Since today is a heavy Lindsey Graham (R. SC) news day on Daily Kos, I figured it was important to highlight this from The Huffington Post:
Democrat Matt Lieberman hosted a fundraiser for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in 2013, a tough look as he tries to win over Democratic voters in Georgia’s Senate race.HuffPost obtained the invitation for the event, which took place at the home of Lieberman and his wife, Elizabeth, on Aug. 18, 2013.Campaign finance records show that Elizabeth Lieberman donated $500 to Graham’s campaign that day, and Matt Lieberman donated $1,000 four days later. Elizabeth also gave $1,000 to Graham in April that year.Matt Lieberman has, however, overwhelmingly donated to Democrats over the years, with some exceptions, including Graham, the late Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.). His wife was giving much more heavily to Republicans around the time of the fundraiser.
Democrats are trying to push Lieberman out of the race so Democratic voters can consolidate around Rev. Raphael Warnock (D. GA). But Lieberman is just following in his father’s foot steps:
When he entered the race, Matt said his father encouraged him to get in. But now he says that old grudges against his father are creeping into his own race.
“For some number of people on the left it’s very easy to transfer whatever disdain they may have for Joe Lieberman onto his son and assume that however bad they thought he was, I’m more than … likely to be just that bad,” he said in an interview Thursday. “Is that necessarily fair? No. Does that matter? No, I get it, it’s part of politics.”
Democrats insist both the former Connecticut senator and his son will have little effect on the party’s goals of winning back the Senate and the presidency. Two polls showed Warnock leading the race this week and getting into the runoff, evidence that Democrats’ recent shame campaign against Lieberman may pay off. Plus, Warnock's massive fundraising edge and TV spending advantage are eroding the name ID edge that Lieberman held most of the race.
“Raphael Warnock is our best chance and it’s not even close,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). As for his opinion of the Liebermans still working at odds with Democrats, he replied: “I’ll let other people connect those dots, which are relatively obvious. Especially as Joe is endorsing a Republican in Maine.”
Wired Magazine highlights how both Georgia Senate races are key to winning the Senate and could go into runoffs:
In one race, Democrat Jon Ossoff is challenging incumbent Republican David Perdue. Ossoff may be best known for losing the most expensive House race in US history, in 2017, but he has an outside chance at scoring an upset. Most polls show Perdue with a low-single-digit lead, and no recent poll has either candidate cracking 50 percent. (Hurting the incumbent’s chances of winning outright: A Libertarian candidate is polling in the low single digits.)
If a runoff is a possibility between Ossoff and Perdue, it’s a statistical certainty in the special election race, which currently has five major-party candidates splitting voters. The top two candidates on Election Day will advance to the runoff; most likely they will be Republican Kelly Loeffler, temporarily appointed to the seat by the governor, and Democrat Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. (There is a chance Democrats get locked out entirely, however. Warnock easily leads the two other Democrats in the race, but one of them could win enough votes to play spoiler: Matt Lieberman, the son of former senator Joseph Lieberman.)
Both races have serious implications for the next Senate. Republicans currently control 53 seats to Democrats’ 47. Assuming Joe Biden wins the presidency, Democrats will need to add three seats to achieve a 50-50 tie, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. Since Doug Jones is probably facing defeat in Alabama, that means winning four seats currently held by Republicans. If Donald Trump is reelected, however, Democrats will need five new Senate seats.
With undecideds in the race being as high as 17% in that same poll, Democrats have called on Lieberman and Tarver to get out of the race for the sake of consolidating Democratic support behind Warnock.
In a tweet, Lieberman wrote: “Hey there. I hear you and obviously understand the importance of the seat. Here’s my perspective. With 21 candidates in the race, no one is going to get 50% in November. There would have to be around 9 candidates who drop out. There might even be a runoff in the other Senate race.”
Given both the chaos surrounding Loeffler’s race and the American plague continuing to ravage the nation – no matter what your cable news coverage tells you – there is a unique opportunity in Georgia right now to oust her. This is contingent on making the most of unique and ultimately dire circumstances (see trying to vote in Georgia during any given election, specifically if you are Black). That would entail Democrats all rallying behind the candidate with the most support.
As it’s been for months now, that has proven to be Reverend Warnock, and although I have seen the argument that Lieberman’s presence might not impact that much, if you can potentially contribute in any way to a Republican ghoul winning, why run such a risk? In the advent of a runoff, it is less likely for Democrats to potentially capture the seat. I would rather Lieberman just call his selfishness by its name.
