Olbermann for Senate? Bloggers Draft Combative Host to Replace Lieberman

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 12:11 PM

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Liberals upset about MSNBC’s ousting of combative talk show host Keith Olbermann have taken it upon themselves to find him new job: as the senator from Connecticut replacing Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent and legislative titan who announced his retirement last week.

Already, though, his supporters may have a huge hurdle to overcome: Their candidate, known for his slash-and-burn style, once called Bristol, Conn., “a godforsaken place” during his last days as an ESPN host in the late 1990s.

keith,olbermann,lieberman,connecticut,senateThe city was the location of ESPN headquarters, and Olbermann was quite specific that his slur referred to the community, not the company.

Another problem the Hartford Courant noted Tuesday: Olbermann “doesn't actually live in the state, though he used to."

Courant blogger Rick Green called it easily “the dumbest idea of 2011.

“Just what we need, another arrogant and self-absorbed politician who doesn't get along with anyone,” he wrote Tuesday. “No thanks. Olberman is a perfect TV caricature. He should stay there. Besides, he doesn't even live in Connecticut anymore.”

But a group led by an unidentified blogger aligned with the far-left website Daily Kos is ginning up a Web-based campaign to draft Olbermann.

The ploy to coax Olbermann into the Democratic Senate primary was hatched by activists attending a conference in Pennsylvania during the weekend, according to The Hill. “Draft Olbermann” Facebook and Twitter pages are already active, and a website is expected to go up in the coming days.

If he enters the race, Olbermann won’t be the first left-wing media star sitting in the Senate. He’ll join Al Franken, the Democrat from Minneapolis, a comic author and former writer for “Saturday Night Live."

"We’re using our full set of campaign tools but they won’t go active until we get a little downtime while we’re in D.C.," a blogger by the name of Stranded Wind wrote on Daily Kos.

Stranded Wind said Olbermann is "just old enough, smart enough, polished enough, and has all of the other attributes that would make him a darned good senator for the state of Connecticut."

Olbermann would bring instant recognition to the Connecticut race. The other names being bandied about on either the left or the right to replace Lieberman do not have any national name recognition.

He also would bring the whiff of left-wing corporate conspiracy: Many liberals believe he was fired because new NBC parent company Comcast was alienated by his angry sermons.

Olbermann left his show "Countdown" on Friday, and former NBC officials have had a field day leaking the many reasons for which they should have fired him much sooner. Olbermann was suspended from his job for two days after the 2010 election for making donations to Arizona Democrats Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, and to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway.

One NBC News executive told The New York Times Sunday: “Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.”

That said, Olbermann almost singlehandedly built the current left-leaning MSNBC’s brand with his abrasive editorials bashing Republicans but also, Democrats who he deemed too conservative.

Lieberman announced Jan. 19 that he would not seek re-election in 2012. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has entered the race for the Democratic nomination.

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