To prepare for his indie CT SEN run, Joe Lieberman asked for, and received, resignations from his entire primary campaign team (staff and consultants). In addition, Lieberman announced that his longtime state director and political aide, Sherry Brown, would takeover as campaign manager, and his former senate communications dir., Dan Gerstein, would serve in a similar role for the campaign.
The release specifically notes the campaign will be searching for a new pollster and media consultant to replace Stan Greenberg and Carter Eskew, respectively. Greenberg's partner, Al Quinlan, actually served as the principal strategist for Lieberman during the primary. As we previously reported, there has been a quiet search for a new consulting team going on for at least a week. The primary requirement: Democratic ties. The Lieberman camp does not want overt GOP ties on the vendor front.
Lieberman, from the release: "I do not blame my staff for my loss on Tuesday, I bear that responsibility. But now that we are entering a new and very different phase of the campaign, I wanted to bring in a new team. And in Sherry and Dan, I am fortunate to have two people in leadership positions that not only know me well but know Connecticut."
The Carpetbagger Report reports that some of the losses weren't at Lieberman's behest:
Two independent sources have confirmed that some Lieberman aides decided well in advance of yesterday's primary that if the senator abandoned the Democratic Party for an independent campaign, they would resign in protest. Given yesterday's results and Lieberman's announcement, that's exactly what's about to happen.
The staff "shake-up," in other words, isn't necessarily Lieberman cleaning house -- it's Lieberman losing staffers who won't work for someone who isn't a Democrat.
Now Lieberman needs to start building a campaign from scratch. I mean, Dan Gerstein has to be the stupidest man in politics, and he's pretty much all Lieberman has at this point.
So he's got to start putting together an organization from zero. He's looking for Democratic consultants, and all the good ones are taken. And when I say "good ones", it's all relative of course. Lieberman's old team was some of the "best" in DC. And people wonder why Democrats lose elections.
So really, I'm not sure who Lieberman expects to hire. It's interesting that when the Lamont campaign was getting off the ground, DC-based consultants wouldn't touch the campaign with a 10-foot-pole for fear that they would be blacklisted by the party (thank heavens for that). Now, the same dynamic will work against Lieberman.
Really, what Democratic consulting firm wants to be splashed all over the blogs for working with a turncoat Democrat? And it's obvious that the party committees have little patience for Lieberman at this point. He's standing in the way of a unified Democratic juggernaut for this fall.
I know Rahm is salivating at the prospect of Lamont's Connecticut Army working to oust the state's three endangered House Republicans. And Schumer wants bloggers focused on Republicans, not on Lieberman. They understand the damage we can wreak when focused like a laser on a target. With all contentious primaries behind us, party committees and bloggers can work for the common good. Our interests now coincide.
Back to Lieberman, what does he think he'll have for a ground game? Many of the unions who worked for Lieberman will bolt for the real Democrat, and whatever Democratic machine Lieberman could tap into as the "official" party endorsed candidate for the primary is now working for Lamont.
So who is going to staff GOTV? Who is going to do the hard work?
And then there's money. He'll have some, but it should dry up quickly as the Democratic money spigot shuts down. Remember, Lieberman spent $12 million or so to lose while Lamont spent about $4 million to win (I haven't seen final numbers yet). There's nothing to suggest that sort of money disparity won't right itself in the general. Lamont's people-powered army is much cheaper to operate than Lieberman's paid mercenaries.
Lieberman will be hard pressed to put together an operation unless he goes over to the dark side. That's probably why Karl Rove called him today. The offer must be on the table. The question is, will Lieberman resist as his predicament becomes increasingly desperate.