Lieberman as VP: Disaster

posted at 7:54 am on August 20, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

My friend Patrick Ruffini, as ardent a Republican as I know, wrote last night to make the case that Joe Lieberman as John McCain’s running mate would not be “the worst pick”.  While Lieberman wouldn’t be his first choice, Patrick says that Lieberman could help McCain win, and that his presence on the ticket would essentially be otherwise meaningless.  He claims that Lieberman already boosted McCain into the nomination with his endorsement in the primaries, proving his value:

The difference is that any of the conventional picks don’t help McCain with his #1 priority: winning the election. Despite narrowing the gap, McCain is currently about 3 points behind. He needs a better VP pick than Obama will come up with — and unless Obama chooses Clinton, Obama’s pick will be safe and milquetoast. Lieberman is the most obvious opportunity to shake up the calculus of the race. Picking him did something for Al Gore in 2000, taking him from a sure loser to a position of strength in the fall. A conservative VP on a losing ticket is still a losing ticket.

Lieberman’s endorsement of McCain was a turning point in McCain’s favor in winning the primary. Republican primary voters did not recoil in horror that a Democrat would give McCain his stamp of approval. Much the opposite. It’s very possible someone else would have been the nominee had Lieberman not endorsed. It’s easy to see how McCain would feel a deep sense of gratitude.

Win or lose, Lieberman as the VP nominee would have the practical effect of forcing him to switch parties sooner rather than later. If you want to notch a Senate seat and prevent a filibuster proof Obama majority, this is one way of doing it. As part of the Republican conference, he’d start voting as a party line Republican most of the time, though not always.

Patrick makes a number of mistaken assumptions in this passage, chief among them the idea that Joe Lieberman would somehow become a mostly-party-line Republican in the Senate under any circumstances.  That actually sells Lieberman short as a man of principle.  Lieberman has a well-established record as a liberal Senator throughout his career, with Poole Report ratings that consistently put him on the left side of his caucus.

Does Patrick really think that Lieberman would abandon all of that just because he changed party affiliation?  If that were true, then Lieberman would never have opposed his current party on the most explosive issue in the last few years: the Iraq war.  At best, he’d vote to support the Republican leadership, but otherwise we should expect a voting record to the left of Lincoln Chaffee.

Lieberman’s endorsement did not win John McCain the primary, either.  His friendship with McCain probably hurt him among Republicans as much as it helped among independents voting in GOP primaries.  It certainly lent some heft to the RINO charge, especially since Lieberman’s liberal record is very plain to see.  By the time the official endorsement came on February 3rd, McCain had already won more primaries than his rivals (New Hampshire, South Carolina) and held a slim lead in delegates over Mitt Romney.

The addition of Joe Lieberman will not convince independents that McCain is a maverick; it will convince an already-skeptical GOP base that McCain is a RINO.  Patrick knows better than most how essential enthusiasm is to the GOTV efforts and fundraising.  McCain appears to have finally generated some of that enthusiasm, and picking Lieberman would snuff it out for good.  Republicans respect Lieberman, but they don’t want a liberal Democrat as the person who would succeed to the Presidency if something happened to McCain — which is the entire point of the Vice Presidency.

Lieberman may not be the worst choice, but he’s close to it.  If McCain wants a Democrat, let him pick John Breaux, whose positions really do reflect conservative values.  Otherwise, the Republican Party has plenty of options for a Republican ticket.


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OMG, have we finally discovered something that would be bad news for McCain?!

e-pirate on August 20, 2008 at 8:00 AM

McCain has been pulling ahead because he has been sounding conservative and energizing his base! If he then turns around and slaps his base by picking a liberal Democrat turned Republican is as soon as he gains the advantage, it’s over! I know I will not vote for him. I have been so liking this guy lately! That would be too much for me!

JellyToast on August 20, 2008 at 8:03 AM

He would be better as Sec. of State. Why not hint that he might get that job? Most Republicans would be OK with that. As a bonus Connecticut has a Republican governor which means a pickup in the Senate.

dentalque on August 20, 2008 at 8:07 AM

I have been wrestling with the decision to simply not vote this year since I have very little trust in Maverick. If he decides to pick a libtard for his running mate, that wrestling match will end……I will not vote for a ticket that doesn’t represent me at all, even if BO is worse.

David in ATL on August 20, 2008 at 8:08 AM

I am getting to the point where it is simply a matter of ABBO – ANYBODY but BO. The truth is that I will most likely go into the voting booth, as I have always done, and this year I will cast a vote, and it will be for the candidate that repulses me the least.

