Bob Novak: Case against Lieberman for VP being made by … Lieberman; Update: Hutchison not being vetted?

posted at 12:40 pm on August 27, 2008 by Allahpundit

An ailing columnist rises from his sickbed to throw a shudder of horror through conservative America. Could Maverick be so out of touch with his own base that he needs a Democrat to clue him in? And if so, if Liebs is sincerely convinced the ticket would be doomed, why doesn’t he pull the trap door on himself and issue a Sherman statement?

Politico imagines the VP debate between him and Biden. Joe One: “I support a woman’s right to choose and I’ve worked hard for organized labor my entire adult life.” Joe Two: “Me too!”

Reports of strong support within John McCain’s presidential campaign for Independent Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman as the Republican candidate for vice president are not a fairy tale. Influential McCain backers, plus McCain himself, would pick the pro-choice liberal from Connecticut if they thought they could get away with it…

Lieberman surely doesn’t know that much about Republican politics, but he has close Republican friends. One of them prevailed on Lieberman to tell McCain that a McCain-Lieberman ticket would be a disaster for all concerned, and especially for the GOP…

McCain’s top strategists argue that the Bush coalition that won the last two presidential elections is dead and must be replaced by a new one that extends to the left, as Lieberman would.
Bush strategists disagree, asserting that McCain is getting around 90 percent of the old Bush vote and can win the election with a few moderates added in.

The Republican operative who urged Lieberman to dissuade McCain from picking him believes that there is still a very useful role for the maverick Democrat in this campaign: as McCain’s secretary of state. While an announcement in St. Paul of Lieberman as vice president would bring groans from the assembled Republicans, placing him at the State Department would evoke a standing ovation.

I assume the only reason we haven’t already heard McCain promise centrists that Lieberman and other Dems will be in his cabinet is because he’s saving it for his acceptance speech. As it is, though, I’m starting to worry about the pro-choice VP meme seeding doubts among social cons. It’s like the Hillary/PUMA drama, albeit in a more limited way: Even if McCain ends up doing the right thing and picking a pro-lifer, there’ll still be that tiny minority convinced that his heart’s desire lies elsewhere. Then again, how many people are following the news closely enough to know that a pro-choicer is in serious contention? Twenty percent? Ten percent? And if he picks Romney or Pawlenty, what percentage of that will hold the Ridge/Liebs flirtation against him anyway? Five percent? One percent?

Meanwhile, Kay Bailey Hutchison’s hometown paper floats her as a possible dark horse. Appealing to women, loads of experience, brimming with Texan Republican authenticity. Exit question: What could go wrong? Exit answer: Houston, we have a problem.

Update: Jonathan Martin says the Hutchison talk is hot air.


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Comments

Allah, I’m pretty sure that Hutchison is planning to run for the TX governorship when Perry gets out of office.

I also don’t think that McCain is completely insulated from how a Liebermann VP would go over with the base… this is merely keeping the buzz going.

tmi3rd

tmi3rd on August 27, 2008 at 12:43 PM

McCain’s top strategists argue that the Bush coalition that won the last two presidential elections is dead and must be replaced by a new one that extends to the left, as Lieberman would.

Darn you, Juan Hernandez!

Slublog on August 27, 2008 at 12:43 PM

I would have voted for Lieberman in 2004, or against McCain the man at least is honest about his liberalism but serious about the war.

Lieberman as a fait accompli to the GOP…yeah if it’d work but I’m not so sure really.

sven10077 on August 27, 2008 at 12:44 PM

KBH is about the leftiest republican that can get elected statewide in Texas. She wants to run for governor, but even that is a long shot. Hopefully, McCain is keeping her off the short list.

Vashta.Nerada on August 27, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Is this a joke? No to Sarah Palin but KBH is on the short list? Everytime I’m excited about McCain he reminds me that he’s McCain.

D0WNT0WN on August 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Bob Novak is a helluva reporter. Okay, was.

Pretty much last of a breed.

SteveMG on August 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Case against Lieberman for VP being made by … Lieberman

I like that guy.

BadgerHawk on August 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

McCain keeps confusing the voters with the Senate.

Sure, he can reach across the aisle, but he should not expect conservative voters to do the same as if they were all Senators.

It’s like when he attacked the Swift Boat Vets as if they should behave like Senators with collegiality to fellow Senator Kerry.

To expect everybody to behave toward Senators, as Senators behave toward Senators, is not Senate collegiality but Senate elitism – in McCain’s case, clearly not conscious elitism but still he can’t expect the whole base to do a huge flanking maneuver across the political landscape.

ForNow on August 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM

It won’t be Lieberman unless McCain wants to hand the presidency to Obama. He may WANT to pick him as his running mate, but he KNOWS that he will never get elected if he does. Hence, he won’t pick Lieberman.

nazo311 on August 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Lieberman even realizes he is too liberal for the republican ticket. McCain probably got the message already.

It can be Eric Cantor that gets the VP nod.
He is strong on national security, has experience, etc.

jencab on August 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM

When did Rudy Giuliani fall off the table? I forget. There maybe a surprise like that, if it’s not Romney. “That McCain, he’s a maverick.” But Romney obviously wants it. He’s trying to make the sale everyday now, and he’s a good salesman. Gotta bet on Romney, even though I change my predictions every half hour.

RBMN on August 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM

placing him at the State Department would evoke a standing ovation.

How much would Iran like that???

mad saint jack on August 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM

McCain’s top strategists argue that the Bush coalition that won the last two presidential elections is dead

That’s because “Republicans” like McCain and Bush, have spent the last 8 years throwing conservatives under the bus.

Now that they find that they don’t have the support of conservatives, they decide that the only option left is to move even further to the left themselves.

MarkTheGreat on August 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM

How much would Iran like that???

mad saint jack on August 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Exactly! The have had to put up with an African-American women for the last 4 years. Throw a Joooooooooooo into the mix, and they’ll probably crap their burqas.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

O/T

Huckabee coming on Rush in a few minutes!

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

McCain should recognize that he himself already is the bridge. And if he wants to consolidate the middle, he doesn’t have to pick a rock-solid conservative. But Lieberman would be a bridge too far.

ForNow on August 27, 2008 at 12:57 PM

Got to admit that I’m really sick of this daily VP guessing game.

Rod on August 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

jencab on August 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM

mad saint jack on August 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Joooooooooooo as Veep and a Joooooooooooo at State? The Iranians’, Hamas, etc. heads would explode before their suicide homicide belts!

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:58 PM

I still say Billy Mays for VP.

It's Vintage, Duh on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM

No Huckin’ way I’m listening.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Is this a joke? No to Sarah Palin but KBH is on the short list? Everytime I’m excited about McCain he reminds me that he’s McCain.

D0WNT0WN on August 27, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Reading the linked article, it doesn’t look like this didn’t come from the McCain camp – but from her supporters. Big difference. From what I have read on HA comments, she is pro-choice.

Mr_Magoo on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Pul-eeeze put her on the ticket with McCain. We are desperatly trying to weed out the RINOs in our state government. Sorry guys, but she can’t do any more damage as a VP than she has as a Senator. I don’t feel like taking one for the team right now.

DanMan on August 27, 2008 at 1:00 PM

It’s Vintage, Duh on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

As long as there is a year’s supply of OxyClean, an Awesome Auger in every yard, and enough Mighty Putty to fix the Titanic for every man, woman and child, I’m down.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Influential McCain backers, plus McCain himself, would pick the pro-choice liberal from Connecticut if they thought they could get away with it…

Then just think of all the pro-choice liberal things McCain will actually be able to get away with if he become President.

MB4 on August 27, 2008 at 1:03 PM

Republicans have to be the party of small, efficient and purposeful government.

McCain is not the candidate conservatives want, he’s the candidate that conservatives need. Lieberman for VP would possibly help him move the center, but Obama hasn’t been polling as well as he should.

Allegedly, Lieberman sinks the ticket.

amazingmets on August 27, 2008 at 1:03 PM

The case against Lieberman should have been made to McCain by the GOP and not Lieberman himself.

However, I will admit that McCain trying to nominate Joe L. for VP at the convention next week would make for some VERY INTERESTING C-Span coverage.

Get out the torches and pitchforks.

http://thepajamapundit.com/

thePajamaPundit on August 27, 2008 at 1:03 PM

It won’t be a democrat VP. McCain wants to win but not by so far a margin that it would look easy.

It will be Mitt Romney. Anyone else would be a big letdown as Bidin has been for Obama. Together John and Mitt will cruise to a comfortable victory in november.

kanda on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Where is all the buzz about this pick? The media was in a frenzy last week for BO…

Maybe they all think it will be Pawlenty or Romney and are bored by it.

joepub on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

I am. Rush said Huck asked to come on to clarify something Rush said…this should be interesting.

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Picking Lieberman over Lieberman’s advice… here it comes!

Mavericky!!

e-pirate on August 27, 2008 at 1:05 PM

It may be because Obama is under-performing, that McCain and his people think that they could get away with picking Lieberman for VP.

ForNow on August 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM

No Huckin’ way I’m listening.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

They are talking about MITT.

