…Clinton and Lieberman

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The New York Sun

And speaking of the Democratic Party in the tri-state region, what a shock to read Senator Clinton’s announcement that she’ll oppose the reelection of her long-time friend, Senator Lieberman, if he fails to win an August 8 Democratic primary against an anti-war opponent. She dropped him faster than her husband dropped his friend Lani Guinier. Mrs. Clinton could easily have sidestepped this question, as have Senator Schumer and the Senate majority leader, Harold Reid. Or she could have stood by Mr. Lieberman, who stuck his own neck out for her, most notably by campaigning vigorously for her among Jewish New Yorkers to help get her elected to the Senate in 2000.

Joseph Lieberman and Hillary Clinton go way back, back to when she was a law student at Yale and he was a young state politician in Connecticut. Mrs. Clinton noted, in her statement cutting Mr. Lieberman loose, that she has known him for more than 30 years. But hey, what are 30 years when compared with the opportunity to curry favor with the anti-war, hard-left bloggers who are rapidly gaining control of the Democratic Party agenda? Douglas Schoen, a longtime Clinton pollster, is supporting the anti-war opponent, Edward Lamont. Mrs. Clinton may think it is a smart political move to dump Mr. Lieberman, whom she ostensibly still supports in the primary.

But in the end, the impression that Mrs. Clinton will abandon people or principles when they become personally inconvenient to her short-term political ambitions will be far more damaging politically. That’s the sort of thing that could alienate vast swathes of swing voters, not just a handful of angry hard-left bloggers. Mr. Lieberman insists for the moment that if he loses the primary he’s still going to be calling himself a Democrat, albeit an independent one. But if the Democrats won’t have Mr. Lieberman, the Republicans should think about making room for him. It would be a good exchange all-around.

The New York Sun

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