All this hand-wringing over pro-life/pro-choice VP is fine for debate, but in light of the economic and geo-political landscape, its a bit off the mark… Why spend time arguing about having steak medium or rare, when the issue is about bread and water.

singlemalt_18 on August 20, 2008 at 8:12 AM

I have been wrestling with the decision to simply not vote this year since I have very little trust in Maverick. If he decides to pick a libtard for his running mate, that wrestling match will end……I will not vote for a ticket that doesn’t represent me at all, even if BO is worse.

David in ATL on August 20, 2008 at 8:08 AM

To each his own, but I’d vote for Genghis Kahn if it would keep Obama out of the White House.

rplat on August 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Yes Al Gore’s running mate (Lieberman) would be a disaster of epic proportions. I will have to independent.

So would Tim Pawlenty:

“The era of small government is over … government has to be more proactive, more aggressive.” – Tim Pawlenty

“It looks like we should have listened to President Carter” – Tim Pawlenty

“Climate change is real. Human behavior is … responsible. Those who don’t think so are simply not right. We should not spend time on voices that say it’s not real.” – Tim Pawlenty

How Not to Run for Vice President (The Washington Post)
Pawlenty’s Record (The Wall Street Journal)

A Big-Government Running Mate for McCain? (Cato Institute)

- Supported government subsidized health care for all children as the first step toward universal health insurance, and opposed President Bush’s veto of a Democratic bill that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance program (SCHIP) to families earning as much as $83,000 per year

- Supports Massachusetts-style health care reform, including a “health care exchange” and an individual mandate

- Has called for banning all prescription drug advertizing, and seeks government imposed price controls for drugs offered through Medicare

- Proposed a $4000 per child preschool program for low-income children

- Pushed a statewide smoking ban smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars

- Increased the state’s minimum wage

- Imposed some of the most aggressive and expensive renewable energy mandates in the country

- Was an ardent supporter of the farm bill

- Received only a “C” ranking on Cato’s 2006 Governor’s Report Card, finishing below such Democrats as Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and tied with Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

Poptech on August 20, 2008 at 8:15 AM

To me picking Lieberman just proves that the Republicans have lost their way and may no longer exist. We now have to a two party system consisting of liberals and communists and a complete failure of the general population to acknowledge it. It’s my opinion that the general population does not understand that republicans and democrats no longer stand for what we think they do or should. There is a battle of ideologies taking place within the political arena which cares greatly for position and power and little else. The people are but pawns in this battle and like all pawns are victims for the greater good of the ruling class. The thing I see during this cycle is that the communist feel bold enough to come out in the open more and more. The bigger problem is that the MSM is not pointing it out and even when they do we the people really don’t care or understand.

jmarcure on August 20, 2008 at 8:17 AM

Liebs is better (and more conservative) than the Drag Queen.

But he’s still a bad choice, as Ed explained, and more so – if he’s the VP – the antisemites (leftists, Arabs and Nationalists) in the world will have a huge boost. :Shudder:

Aristotle on August 20, 2008 at 8:18 AM

I think picking Lieberman would be a desperation pick for McCain. We can win this without him.

To stop this obama trojan horse I’ll vote for McCain even if he puts the hildebeast on the ticket.

elduende on August 20, 2008 at 8:20 AM

The bigger problem is that the MSM is not pointing it out and even when they do we the people really don’t care or understand.

THE MSM IS THE PROPAGANDA ARM OF THE PARTY.

People eat what they are fed.

singlemalt_18 on August 20, 2008 at 8:20 AM

To me, Lieberman is a great guy. But not for VP. He always said he is a democrat and always will be. I think he would be a great Secretary of State.
VP has to be a person that follows your philosophy and can step in for the president. Also, VP is in the senate to break a tie vote. Why would McCain want Lieberman voting against what McCain is for?

jencab on August 20, 2008 at 8:23 AM

This pick is so unbelievably bad that I think McNumbnuts is going to make it! As he moves ahead in the polls because he’s now perceived to be a…gasp…conservative…the GOP must do something big to show America that the Republican Party does NOT represent conservative principles!

sabbott on August 20, 2008 at 8:24 AM

Lieberman didn’t change his party affiliation to Republican, he changed it to Independent to be able to campaign for re-election after losing the nomination to Ned Lamont (I live in CT).

