Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why Not Lieberman?

Speculation concerning a McCain/Lieberman ticket is starting to bubble up. I can see it. McCain loves Lieberman to death and trusts Lieberman more than anybody else in political life.

McCain would also be sure that Lieberman would have the political chops needed to stick to the McCain line on the campaign trail. That's important given that McCain changes his mind on so many issues.

Finally, nominating Lieberman would be a big-time maverick move.

According to Walter Shapiro of Salon, the big objection to a Lieberman nomination would be the unhappiness of social conservatives and the religious right.

ButShapiro isn't reading the situation accurately. I don't think the right objects to Lieberman nearly as much as they object to McCain himself. Where the right views McCain as a self-centered opportunist, they see Lieberman as an honest person and as a man of some political principle.

Personally, I think the right would swallow hard and buy Lieberman as long as Lieberman supports McCain on nominating far-right justices for the Supreme Court.


jinchi said...

The Republicans love Lieberman in an "even the Democrat Joe Lieberman thinks..." sort of way.

But he's only useful to them as a Democrat. I'm not sure they'll embrace him as a Republican #2 (Remember the furor when they thought Colin Powell might be named Attorney General?

They want the Democrats pulled towards the right, not the Republicans pulled to the left.

Anonymous said...

In 2000, did you think Gore made a mistake choosing Lieberman as his VP? I remember that I was pretty surprised and disappointed, especially given Lieberman's sharp criticism of President Clinton over the Monica ordeal.

I was really hoping that Gore would have picked Sen. Bob Graham. If Gore had done that, we might be living in quite different times. But I know that hindsight is cheap...

Ric Caric said...

Obviously, Lieberman wasn't that great of a choice. Selecting Lieberman signalled Gore's mistaken effort to separate himself from Bill Clinton. But I wasn't that high on Graham either. Gore didn't have a lot of obvious choices.