It started the first day. The day Ned Lamont announced his run for the Democratic Senate nomination, Sen. Joseph Lieberman's campaign put out a blistering press release.
"Attacking Senator Lieberman's character and integrity was a predictable but dishonorable way to begin this campaign," it started. "Mr. Lamont is clearly going to run a very negative and angry campaign where the truth doesn't get in the way."
Can't you imagine the sparks flying as they typed that bad boy? What could Lamont have done to poor Joe?
He called him "Republican Lite."
He said he was "George Bush's favorite Democrat."
Vicious stuff, huh?
Smith says Lieberman's campaign has been put in a corner: If they ignore Lamont's digs, Lieberman gets accused of being out of touch. If they engage, Smith said, he's accused of overreacting.
But the Lieberman campaign isn't engaging, it's whining. And there's another way to counter Lamont.
What strikes me about Lieberman's thin skin is how unnecessary it all is. He's a decent guy with a good record in many areas - someone who can hold his own in any debate about Democratic goals and values.
But unless his campaign strategy is to position himself as a coddled incumbent with an overgrown sense of entitlement, he ought to do just that.
So far the Lieberman campaign has been a dream for Lamont. They've played it exactly wrong, providing the media with exactly the campaign frame that the Lamont people want.