Lamont was a one-trick pony: against the war in Iraq. It’s the only issue on which the 2 candidates disagreed. In the end, CT voters choose Lieberman because of his overall record, not just one issue. (Please understand: I am no fan of Lieberman; I’m just trapped in a liberal wasteland.)

Lieberman is still a Democrat in every way, shape and form – despite his “party departure” on one issue, Iraq.

He would be a disastrous VP selection; Guiliani or Romney would be so much better for McCain.

KrisinNE on August 20, 2008 at 8:25 AM

I can’t believe that either candidate would be so stupid as to not select a woman for his VP. If Hillary Clinton’s campaign proved only one thing (aside from the fact that she’s a serial liar), it’s that we’re a ‘silent majority’ with a lot of loyalty. McCain needs to pick his photo-negative, a younger woman, to run with–the last thing he needs is a old white male fellow-senator. Hopefully Obama will make that dumb move.

Hope P. Muntz on August 20, 2008 at 8:25 AM

To each his own, but I’d vote for Genghis Jenjis Kahn if it would keep Obama out of the White House.

rplat on August 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Fixed by John Kerry (Who served in Vietnam)

fossten on August 20, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Funny how an 80s liberal now seems like a great idea since the Dems have swung so far left that he actually looks moderate.

The fact that Lieberman loves this country and wants to defend Israel do not a moderate make. He is a pro-abortion hack that tried to sleaze himself along with the ‘Reverend’ Sharpton and the rest of the presidential Dem hopefuls as the champion of infanticide. He’s big on raising taxes in order to solve problems, rather than simply solving the problem. He’s an open borders, Clinton supporting Democrat that does not deserve to run on the Republican ticket just because he agrees that we should fight the war on terror.

This is a cheap attempt to win over uncommitted voters at the expense of the leadership this country actually needs.

Hening on August 20, 2008 at 8:27 AM

Picking him did something for Al Gore in 2000, taking him from a sure loser to a position of strength in the fall.

I disagree with this assessment. Al Gore was Vice President in an administration that had presided over peace and economic expansion. He should have been a shoe-in. Sure, there was the Lewinsky scandal, but that was Clinton’s and Clinton was conspicuously absent from Al Gore rallies and fund raisers. The only thing Lieberman brought to the table was that he was a northeastern Jew. “Joementum” was a joke at the time.

I would hope that McCain isn’t an idiot. He surely knows that his connection with conservatives is tenuous at best. Picking someone other than a solid conservative would pretty much break that connection.

While the VP is pretty much a powerless position, it does hold the responsibility of being a tie-breaker in the Senate. While I don’t expect a 50-50 split this year, if that does happen, I don’t want a liberal in the tie-breaker spot.

Kafir on August 20, 2008 at 8:28 AM

Here’s my theory on this. McCain already has a VP in mind but he knows that this person won’t really excite the conservative base all that much. So he drops red herring names out there like Liebermann to engage/enrage the base so that when he does annouce who he actually picked, it will result in a sigh of relief and huge support with the base saying that “he’s actually listening to us.”

It’s like having a kid who wants ice cream and only ice cream. Then you tell him he’s going to have to settle for broccoli. This angers the kid so much that when you tell him he’s getting cookies instead, he’s happy because it’s a hell of a lot better than the broccoli he told he was getting.

Pcoop on August 20, 2008 at 8:29 AM

Lieberman as John McCain’s running mate would not be “the worst pick”.

No Indeed, Lieberman wouldn’t be the worst pick.

I can think of several of McCain’s ‘special friends’ who would be even worse than Lieberman.

In Fact… Of all McCain’s usual accomplices, I kind of like Lieberman the best.

That doesn’t mean that I think that Lieberman would be a good pick. Just that he sucks slightly less than most of the LIKELY VP picks.

Which, of course, is pretty much the theme of this entire election season: figuring out who sucks less, figuring out who will do the least damage in THE LONG RUN.

LegendHasIt on August 20, 2008 at 8:30 AM

I am actually looking forward to McCain naming Lieberman as his VP pick. I have a number of reasons, so I’ll highlight them here.

First, I love watching the Republican Party tools redefining Conservative to mean McCain. So I fully intend to watch the Republican Party cheerleaders, like our own beloved Captain Ed, jumping in ecstatic joy over the nomination of the Conservative Independent Joe Lieberman. Or would it be the Independently Conservative?

Now, after watching the Republican pundits cheering the McCain choice of Lieberman, I also would enjoy watching the Nutroots lose their damn minds about the traitor Lieberman.

