Cillizza has two sources: Joe Lieberman will not seek a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. We can give the man some time to explain why he's doing this, but let's not lose sight of the obvious: He was going to lose if he ran . One of the last polls on a potential 2012 race, an October 2010 survey by Public Policy Polling, gave Lieberman an abysmal 31 percent approval rating. Twenty-four percent of voters said they'd re-elect him, to 66 percent who said they wanted to vote for someone else. In trial heats, Lieberman came in third in potential three-way contests; he lost by double digits to possible Democratic opponents.
What happened? How did a guy who won a three-way 2006 race with 50 percent of the vote come to this? It's simple: Lieberman turned everybody off and broke a series of promises. If you were a Democrat who supported him, you heard him promise to endorse the party's 2008 presidential candidate, then you watched him endorse John McCain. If you were a Republican who supported him, you heard him say he couldn't vote for the health care bill in December 2009, because of the Medicare buy-in. You might have even waved pro-Lieberman signs, as some people I met at a Tea Party rally in D.C. did at that time. Then you watched him cave once the buy-in came out.
Blanche Lincoln learned in 2010 that the worst thing a legislator can do is become pivotal on an issue that your constituents oppose. Lieberman did that again and again, typically disappointing liberals, often disappointing conservatives. He became famous as a key swing vote, so there was plenty of ire to throw at him.
That explains why he was unpopular, and why this move is part graceful exit, part hit-the-road-before-they-burn-my-house-down.
Oh, and here's a blast from the past: Pam "Atlas Shrugs" Geller on the scene at Lieberman's 2006 victory party, chatting with Democratic consultant Dan Gerstein.
TODAY IN SLATE
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.