"The apparent end of the much-ballyhooed Lamont phenomenon is causing a great deal of soul-searching and recrimination in all corners of the Democratic Party. The bloggers that once championed Mr. Lamont as an awkward but earnest savior now alternately blame Washington’s strategists for hijacking their candidate and Democratic leaders for abandoning him. Beltway consultants fault the Lamont campaign for failing to move the candidate beyond his left-wing celebrity and define him for a greater electorate. . .Had they left him alone, Lieberman would have cruised to reelection this year, and they could have devoted their resources elsewhere. Instead, they made a stand in Connecticut, diverting people, money, and media that could have gone to other races (and been deployed against, oh, I don't know, Republicans).
'The primary was much more about anger at Bush and the war,' said Josh Isay, a media advisor to Mr. Lieberman and former consultant to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who joined the campaign in August. He stressed that the Lieberman campaign was taking nothing for granted, but argued that the general electorate played much more to his candidate’s favor. 'You have different people going to the voting booth; you have Republicans, independents, unaffiliated—a bigger pie of Democrats.'" (link)
Instead, they targeted their former Vice Presidential nominee - one who agrees with them on almost everything else - simply for his position on the war. Some big tent.
He's been one of the most popular politicians in the state over the past two decades, a state that has more independents than members of either party. They mistakenly thought he would be driven off into the sunset, but were obviously wrong about that.
Now they are paying the price. In a lovely lesson of actions having unintended consequences, their strategy and Lieberman's reaction to it might just save the House for the GOP:
"Sen. Joe Lieberman alienated plenty of Democrats with his independent bid. Just imagine their anger if he costs them control of the House.It is very possible that the control of the House will literally be by a seat or two. If the Republicans wind up with 218 or 219 seats by means of holding onto their three Connecticut incumbents, can you imagine the reaction of the Left? Oh, the delicious irony. Of course, they will blame Lieberman, rather than their actions which created the situation in the first place.
The three-term Connecticut senator is aggressively pursuing Republican and independent voters in his race against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont and little-known Republican Alan Schlesinger. That targeted appeal — and the potential for a strong GOP turnout — could save three GOP House incumbents struggling to return to Washington."