Finally, the only selling point for actual conservatives instead of Republicans about McCain was his age. He’s really old and could die while in office. Of course, that’s out since his choice would be even more Liberal than he is.

God I love this. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this. Go McCain, pick Lieberman. McCain Lieberman 08

Snake307 on August 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM

It would be an inspired choice if McCain could be sure it would pull enough votes from Obama to offset the conservative losses he would suffer. A better idea would be to pick Michael Steele, a Black Conservative.

ahem on August 20, 2008 at 8:35 AM

The only viable presidential candidate this cycle is John McCain. He will pick Palin as VP and kneecap the democrats identity politics.

Any vote other the J. McCain is a vote for defeat of the USA and the institution of marxism in our faces.

Colonel_prop on August 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Personally, I like Leiberman. I see him as one of the few politicians on either side who is true to himself and stands by his principles fairly consistently. Since abortion is not a key issue for me, I would have no objection to him. Feeling as I do, I do not know why he would be such a disaster but bow to the majority who say he would. Would someone out there take the trouble to explain why he’s so bad, aside from his abortion stance. I just don’t get it.

jeanie on August 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM

In total agreement with Ed.

Republican primary voters did not recoil in horror that a Democrat would give McCain his stamp of approval.

Of course not, but that does not translate to, Put that liberal Democrat on the ticket! just because he’s been stalwart on one issue, namely the W.O.T.

Buy Danish on August 20, 2008 at 8:38 AM

To each his own, but I’d vote for Genghis Kahn if it would keep Obama out of the White House.
rplat on August 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM

Personally, I’d prefer him to either one of the Bozos who have been foisted upon us.

LegendHasIt on August 20, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Jeanie on August 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM

Here are Lieberman’s positions on the issues.

Buy Danish on August 20, 2008 at 8:42 AM

I am getting to the point where it is simply a matter of ABBO – ANYBODY but BO.
singlemalt_18 on August 20, 2008 at 8:12 AM

That’s right and if people want to hand it to BO on a silver plate then just don’t vote. We have the person we have because a lot of us just didn’t vote for whatever reason. I’m not sure what is more wrong. Voting for someone that isn’t “ME” or standing aside and doing nothing. By “ME” I mean just that me. More so than any other election I seeing people say the candidate agrees with 999,999 of the 1,000,000 items on my list of “MUST have” but you know I’m not sure about that last one so I’m not voting this year. Life is a series of sacrifices every day we live but far too many of us draw the line at the voting booth and want a candidate that walks talks and thinks exactly as we do and that is why BO is so popular. He gets up on stage and proclaims, “The sky is a color!” the crowd goes wild and every one of them knows deep down the BO sees the color of the sky exactly as they do.

I don’t like the Republican pick. Heck I’m not sure if I even like the Republicans much but I sure don’t like BO and his friends so I will make what is apparently an ultimate sacrifice by doing the unthinkable and vote for someone that is not “ME”.

jmarcure on August 20, 2008 at 8:42 AM

The article is wrong on another point.

There is a HUGE difference between throwing your support behind someone, and being the VP candidate.

For example, even though the only thing I agree with Lieberman on is the WOT, it doesn’t bother me at all that he endorses McCain.
On the other hand, the fact that being VP puts him one heartbeat away from being president, as well as giving him an excellent position from which to influence the policy decisions of any McCain administration, means that he and I disagree on almost everything, makes him completely unacceptable to me as a VP.

MarkTheGreat on August 20, 2008 at 8:43 AM

If McCain has to pick a Democrat, why not John Bruex (I know the spellings way off) as the captain suggested yesterday. He’s to the right of many Republicans.

Additionally, his state has a Republican governor, so by elevating him to the VP position, the Republicans can pick a seat in the Senate.

MarkTheGreat on August 20, 2008 at 8:48 AM

The addition of Joe Lieberman will not convince independents that McCain is a maverick; it will convince an already-skeptical GOP base that McCain is a RINO.

I agree. Also remember that Lieberman LOST the Democratic primary for Senate in Connecticut — effectively, he was kicked out of the Democratic party. Thus, how does putting Lieberman on the ticket convince swing voters that you’re working with Democrats? I could see the argument with a John Breaux or Zell Miller, but not Lieberman.

I say put Liebs in the cabinet, perhaps as Secretary of State (preferably with The Stache as Deputy Secretary of State).

As for McCain’s VP, at this point, I think Pawlenty is the wisest choice. I liked Palin until it came out that she favored windfall profits taxes. Romney would be acceptable to me, but I think he carries more baggage. Ridge is pro-choice and that’s a disqualifier.

