Revenge. Cold Revenge.

Rich Galen

7/13/2006 12:01:00 AM - Rich Galen

  • The mid-term elections are now just 17 weeks away. Many of the states have already completed their primary elections and the fields are set for the fall.

  • Some states, Connecticut among them, have not yet held their primary elections. In Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman is facing a strong challenge in the August 8 primary against wealthy businessman "Ned Lamont, a multimillionaire who owns a cable television company," according to the Associated Press.
    "Lamont is pressing Lieberman on the issue of the Iraq war which Lieberman has generally favored, and it appears to be working."

  • Again, according to the AP,
    "Quinnipiac University polls show Lamont's support among registered Democrats increasing from 19 percent in May to 32 percent in June. Lieberman's support in the same period fell from 65 percent to 57 percent."

  • Lieberman, seeing that the momentum his opponent is generating might actually carry him to a victory, announced the fairly startling step of taking out petitions to run as in independent if Lamont ends up winning on August 8.

  • That's a pretty good story, but not of much interest to anyone outside the Beltway or Connecticut.

  • Here's the interesting part: After Lieberman announced his fall-back position, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was asked who she would support if Lamont wins the primary.

  • She said:
    "I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary. I believe in the Democratic Party, and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters."

  • Say goodnight, Joe.

  • Here's why this was more than a little surprising. Clinton could have said,
    "I've known Joe Lieberman for many years. He is my friend and my colleague. I will support him in his re-election because I know he will continue to vote with Democrats on the great majority of issues."

  • Or, she could have taken a pass:
    "I fully expect Joe Lieberman to be our nominee in Connecticut, so there is no question of my support."

  • But she didn't. She went out of her way to say she would not support him if he loses the primary.

  • Why?

  • Because of a speech Senator Lieberman made on September 3, 1998 - a few weeks after Bill Clinton went on national television and admitted he had been lying about the whole Monica Lewinski affair.

  • In that long speech, in paragraph after paragraph, Lieberman excoriated Clinton.
    [T]he President apparently had extramarital relations with an employee half his age, and did so in the workplace, in vicinity of the Oval Office. Such behavior is not just inappropriate. It is immoral. And it is harmful, for it sends a message of what is acceptable behavior … particularly to our children.

  • In Clinton's speech, which was delivered just hours after he had testified to the grand jury, he had said, "I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife."

  • Lieberman, and many others, were not only misled, they had been urged to support the President in his protestations of innocence which had begun the previous January when he went on television to say, "Listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

  • The genesis of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" theory as propounded by Hillary Clinton occurred in January when she had appeared on the Today Show proclaiming her husband's innocence.

  • Seven months later, when he had to fess up because he didn't want to be accused of lying to yet another grand jury, the Clintons were looking for friends.

  • They did not find one in Joe Lieberman.

  • Hillary Clinton returned the favor last week.

  • "Revenge," as Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderios de LaClos wrote in his 1782 book Les Liasons Dangereuses, "is a dish best eaten cold."

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: Lots o' links to Clinton's speech, Lieberman's speech, a look at the Connecticut Senate race, Hillary's Today show appearance, and the Washington Post's roundup the night of Clinton's confession. Also a nice Mullfoto, and an amusing Catchy Caption of the Day.