by RAY FLEMING
BUT for a few thousand misplaced or misappropriated votes in 2000 he might have been Vice-President of the United States. Today, however, Joe Lieberman can no longer even count on the support of the Democrat Party voters of Connecticut who first returned him to the US Senate in 1989. This week he lost the Democrat primary for this November's mid-term elections to a political novice, Ned Lamont, whose name was unknown only a few months ago. Politics is a cruel game and this kind of thing can happen to the best of people for all kinds of reasons. But in the case of Mr Lieberman the reason for his defeat is only too clear: he strongly endorsed President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq and has continued to give support to the administration until this day. His opponent in the Democrat primary fought on the single issue that the war was wrong and the US troops should be brought home. The voters agreed with him by 52-48 per cent. The Connecticut vote, although close, is remarkable given Mr Lieberman's seniority and long service in the Senate, and Mr Lamont's victory may lead many politicians contesting the November elections to reassess their strategies. Can it really be only two years ago since Mr Bush was re-elected as “Commander in Chief”? It is unlikely that he would put that at the centre of his campaign if he were running again later this year.

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