisan Revolution

by Christine Stuart

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is running for the first time without the backing of the Democratic party, told a group of business leaders in Hartford Tuesday that “it feels good” to shed the partisan label.

“It feels like the right thing to do,” Lieberman told members of the MetroHartford Chamber of Commerce. He said there’s a revolution brewing and after this election it may not be such a “bad idea to say I worked across party lines.”

One member asked if Lieberman would be stripped from his leadership position if he returned to Senate as an independent and Lieberman said “I’m confident that won’t happen.” He said “once you are elected all is forgiven.”

It’s a tradition on the Hill for Democratic legislators to meet for lunch every Tuesday and Republicans to meet for lunch every Thursday, so Lieberman suggested that if he was re-elected he would return to convene a bipartisan lunch every Wednesday, kinda like a political sandwich.

Supporters of Lieberman’s Democratic opponent, Ned Lamont, who beat Lieberman in the August primary, have asked how Joe’s bipartisanship has helped residents in Connecticut. They have said it seemed to them Lieberman compromised on issues, but received nothing from the Republican majority in return.

Bipartisanship “doesn’t always involve compromise, sometimes its convincing the other side that what you want is reasonable,” Lieberman said. “It’s not always about adjusting your point of view.”

Supporting The Bush Energy Policy

But a dozen Democratic state legislators last week said it doesn’t seem like Lieberman has been very convincing on Democratic issues. One example used was his support of the Bush energy policy. Facing criticism, Lieberman called the policy imperfect but good for Connecticut. In the July primary debate against Lamont, Lieberman said parts of the bill will save Connecticut electricity customers $800 million.

New York environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr., who supports his opponent Ned Lamont, blasted Lieberman for voting for an energy bill that sends billions in subsidies to the oil industry and undercuts local control of things like the Long Island Sound.

But that’s just Ned Lamont being negative again and distorting his record, Lieberman said. “Ned Lamont doesn’t have a record,” he told the 50 or so business leaders.

A Page From The Rovian Campaign Manual

The negative approach is Rovian campaign tactic number 4, “Go negative, then cry foul.” The book “Deciphering Karl Rove’s Playbook: Campaign Tactics and Response Strategies” written by Art Silverblatt, Jane Squier Bruns, and Gina Jensen says in order to counter this tactic, an opponent should, “Make the issue of negative campaigning a central theme from the outset to bring it to the attention of the public. In that way, the campaign will not be perceived as whining about a particular attack. Instead, the campaign can then maintain an informative tone, simply pointing out the Rovian negative campaign tactics as they appear.”

Lieberman touted his bipartisan efforts on the energy bill, transportation bill, and saving the Groton submarine base from closure as part of his bipartisan success.

“I do it more and I think more effectively,” Lieberman said. “I have a record of working across party lines.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So happy to read an article written by you again. I remember you when you covered Enfield!! God how we miss good honest reporting. Wish you were back.