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August 25, 2008

Lieberman Still Being Floated For McCain's VP

This is sheer insanity. It was crazy before the Biden pick and would be reckless nonsense after it, but Bill Kristol gives it a shot in his NY Times column (link to the Weekly Standard).

Lieberman could hold his own against Biden in a debate. He would reinforce McCain’s overall message of foreign policy experience and hawkishness. He’s a strong and disciplined candidate.

But he is pro-abortion rights, and having been a Democrat all his life, he has a moderately liberal voting record on lots of issues.

Now as a matter of governance, there’s no reason to think this would much matter. McCain has made clear his will be a pro-life administration. And as a one-off, quasi-national-unity ticket, with Lieberman renouncing any further ambition to run for the presidency, a McCain-Lieberman administration wouldn’t threaten the continuance of the G.O.P. as a pro-life party. In other areas, no one seriously thinks the policies of a McCain-Lieberman administration would be appreciably different from those, say, of a McCain-Pawlenty administration.

Would McCain-Lieberman have a better prospect of winning than the more conventional alternatives? If they could get over the early hurdles of a messy convention and an awful lot of conservative angst and anger, I’ve come to think so.

It's clear that Biden is going to be the attack dog in this campaign. Yes, Lieberman has gone after Obama on Iraq and foreign policy but how does he go after him and Biden on domestic issues they agree on? McCain needs someone who will attack from the right, Lieberman, with his 16 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, isn't that guy.

Besides, what would their slogan be? Joe Lieberman for VP, He Was Good Enough for Al Gore!

I agree that Biden's selection makes it harder to pick Pawlenty or Palin given the fact they may get creamed by Biden in the debate (the same goes for electoral novices Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman). That said, Dan Quayle got creamed by Lloyd Bentsen in their debate (at least in the popular telling of it) and George H.W. Bush still won.

The other knock against that group is they don't have a lot of experience. Okay but I'm not sure how much mileage the Democrats can get out of knocking the experience level of the bottom of the Republican ticket given their problems with that at the top of theirs. Besides, by any measure Palin and Pwlenty have more experience than Obama does.

Mitt Romney is now a tougher sell because of the elitist, out of touch, how many homes do you own thing (it's not even an issue, just a thing). Sure it's crap but elections have been won and lost on less and if they can portray McCain as rich and out of touch, how exactly does adding a guy that makes Cindy McCain's family look poor help?

In the end, I think they are going to have to suck it up and pick Romney. Populism only goes so far in elections and I think the upside to Romney outweighs the risk.

I'll leave it for another day to get into how exactly Mitt Romney became the great conservative hope, for now I hope he gets the nod.

We'll find out Friday what McCain thinks.


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posted by DrewM. at 01:28 PM

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