Outlander on August 20, 2008 at 8:50 AM

That raises another issue that I haven’t heard discussed yet.

If McCain picks somebody who is currently in office, and he wins, who will that persons replacement be.

Does Arizona have a Republican governor? That states governor will get to pick McCain’s senate replacement.

If the candidate is a governor, is the lt. governor a Republican? If the candidate is currently in the House or Senate, is the governor of that state a Republican.
Given the condition of the Republican party in both the House and the Senate, we can’t afford to give up any seats.

MarkTheGreat on August 20, 2008 at 8:52 AM

make him Sec. of Defense if anything, although he would be replaced by a moonbat Dem most likely, which hurts on Defense issues in Senate

jp on August 20, 2008 at 8:54 AM

It won’t be Lieberman. Or Rudy. This is why:

http://thirdbasepolitics.blogspot.com/2008/08/picking-mccains-vp-and-britneyfication.html

EduardoOTI on August 20, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Here’s my theory on this. McCain already has a VP in mind but he knows that this person won’t really excite the conservative base all that much. ***
Pcoop on August 20, 2008 at 8:29 AM

What you’ve described is what negotiation theorists call the “anchoring effect.” You set expectations with your initial offer.

That doesn’t strike me as being McCain’s style — it’s too subtle. McCain is more of a bull-in-the-china-shop type. My guess is that he is/was seriously considering Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman and was floating trial balloons.

Outlander on August 20, 2008 at 9:02 AM

As for McCain’s VP, at this point, I think Pawlenty is the wisest choice. I liked Palin until it came out that she favored windfall profits taxes. Romney would be acceptable to me, but I think he carries more baggage. Ridge is pro-choice and that’s a disqualifier.

She doesn’t favor windfall profit taxes.

EduardoOTI on August 20, 2008 at 9:03 AM

McCain will not do this. 3 Dems and one 1/2 Republican to vote for in Nov will cause way too much grief in the base he knows he needs. He’ll make a good pick, is my guess. This is all just posturing and strategerizing now.

Halley on August 20, 2008 at 9:05 AM

Buy Danish: Thanks. That was enlightening and while abortion may not be an issue for me, taxation definitely is.

jeanie on August 20, 2008 at 9:08 AM

Tie the Dems to Obama’s coattail and let him drag everyone off the cliff with him. Then it won’t matter who McCain picks.

Dusty on August 20, 2008 at 9:08 AM

Hey, if you’re sweating McCain’s VP choice, just think of how much sleep you will lose if the Maverick wins and has to fill positions that actually mean something–SC Justice, etc. cheers!

james23 on August 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Hmmm… Lieberman was pro-life wasn’t he? Before he ran as Gore’s VP and there was insistence that he promote a pro-choice position? (I seem to remember a little tizzy among pro-choice Democrats about his selection as Gore’s VP for this reason- or am I just imagining things?)

Not saying that Lieberman is a good idea (I think he’s a very bad pick), but there is a strong probability that he is actually pro-life.

Granted I want more than probabilities- I’m just pointing out the Lieberman will probably be more friendly to the pro-life position then an adamant pro-choice Republican.

Sackett on August 20, 2008 at 9:16 AM

jeanie on August 20, 2008 at 9:08 AM

His views on Energy and Oil are scary too. Item # 1:

50% Excess Profits Tax on oil companies’ undeserved profit. (Oct 2006)

Buy Danish on August 20, 2008 at 9:16 AM

I think McCain pretty much sent the signal at Saddleback when he was adamant that his would be a pro-life administration. They’re floting these other names to lower expectations, then when he picks Romney or Palin (my first and wild-card picks), everybody will be pleased and jump on board the McCain bandwagon. There’s no way he can make that statement at Saddleback and then go with a pro-choice VP. The MSM would crucify him and attack ads would have his own words to play off of.

PatMac on August 20, 2008 at 9:16 AM

Here’s my theory on this. McCain already has a VP in mind but he knows that this person won’t really excite the conservative base all that much. So he drops red herring names out there like Liebermann to engage/enrage the base so that when he does annouce who he actually picked, it will result in a sigh of relief and huge support with the base saying that “he’s actually listening to us.”

This sounds right to me. People fearing Liebs or Rudy will be all on board with McCain’s pick of Ridge or Pawlenty, both of whom are totally uninspired and uninspiring duds.

james23 on August 20, 2008 at 9:18 AM

How is treating voters like schmucks inspiring? If all this game playing with VP picks was supposed to be inspiring, it back fired. It just gave me another reason not to vote for McCain.

