Sen. Joe Lieberman has been in a tough spot for a while now. He's committed himself to running in the Democratic primary against Ned Lamont, but he's
July 2, 2006

Sen. Joe Lieberman has been in a tough spot for a while now. He's committed himself to running in the Democratic primary against Ned Lamont, but he's repeatedly said he'd consider running as an independent if Lamont beats him the Aug. 8 primary.

But that's not as easy as it sounds. Given the deadline for an independent candidate's petition signatures, Lieberman would have to collect 7,500 signatures literally over night, immediately after a humiliating primary defeat. It's created an awkward dynamic: Lieberman would have to start collecting signatures before the primary, just in case, but that would further annoy Connecticut Democrats who aren't thrilled with him anyway.

What to do? Start the process the day before a major national holiday.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is to announce today he will petition for a place on the November ballot as an "independent Democrat," giving him a chance to stay alive politically should he lose an Aug. 8 primary for the Democratic nomination.

Primary voters tend to be the most loyal, active members of both parties. As a rule, they have made a sincere commitment to the party, and more often than not, like candidates who feel the same way. If many Connecticut Democrats are concerned that Lieberman's values and priorities have strayed too far from the party's mainstream, how does Lieberman suppose these people will react to word that he's already begun taking steps to give up on the party altogether?

-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report

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