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM

if McCain picks a RINO, he loses this election despite the fact that the DemoncRATS are doing their best to commit political suicide and give it to Mac.
he thinks he can win by combining Independents and dissapointed HillaryBots, all the while saying FU to the conservative base. very sad.
with Obambi tanking, Mac can win IF he picks a conservative. I hope he does, confidence is low.
screwed in 08′

mountainmanbob on August 27, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Huck to Rush just now: “Lieberman would be a disaster.”

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Also, if McCain picks Lieberman, will a majority of the delegates vote for him for VP? Would many, even a majority, would vote for another candidate, if one can be found? I suspect that there would be some chaos at the GOP convention.

I wish Lieberman would make a Sherman statement against running as VP. Let him be Secretary of State.

ForNow on August 27, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Then again, how many people are following the news closely enough to know that a pro-choicer is in serious contention?

Every pro-lifer with an email address, or has a pro-life friend with an email address. It’s that darn interwebtubbie thing, again.

what percentage of that will hold the Ridge/Liebs flirtation against him anyway?

Not many, I would guess. Especially when The Most Merciful Messiah, Lord Obama is pretty much pro-abortion 24/7 for 9+ months.

I R A Darth Aggie on August 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM

The percentage of people aware that McCain is contemplating a proabort VP is pretty close to the percentage of people for whom such a pick would cause them to not vote McCain. A proabort VP would be suicide, but even with a pro-life VP, McCain’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

boko fittleworth on August 27, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Reports of strong support within John McCain’s presidential campaign for Independent Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman as the Republican candidate for vice president are not a fairy tale.

Really? The only people I see supporting it, ad nauseum, are rogue pundits, e.g., Kristol.

Blake on August 27, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Darn you, Juan Hernandez!

Slublog on August 27, 2008 at 12:43 PM

An utter disgrace…..McCain wants to sell out the United States to a bunch of law breaking cheaters.

saiga on August 27, 2008 at 1:27 PM

“No to Sarah Palin but KBH is on the short list?”

y’know, there’s a whole world there outside of the basement workshop …

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:30 PM

As a Texan, I’m sorry to tell you that Hutchison is a lightweight. She’s more experienced than Palin, of course, but Palin is surely the brighter bulb, and would not make Republicans cringe in the way KBH would.

Cantor, anyone?

JudetheFossil on August 27, 2008 at 1:31 PM

“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Joooooooooooo as Veep and a Joooooooooooo at State? The Iranians’, Hamas, etc. heads would explode before their suicide homicide belts!”

sweeeeeeet …

/yeah, i can surely live with Eric C….
//annnd, Joe L. as secstate is sounding like a better and better idea by the minute …

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

All these wild head fakes make for great theatre and help keep the spotlight on McCain, but they also serve to sow doubt among the Republican base. McCain runs a real risk of turning people off more than they are now.

In a funny way, this tends to box McCain, the Maverick in more and more. The more he plays with the base, the more he has to reassure them with his V.P. pick. This forces his hand to pick a V.P. that the base can get excited about, not some gimmick that he hopes might appeal to the independents and the moderates.

Marking Time on August 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

i might be able to live with kbh, but she surely wouldn’t be topping my list — since the TX contingent is lukewarm on her, that’s a fairly bad sign …

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Even if McCain ends up doing the right thing and picking a pro-lifer, there’ll still be that tiny minority convinced that his heart’s desire lies elsewhere.

Despite a lifetime voting record of voting prolife?

rbj on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

What a lovely sight, Huck running down Lieberman when he knows McCain is considering Lieberman. It wasn’t enough for Huck to leave the demolition work to the establishment insiders like Novak.

I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since the days of Reagan, but I would not vote for McCain if Huck were on the ticket.

JudetheFossil on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

KBH makes McCain look conservative. Can’t wait until she runs for Governor. Ungh.

Fletch54 on August 27, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Hey!! I am not being vetted either!

Maybe it is because I don’t have enough executive and economic experience.

Maybe. Just Maybe.

Elizabetty on August 27, 2008 at 1:43 PM

What a lovely sight, Huck running down Lieberman when he knows McCain is considering Lieberman.
JudetheFossil on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

Oh, I wouldn’t be too hard on him. He knows full well that McCain isn’t going to pick Lieberman. In fact, I would be willing to bet money that McCain has already told him who the selection will be. Huckabee is likely just leaping at the chance to attack someone else other than the eventual pick. The fact that it might reflect poorly upon McCain’s process of choice never entered his mind.

Marking Time on August 27, 2008 at 1:44 PM

“Hey!! I am not being vetted either!