Blake on August 20, 2008 at 9:24 AM

Well, he’d probably be better than Huckabee, but not much.

P-A-L-I-N !!! Sarah’s the one.

stenwin77 on August 20, 2008 at 9:26 AM

If he truly likes Liebs that much, wouldn’t he be doing him a bigger favor by making him Sec. of State? Significantly more influence and visibility since the advent of TV.

phreshone on August 20, 2008 at 9:33 AM

Hey, if you’re sweating McCain’s VP choice, just think of how much sleep you will lose if the Maverick wins and has to fill positions that actually mean something–SC Justice, etc. cheers!

james23 on August 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM

And just how soundly will you sleep while contemplating who Obama would select to fill those slots?

MarkTheGreat on August 20, 2008 at 9:49 AM

The theory behind a Lieberman pick would be that the evangelical right is largely a write-off no matter how McCain cuts it–or that, given the horror of the alternative, they’ll still take their pill and vote against Obama.

The real target would be the electoral center and conservative Democrats, with whom the choice of Lieberman might signal a real, not just rhetorical, commitment to partisan “change” (good or bad, but nevertheless palpable). If they could effectively sell the image of being experienced insiders genuinely committed to changing the way Washington operates (whether that outcome is realistic or not), they could position themselves as the men with the actual goods Obama merely promises.

Blacklake on August 20, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Pcoop on August 20, 2008 at 8:29 AM

I hope you’re this smart.

Akzed on August 20, 2008 at 10:23 AM

The odds that his VP choice will become President in the 4 years of his administration are probably greater than ever in our history.

The pick is VERY VERY important. Remember, his father died suddenly at a relatively early age.

stenwin77 on August 20, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Pro-abortion liberal.

saved on August 20, 2008 at 10:42 AM

I like Liebermann and I don’t want him for VP either. However, I think it’s a bit short-sighted to think he will do anything that McCain wouldn’t want him to do. If he were the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, he will vote exactly as McCain tells him. He’s too loyal to do otherwise.

slug on August 20, 2008 at 10:48 AM

The odds that his VP choice will become President in the 4 years of his administration are probably greater than ever in our history.
The pick is VERY VERY important. Remember, his father died suddenly at a relatively early age.
stenwin77 on August 20, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Yup. McCain might just croak while giving his acceptance speech. Why, just look at his mother. She’s assumed room temperature at least a few decades ago, right?

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Aristotle on August 20, 2008 at 8:18 AM

Have you been to New York? Before and after Rudy? Ann Coulter said of him: He talks like a liberal but he governed like a conservative. Rudy would be a better pick than Lieberman on most policies.

austinnelly on August 20, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Funny thing is, if Obama weren’t on the ballot, I’d be campaigning against McCain. The fact that Lieberman is a serious veep option demonstrates why McCain is one of the worst candidates we’ve nominated.

Hoover was a better candidate.

spmat on August 20, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Twilight Zone time, folks. If Lieberman were the Veep pick, Democrats could attack simply by replaying Lieberman’s speeches from the last time he was on the ticket with Gore.
I have no doubt that McCain is fool enough to do it, but I hope that wiser Republican leadership will veto Lieberman. I respect Joe Lieberman, and appreciate that he is a principled man…but he would be a better pick for Obama.

Doug on August 20, 2008 at 10:56 AM

Drew M over at AOS mentioned one ticket that would be worse than McCain-Lieberman. McCain-Specter. LOL that one obviously isn’t happening what with Specter’s age and health issues. But it would be a bona fide Republican who would be worse than Lieberman. I’ll compile a list of others:

McCain (Wide Stance) Craig
McCain Stevens
McCain Lott
McCain (Mark) Foley
McCain (Duke) Cunningham

Lieberman is a terrible choice if McCain wants to win the election. He seems like a great guy who I’d enjoy spending time with. His wife seems cool. But picking him for VP would be dumb beyond belief if McCain wants to win the election.

And I’m pro-choice and pretty disinterested in gay marriage one way or the other. And I’m only a housewife, but even I can see that Barry’s on the ropes. McCain needs to keep hitting until he scores the knockout, and picking Lieberman as VP would be like choosing to forfeit the fight right before he won.

funky chicken on August 20, 2008 at 11:07 AM

McCain should NOT pick Lieberman. He just hit a home run at the Saddleback interviews with the Evangelical/pro-life crowd, and picking Lieberman would totally undermine that advantage. Lieberman is a liberal Democrat on all issues except military issues. Would McCain want him to be the tie-breaking vote in the Senate on some difficult issue, or on a Supreme Court nomination? Would conservatives want him to be MAKING Supreme Court nominations if something happened to McCain?