The book, Lucius, is a portrait of the narrator’s fraught friendship with an elderly white man who has an imaginary slave. According to HuffPost, it “regularly deploys the N-word.” I am not going to read this entire book, which was so offensive that it prompted the Georgia NAACP to demand he end his campaign. But I did read the first few pages available for free on Amazon, and they are bad.
The book starts with “Tree Weissman,” a thinly disguised Lieberman, musing about his mortality and studying an interracial couple on a plane—a pudgy white Jewish guy and a “brown-skinned” girl who’s “pretty in a mild way.” (I’m just going to go ahead and dock a grade point for cliché stereotyping right off the bat.) After dwelling on her appearance and speculating that she might just be with the white guy because he has money, he reflects on how she is watching Gone With the Wind on the plane, a film he’s quick to say he definitely did not like. There is a very dull baseball interlude where he recounts the “bygone day” of his youth. He then takes you, “dear reader” (docking another grade point for that one), to meet Benno Johnson, a 90-year-old white man in a nursing home where Weissman volunteers. Benno tells Weissman stories of his lifelong slave, Lucius, who is quickly revealed to be a figment of Benno’s imagination. Benno recounts things Lucius would say in a heavy, stereotypical dialect (“How is you up there, Mistuh Moon?”). Benno, meanwhile, gets a sensitive character study. He’s depicted as a friend, as complex as he may be.
The book is allegedly a meditation on “what it means to be Black, White; free, slave; and innocent, guilty or complicit in today’s America.” Lieberman has told the press that this book was his response to the violence in Charlottesville’s Unite the Right rally. The narrative is infused with an inexplicable certainty that this is Lieberman’s story to tell (Lieberman being a white man from the North). Again and again, the protagonist takes the position of an outsider just struggling to understand racism in the South, rather than recognizing any complicity in white supremacy. “I have a story to tell, an unlikely story,” he writes. “It’s a story of love, and it’s a story of hope. One of the people is Black; the other, White.”
Warnock has been pulling ahead in the polls but it still remains to be seen if Lieberman will spoil the race. Warnock is trying to usher in a new era of the South:
The pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. and his father preached, Warnock is running the best-funded — and most thoroughly covered — Democratic campaign in Georgia's special Senate election. Earlier this summer, Warnock delivered the eulogy at the funeral of the noted civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. He's been endorsed by 31 Senate Democrats and Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights advocate. The experience he touts most often is his work as a pastor in a large and diverse congregation, and his related advocacy work in his community; Black churches in America have long been a center of political and community organizing work, and Ebenezer in particular has a storied political history.
“I see my candidacy not so much as the launch of a campaign, but as the continuation of a campaign in public service that I’ve been on my entire life,” Warnock told Facing South. “I've been engaged in the work of voter registration, education and mobilization for criminal justice reform, and for the dignity of workers, and the struggling families that they support. That's been my life's work. The only difference is that for the first time my name is on a ballot.”
The Georgia special Senate election is by no means a sure bet for Warnock. He's leaning into his longtime identity as one of Atlanta's most recognizable Black preachers, hoping that religion will help him appeal to moderate independents who might be skeptical of his specific positions but who he hopes will see him as a candidate with a strong moral compass.
The alliance of Ossoff’s campaign with fellow Democrat Warnock represents an unusual occurrence, given elections for Georgia’s two Senate seats normally occur in staggered years that do not overlap.But the start-of-the-year retirement by Isakson, a Republican, has thrust both Senate seats into play and partnered Warnock and Ossoff as the state’s Democratic party seeks to solidify support – and potentially help flip the balance of power in Congress.On Saturday, Ossoff pressed for less political divisiveness amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled swaths of the economy and hounded Georgians who in many communities are venturing back out in public after more than six months of social isolation.
By the way, Ossoff picked up another big endorsement:
Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young called Democrat Jon Ossoff a candidate who would “help us overcome our differences to achieve justice, freedom, opportunity, and health for all people” if elected to the U.S. Senate.
Young said Friday that Ossoff’s “philosophy and worldview were shaped profoundly” by the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, whose office hired the Democrat as an intern when he was a teenager.
Recent polls show Ossoff deadlocked with U.S. Sen. David Perdue, a former Fortune 500 chief executive running for a second term.
Last day to register to vote in Georgia online is tomorrow, October 5th.
Let’s keep up the momentum to flip Georgia Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Warnock, Ossoff, Biden and their fellow Georgia Democrats campaigns: