Longtime Connecticut residents might remember Senator Lieberman's cartoon TV commercials back in 1988 where he showed incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker as a grumpy old bear in a cave. The commercials, I understand, were a hit, and Lieberman, as we know, got elected.
Now it's been eighteen years and, at the end of his third term, Joe Lieberman is facing an outside challenger himself, this time from fellow Democrat Ned Lamont, as I've mentioned previously in True or Better. Perhaps because it all seems like déjà vu all over again, Lieberman's trotted out the old bear commercials, but this time, Lowell the Bear is joined by Ned the Bear. It's a cute effort on the senator's part to paint himself as a kind of iconoclast, but that's a trick that's hard to pull off when you're a three-term incumbent, and it doesn't work.
Maybe it's just me, but these commercials make me think of other bears...
"Neddie! I’ve been meaning to talk to you!”
“What about, Ranger Joe?”
“Well, I’ve noticed you’ve gone through some personality changes lately.”
“Like what, Ranger Joe?”
“Well, it’s just that you used to be one of the good bears, Neddie. You always listened to us Rangers, never bothering the campers, sticking to the woods, eating nuts and berries. What happened?”
”I just wanted a little red meat, Mr. Ranger. Is that so wrong?”
”Frankly... yes. Nuts and berries, Neddie. Nuts and berries.”
”But Mr. Ranger... why do I have these sharp, pointy teeth?”
”Why do you... Oh, I get it. You’ve been talking to that bad Lowell Bear, haven’t you?”
”You mean that bear who doesn’t like you, Mr. Ranger? Not really. This stuff sort of occurred to me on my own.”
”Well, I don’t like him either. He’s always trying to steal picnic baskets, bother the campers, run for Governor of Connectistone Park. He’s not in charge, Neddie. I am. Ever since us Rangers came in and set this park up, it’s been our show, and what we say... Hey, Neddie! Where’re you going?”
”Huh? Oh, there’s some hamburgers over at that campsite, and I’m going to get some.”
”Neddie! You have no right! You can’t do this! I’m the Ranger here! You gave me a contribution, dammit! Oh, that Neddie... He used to be one of the good bears...”