March 01, 2006
No doubt the Democrats in opposition to Lieberman will take this opportunity to reinforce their charge that the CT Senator is really just an elephant in donkey's clothing. But keep two things in mind. First, Shays in not your standard Republican. He's a Liberal weenie. Second, Shays and his fellow Republican Rob Simmons (2-CT) may very well be using this tactic as a quid pro quo for their own re-election bid this year.
Shays and Simmons are facing tough re-election campaigns from their Democratic opponents, Diane Farrell and Joseph Courtney, respectively. Farrell, who also ran two years ago, has used the war as a cudgel against Shays, although she is supporting Lieberman.This looks more like an incumbency-protection scheme where the Republicans back Lieberman if Lieberman in turn supports them in November once he secures the nomination. The move, however, may very well backfire by energizing the Democrat base to back Ned Lamont, Lieberman's opponent.
While Simmons could benefit by running on the same ballot line with Lieberman, the congressman's campaign manager, Chris Healy, all but ruled out Simmons' signing off on such a gambit -- even though Republicans are unsure if they can convince a serious candidate to oppose Lieberman.
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