Lieberman is more useful to those concerned about military issues where he is in the Senate. McCain is already very strong on military issues, and doesn’t need Lieberman’s help there.

McCain does need a majority of the Independent vote to win, but he might get that on his own (without Lieberman) due to his centrist positions on some issues, and Obama’s hard-left positions that turn off some Hillary voters. He needs a VP pick that will put a crucial state in play (Romney in MI, or possibly Kasich in OH and PA) or a key voter group (Palin for women) who agrees with McCain on most issues, and will continue his policies if something happens to McCain.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/minnesota/election_2008_minnesota_presidential_election

However, it doesn’t look like McCain should pick MN Governor Pawlenty to try to win MN. A Rasmussen poll showed that if McCain picked Pawlenty, 28% of MN voters would be more likely to vote for McCain but 34% would be less likely to vote for McCain. Do MN voters know something about Pawlenty that out-of-state voters don’t? Ed Morrissey’s opinion would be very useful here!

Steve Z on August 20, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Rudy’s a good pick if he’s determined to go pro-choice. He’s the only good pick if he’s determined to go pro-choice. The others (Liebs, or, even worse, Ridge or Rell) would be disastrous.

funky chicken on August 20, 2008 at 11:11 AM

While there’s a definite appeal of running a “two old war horses” ticket, i.e. McCain/Lieberman, where both have been doing their best for the country, not for their parties, I don’t know that there’s enough of a center remaining for a McCain/Lieberman ticket to win.

The calculation would be whether Liebs could pull enough center-left votes away from Obambi to both replace the lost far-right votes *and* win the election.

I don’t see it.

I also think that, while McCains’ general approach to problems is the frontal assault, he’s been in the Senate for a while and has worked with some serious assholes (Kennedy…) so probably knows a thing or two about more subtle tactics – perhaps he’s finally going to try them out.

Mew

acat on August 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM

I’m starting a write-in campaign for GINGRICH-DELAY.

Texas Rainmaker on August 20, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Lieberman would be a exceedingly bad choice. Let’s put it this way, if this would be an example of the best kind of choices we can expect from McCain, what could we expect his Supreme Court nominees to be? Second look at staying home on election day.

Maxx on August 20, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I think pro-lifers are afraid that McCain-Lieberman might win. How embarrassing would that be for the group that regards itself as the most important faction in the Republican party? I kinda hope McCain picks him, just to see if they’re right.

Big S on August 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Yup. McCain might just croak while giving his acceptance speech. Why, just look at his mother. She’s assumed room temperature at least a few decades ago, right?

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 10:53 AM

Weak, _man. weak_man! How about stay on-topic and address the fact that McSquish really wants his bestest friend, independent liberal Democrat Joe Lieberman, as his Veep pick?

You can excuse it!
Yes you can!
If you can’t do it!
Nobody can!
GOOOOOOO John!

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:36 AM

I think pro-lifers are afraid that McCain-Lieberman might win. How embarrassing would that be for the group that regards itself as the most important faction in the Republican party? I kinda hope McCain picks him, just to see if they’re right.

Big S on August 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM

It’s not just abortion. He’s a liberal Democrat.

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:37 AM

I’m starting a write-in campaign for GINGRICH-DELAY.
Texas Rainmaker on August 20, 2008 at 11:25 AM

Speaking of tom Delay, After he had his famous mug shot taken, I’ve never seen any reports on what is going on with his case. Is it still pending, been dismissed? He isn’t in jail as far as I can tell. I thought this was all trumped up for political purposes and he’s be exonerated. Anyone know?

Oh- and shouldn’t you write in “Gingrich-Pelosi?”

They were so cute together sitting on the sofa in front of the Capital building.

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 11:39 AM

“_man.”

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:36 AM

Still acting like the annoying little 2 year old that you are, I see.

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 11:40 AM

I am sure plenty people already said it.

Why does McCain always dance one step forward, one GIANT step back?

Sir Napsalot on August 20, 2008 at 11:42 AM

Still acting like the annoying little 2 year old that you are, I see.

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Heh.

“Just go on over to Kos or HuffPo with the rest of the trash.”

You’re the gift that keeps on giving, weak_man.

