Reichgott Junge's clumsy dance away from Lieberman

Too little, too late. That's the only way to describe congressional aspirant Ember Reichgott Junge's press conference in opposition to the war in Iraq held earlier this afternoon. If Reichgott Junge had held the same event a week or two ago, or had come out with something stronger than calling for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to resign, it might have been different, or at least spun plausibly. But for a candidate who has run a pretty shrewd and skillful race thus far to serve up such weak sauce on Iraq, on a day when the top political story is the endangered fate of her ally, incumbent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, certainly does her no favors.

Even in politics, there is such a thing as being too obvious. Lieberman has become the poster boy for the Democratic Party's acquiescene to the Bush agenda, especially with respect to war in Iraq. Junge was the cochair of Lieberman's 2004 presidential campaign here in Minnesota. Now on the very day that the Connecticut primary is providing Democrats with a refendum on the war, Junge headlines her press release with a call for Rumsfeld's head. Uh, that may have been a bold position before the horrific pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib became public waaay back in April 2004. But now all it does is reminds us all of Junge's link to Lieberman. It also gives Junge's most powerful rival for the 5th Congressional District seat, DFL-endorsee Keith Ellison, a chance to contrast Junge's latest position with his early and vociferous opposition to the war.

The other part of Junge's announcement--that she will run ads on Air America highlighting her opposition to the war--makes sense. Until recently Junge hosted a show at the local Air America affiliate. The station is managed by former congressional candidate Janet Roberts, who, like Junge, is proud to be a political moderate.