Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kerry Not Endorsing Lieberman in Primary, Will Back Nominee

As some Senate Dems stepped up to help out embattled Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman "as he tries to fend off an anti-Iraq war challenger in an intraparty fight," John Kerry announced yesterday that he will be support whoever the nominee is from the Connecticut primary next month. Kerry's announcement came day after a similar announcement by Senator Hillary Clinton of New York. Both Kerry and Clinton are considering a run in 2008 for president.

However, unlike Hillary Clinton, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, and the DSCC, all of whom have pledged support to Lieberman in the primary, John Kerry is "declining to choose between Lieberman and his Democratic challenger Ned Lamont," said Amy Brundage , a spokesperson for Kerry's PAC.

Brundage said the Massachusetts Democrat generally does not get involved in primaries, though Kerry has made exceptions in the past for candidates he favors. Earlier this year, he helped raise money for three Iraq war veterans who were involved in contested Democratic primaries for House seats.

Last month, Kerry endorsed Jim Webb in a race against another Democrat, Harris Miller, for the nomination for a Senate seat for Virginia. Kerry raised $32,000 for Webb via e-mailed fund-raising appeals, recorded a message for automatic calls to likely primary voters, and appeared at a Webb rally the night before the primary.

Brundage said that this year, Kerry is endorsing only candidates in contested primaries who are veterans.

"Since Kerry has made his personal mission for 2006 electing veterans to the House and Senate, he's likewise only taken sides in Democratic primaries to back candidates who are veterans," she said. "Connecticut will choose the Democratic Senate nominee, and John Kerry will support him."

The DSCC is supporting Lieberman in the primary but they have "refused to say whom the committee would support if Lamont wins the Democratic nomination." Senator Ken Salazar announced yesterday that he will back Lieberman in November's election "whether or not he wins the Democratic primary."

It's one heck of a dogfight going on in Connecticut. Joan Vennochi weighs in on "Being Joe Lieberman," and the various implications of how this could all play out.


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