Reacting to a strong challenge from Ned Lamont, a wealthy businessman and political newcomer who has criticized him for supporting President Bush on the war and other issues, Senator Lieberman said that he would begin gathering the 7,500 petition signatures necessary to put his name on the ballot should he lose the primary on Aug. 8.
He said that even if elected as a petition candidate, he would remain "a proud Democrat" and would caucus with other Democratic senators. Still, the prospect that Mr. Lieberman may challenge his own party's nominee is a startling turn for the senator, who has spent his entire three decades in politics within the Democratic Party and ran as its vice-presidential nominee in 2000 alongside Al Gore.
The senator's announcement signaled his growing concern over Mr. Lamont's candidacy. Left-leaning Internet bloggers have marked Mr. Lieberman for defeat, drawing national attention and money for Mr. Lamont — and posing a difficult choice for Democratic leaders, who have vigorously backed Mr. Lieberman.
And I predict Lieberman will lose if he does this.