Bush won't endorse Republican in Connecticut Senate race

Intriguingly, at the request of Connecticut’s Republican party.

What’s the strategy here? Eight seven possibilities.

1. The White House wants Lamont to win. There’s good reason to think so. Thse semi-endorsements from Rove and Cheney alone probably cost Liebs five points among Democrats, and don’t think Rove didn’t know it. Call this the “party first” option: neo-McGovernites seizing power on the left is obviously good news for Republicans’ long-term prospects, so they’re going to do whatever they can to hurry it along.

2. The White House wants Liebs to win. By refusing to endorse the Republican, Bush gives Connecticut conservatives the green light to cross the aisle and carry Joementum. Call this the “America first” option: we need Democrats who are strong on defense now more than ever. If that means biting the bullet on a race we’re not going to win anyway, so be it.

3. The White House ostensibly wants Lieberman to win, but secretly wants Lamont to win. The “party first” option in disguise and the Republican conventional wisdom. The best of both worlds: you signal to your own base your continuing seriousness about terrorism while pushing the reactionaries in the other party further into the dead-end peacenik camp.

4. The White House ostensibly wants Lamont to win, but secretly wants Lieberman to win. “America first” in disguise. Rove and Cheney quasi-endorsing Liebs? A transparent ploy to undermine Joe’s liberal bona fides and bait Democrats into voting for Lamont. If the head of the Rethuglikkkan snake is this hot for the Freshmaker, the best way to thwart them may, in fact, be to reaffirm that hawkishness isn’t uniquely a conservative virtue.

5. The Connecticut GOP wants Lamont to win. The dead-end logic on a local scale. Who are they more likely to beat in 2012? A four-term incumbent or a strict anti-war candidate whose naivete about Islamism will only become starker as events unfold in the years to come? Elect the dove now so you can elect a hawk later.

6. The Connecticut GOP wants Lieberman to win. Can’t think of a single solitary reason why they’d want this.

7. The Connecticut GOP wants the Republican candidate to win. The president? Not the most popular guy right now, least of all in the Nutmeg State. The further away he stays, the better.

8. The White House doesn’t know what it’s doing and is operating at cross-purposes. As usual.

Which is it? Before you decide, nota bene:

Lieberman’s advantage in the general election comes from broad support among unaffiliated and Republican voters. Fifty-three percent of likely voters polled said he deserves to be re-elected, and nearly half doubted that Lamont, a political novice who founded a company that wires college campuses for cable television, has enough experience to be senator.

“Senator Lieberman’s support among Republicans is nothing short of amazing. It more than offsets what he has lost among Democrats,” poll director Douglas Schwartz said. “As long as Lieberman maintains this kind of support among Republicans, while holding a significant number of Democratic votes, the veteran senator will be hard to beat.”

Answer below in the comments!

Update: We could do an entirely separate matrix for the Democrats.

Allahpundit Dec 03, 2021 3:21 PM ET