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:47 AM

It’s not just abortion. He’s a liberal Democrat.

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Yeah, I know. But abortion is really all his opponents talk about. Believe me, I’d much rather have him pick Giuliani if he goes with pro-choicer, even though I like Lieberman a lot.

Big S on August 20, 2008 at 11:54 AM

If McCain picks a Lieberman or some Left of Right VP, I will vote for Bob Barr.

Tim Burton on August 20, 2008 at 11:56 AM

misterpeasea on August 20, 2008 at 11:47 AM

You keep repeating that. It must be significant for you for some reason. In any event, why waste time doing this, when you can use your clever wit to come up with more creative ways to trash Captain Amnesty and his VP, Evil McDemocrat.

or you could continue to be a broken record. Your call.

wise_man on August 20, 2008 at 12:00 PM

here’s the view from my seat.

McCain has apparently chosen to let Obama go first with his VP pick. He’s losing the shock value of naming first and setting the bar, and he doesn’t want to lose the media time being generated by VP speculation. Also, he can make BO sweat by floating Lieberman, and maybe bluff him into making a “dramatic” choice rather than a safe one.

Meanwhile, he knows who he wants and can watch the Obama pick and confirm that he is making the right choice for the McCain-? ticket.

At least that’s what I hope he’s doing. Otherwise, I guess I’ll have to do what I voted in the Malkin poll, get some really strong nose plugs and vote for the RINO-Independent D ticket over the Marxist choice.

cs89 on August 20, 2008 at 12:09 PM

I have not been able to see myself checking the ballot next to McCain’s name. The best I could do would be to vote a straight Republican ticket, which actually votes for McCain. After watching Saddleback Forum I was wide eyed in shock and just almost sent a donation to McCain. But then, I remembered, McCain never does anything conservative without following that with something that is a poke in the eye of conservatives, so I am waiting for that to happen. So what will it be? Lieberman as VP? I cringe everytime McCain says anything about crossing the aisle. That actually means coming over to the conservative side, as he lives on the liberal side by nature.

Oleta on August 20, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Mentioned in other threads at this site: Lieberman may have “issues” getting on the ballot in some states since he’s not an “R” (Republican).

The DNC/Obama machine probably has a phalanx of salivating lawyers in every state that will descend upon each Secretary of State office to get the Republican presidential slate all tied up in legal knots to prevent McCain/Lieberman from even appearing on the ballot.

electric-rascal on August 20, 2008 at 1:28 PM

The thought process behind a choice like Lieberman is all wrong. I assume McCain wants to attract independents with a choice like that but if so he’s targeting the wrong independents. He needs to attract the sort that used to be called Reagan Democrats – a lot of them live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan. Lieberman attracts the Northeastern liberal independents and that just doesn’t help McCain in any particular swing state. Choosing Lieberman might actually hurt in the close states and it WILL demoralize the base just now coming around to McCain.

JonPrichard on August 20, 2008 at 2:03 PM

It’s too bad that Lieberman wouldn’t be a good choice for McCain because I think he’s an honorable man. I can’t say that I enjoy hearing him speak, but he thinks right. At the very least, I think a cabinet position should be reserved for loyal groupies.
.
McCain’s choice should probably look more presidential than he does. Granted his movements are the result of tortue by the Cong, but he just seems so stiff. His best mate for appearances sake would be Romney. He’s recognizable and a great businessman of proven record. We need more of a businessman mind than a lawyer. If the narrow-minded peanut gallery would get over this morman faith crap, he’s the logical “best” choice. Otherwise this will shape up to be another Bob Dole run and slaughter.

stacman on August 20, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Agreed. The only choice in my opinion is Mitt Romney.

Theophile on August 20, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Putting Lieberman in the White House with McCain would mean the Democrats wouldn’t have to bug it or find a State Dept. mole to dish crap on the Republicans with which to skewer conservatives. Think Joe Wilson, think Norman Mineta, think John Snow, think Scott McClellan, et al.

It just baffles me how anyone in the conservative movement would give this a second thought. I prefer the enemies I know to the ones I have to watch my backside for a knife. Yet, time and time again we vote liberal republican “Compassionate Conservatives” into office pretending they’ll pick conservatives just so in the end we can have our a$$ handed to us. How liberals think Republican males are homo-phobic is beyond me. Seems they’re more wimpy than most of the Rainbow Flag waving gentlemen attending the Democratic Convention.

Sultry Beauty on August 20, 2008 at 4:26 PM