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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

So alludes Josh Marshall at TPM, in advising Harry Reid on how to handle Joe Lieberman. Per Politico, a Lieberman staffer says of Lieberman,

his position is he wants to remain in the caucus but losing the chairmanship is unacceptable.

It’s hard not to laugh openly at that. Lieberman has zero leverage. Throwing out childish tantrum words like “unacceptable” assumes that Democrats stand to lose something if Lieberman goes to the Republican side.

Remember, this is the guy John McCain desperately wanted to pick for VP. Republicans were willing to stage a convention floor fight to stop that from happening. Thus begat Sarah Palin. Lieberman is not going to be well-loved in the Republican caucus. His best hope is to kiss an incredible amount of Democratic butt and hope he doesn’t get expelled.

But Marshall’s right. Michael Corleone at the beginning of II “negotiating” with Nevada’s Senator Geary over casino licenses is the right understanding of who has the leverage and who has the bluster here.

Senator, you can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.

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