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Thursday, January 29, 2004

An open letter to Joe Lieberman

Dear Senator Lieberman:

You strike me as a smart and noble man. For the good of the party, please drop out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination now.

Your loss in New Hampshire, which you spin as a "statistical dead heat for third place" but which was in reality a fifth-place finish, counts you out of the running. You skipped Iowa to put your eggs in the New Hampshire basket, even going so far as to move your personal residence to the latter state. It didn't work. The support base is too weak. It's time to withdraw.

What do you hope to achieve by hanging in there? Preventing the party from drifting too far to the left? More disheartening losses on your part could actually cause a shift to the left, as the media portrays your centrist views as out of touch with the Democratic mainstream.

In fact, by overstaying in the race, you do the party appreciable harm. If you continue to draw 8 to 10 percent of the votes and never come near the nomination, you deprive your supporters of a chance to vote for their second choices, who may very well be among the three or four real candidates left in the race. I doubt that many of your backers would vote for Dean, and so your continued presence on the ballot does nothing more than obscure the party's overall enthusiasm for Sens. Kerry or Edwards (or perhaps Gen. Clark).

I look forward to seeing you celebrate the eventual nominee at the convention. I know we will stand with you in working for the Democratic candidate in the general election. But right now, we need you to do what Congressman Gephardt did: Bow out gracefully. Allow all the voters, even those who would vote for you in an ideal world, to show their preference among the more viable contenders in the field.

Thank you.

Comments (4)

I watched the Nightline version of the NH debate last week and I was so annoyed with Lieberman and his comments on Iraq. He is providing major cover for Bush, who is very vulnerable on the issue. I don't think I could vote for him if he somehow got the nomination, and I'm certain I'm not alone in feeling that way. The sooner he gets out of the race, the better for the eventual nominee.

C'mon Jack, stop killing the "Joe-mentum".

Lieberman's still my favorite, but that's probably because I'm not very far to the left. He should drop out.

He'd make a great vice-presidential candidate though (again)...

it's all about beating herr bush this time, about getting a democrat in the white house. sometimes that justifies a candidate staying in the race, like sharpton, who admits to being in the race to get some people excited about the race that otherwise would not be. but with lieberman, like gephardt, sometimes it's better for the party for the candidate to bow out. joe's gotta go.


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