The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza makes this claim about Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman:
While Lieberman has grown less and less popular within Democratic ranks, he remains a respected figure among moderate and unaligned voters.
Though I worked for Ned Lamont, this post isn't about Lieberman - it is about Cillizza as a commentary on Beltway journalism.
Cillizza, true to form, offers not a single shred of evidence to support his claim that Lieberman "remains a respected figure among moderate and unaligned voters." Why? Because, perhaps, such evidence really doesn't exist. There has been very little public opinion data to substantiate such a definitive comment, and what polling exists actually contradicts it entirely.
As a Research 2000 poll just a few months ago shows, Lieberman gets just 38 percent support from independents in his own state in a rematch with businessman Ned Lamont. That is a massive erosion from just a year ago, and even a Washington pundit like Cillizza knows that 38 percent is not in the "respected figure" zone. When was the last time you heard about a candidate getting 38 percent of the vote and pundits calling them "a respected figure in the electorate?" Never.
Oh, and it's not like there's any proof that Lieberman is "respected" among voters in New Hampshire, as Cillizza says. Lieberman is the guy who got all of 9 percent of the primary vote in 2004.
But then, maybe I'm jumping the gun here and Cillizza has some evidence. Maybe he polled people like David Broder and other fellow bloviators at the Washington Post and they told him they respect Lieberman and consider themselves "moderate" and "unaligned." Either way, his latest display of political "expertise" shows how so many journalists in Washington simply make up the world as they want it to be, and hand it down to the rest of us in the Unwashed Masses, expecting us not to actually look at the facts that they should be basing their "reporting" on.
Yes, folks, inside the Beltway, as long as the Cillizzas of the world like you, you can have anemic 38 percent support from independents, a record of getting absolutely crushed in New Hampshire elections and a reputation for being an extremist in pushing the most unpopular war in a generation, and still be called "respected" by independents, a proven vote-getter in New Hampshire and a moderate - all at the same time.