DC Democrats are abandoning Joementum in droves, and are – quite properly – lining up behind the duly selected nominee of Connecticut Democrats, Ned Lamont. Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and no doubt others in the coming days, have all announced that they will back Lamont in November.
Here is the joint statement issued by Senators Reid and Schumer:
The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken and chosen Ned Lamont as their nominee. Both we and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fully support Mr. Lamonts candidacy. Congratulations to Ned on his victory and on a race well run.
Joe Lieberman has been an effective Democratic Senator for Connecticut and for America. But the perception was that he was too close to George Bush and this election was, in many respects, a referendum on the President more than anything else. The results bode well for Democratic victories in November and our efforts to take the country in a new direction.
I think that’s basically right. Lieberman/Lamont wasn’t just a referendum on Iraq – if it were, Hillary Clinton, Steve Lynch, and other hawkish Dems would be in a lot tighter races against their dovish primary opponents than they are. Lieberman’s closeness to Bush, and his willingness to criticize anyone with the temerity to speak out against administration policy, was a big big part of it.
In related news, a new poll by CNN reports that “Sixty percent of Americans oppose the U.S. war in Iraq and a majority would support a partial withdrawal of troops by year’s end.” According to the story, “it was the CNN poll’s highest number opposing the war since fighting began in March 2003, a figure that has risen steadily since then.”
Finally, Joementum wasn’t the only lame incumbent Dem who lost yesterday. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), noted not so much for her legislative accomplishments as for her wacky 9/11 conspiracy theories and for her scuffle with Capitol Police, lost in a runoff to Hank Johnson, a former DeKalb county commissioner.