Maybe it is because I don’t have enough executive and economic experience.”

well, mebbe you should check with the other party …
:-)
:-)

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:45 PM

well, mebbe you should check with the other party …
:-)
:-)

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I guess they do like resumes that don’t consume too much paper and ink in the printing.

Elizabetty on August 27, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Allegedly, Lieberman sinks the ticket.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, there are lies, [email protected] lies, and Zogby polls, but a recent Fox poll also shows that Lieberman would sink the ticket. When asked whether a given VP pick would make people more or less likely to vote for McCain, Lieberman was 20-38 more likely/less likely. Ouch!

In the same poll, Romney would lose a net 2% for McCain, the same as Biden for Obama. Romney vs. Biden would therefore be a wash.

Kay Bailey Hutchison wasn’t tested, but she wouldn’t help McCain. Texas isn’t in play anyway, and Hutchison is rather slow-spoken and old-looking, and would probably lose a debate to Biden. She’s better off where she is, holding down a reliable Republican Senate seat.

If McCain wants a woman, the best choice is Sarah Palin. Romney would not be a bad choice, and could be a big help in Michigan, Nevada, and Colorado. I’m not sure what Novak knows, or thinks he knows, but with the roll-out in PA and OH, could McCain be thinking of someone from either of those states, such as Portman or Kasich? (Please, NOT Tom Ridge!)

Steve Z on August 27, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Meanwhile, Kay Bailey Hutchison’s hometown paper floats her as a possible dark horse. Appealing to women, loads of experience, brimming with Texan Republican authenticity. Exit question: What could go wrong? Exit answer: Houston, we have a problem.

The woman is 66. Does the GOP ticket really want to become the AARP ticket?

highhopes on August 27, 2008 at 1:59 PM

If McCain wants a woman, the best choice is Sarah Palin.

McCain should want the best qualified and best fit for his VP choice. Period. If that individual happens to be a woman, great!, but this idea that gender should be a prime consideration for strategic reasons misses the mark. A conservative woman is not going to draw off the type of Democrat who engages in gender politics.

highhopes on August 27, 2008 at 2:02 PM

Huckabee is likely just leaping at the chance to attack someone else other than the eventual pick. The fact that it might reflect poorly upon McCain’s process of choice never entered his mind.

Marking Time on August 27, 2008 at 1:44 PM

I think Huck’s call to Rush was a reconcilation of sort with Mitt. They discussed the Mormon issue. My conspiracy antenna says this was Huck’s way of telling his followers that there’s nothing wrong with Mormons (unlike his subtle attacks during the primaries). And further I say unto you this means that Mitt is the VP pick.

Brat on August 27, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Hutchinson has “gone native” in the Senate and is a waste of Texas’ representation. Her flip-flopping during the Shamnesty debate was disgusting.

She would be a wishy-washy governor and just needs to go away. And I don’t mean Blair House.

TexasJew on August 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM

I was at an informal reception the other night that KBH attended. I smart-alecked and asked her straight up if she was on the “short-list” and she said no. My husband told her that we would like to see her be governor and she then looked me and my husband right in the eye and said that “yes, she was going to run for governor”. Of course, she could have been lying, she is a politician, but she seemed sincere.

mrsmwp on August 27, 2008 at 2:06 PM

And I don’t mean Blair House.

TexasJew on August 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Are you talking about the B&B in Wimberly? If so, I love that place!

mrsmwp on August 27, 2008 at 2:08 PM

Update: Jonathan Martin says the Hutchison talk is hot air.

i might be able to live with kbh, but she surely wouldn’t be topping my list — since the TX contingent is lukewarm on her, that’s a fairly bad sign …

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

I am sure glad of the first part.
There are alot of Texans who are less than lukewarm on her. I just hope there are enough to trade a conservative for her seat next go around – of course she is also planning on running for governor so I can vote against her there too.

Corsair on August 27, 2008 at 2:11 PM

I am a strong conservative and an evangelical Christian. I didn’t support McCain in the primaries, but I do support him now. If he were to pick Huckabee as VP, it would become very difficult for me to vote for that ticket. I would never vote for Obama, but I might have to just vote down ticket.

Buford Gooch on August 27, 2008 at 2:13 PM

We see that KBH has not been vetted. Anyone have any idea who has been?

ConservativePartyNow on August 27, 2008 at 2:15 PM

I was hoping John would pick someone more conservative than he.

TheSitRep on August 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Speaking from personal experience, when we were melting down over the amnesty bill and burning the phone lines, she would not state her position. When we were melting down over the Pork Busters project to identify who had the hold on the sunshine bill, she would not state her position. And it’s not that she stays coy on her stances, it’s also that she has trained her staff to be about as rude as they can be, except for the one time I think I got her daughter or daughter-in-law, who seemed extremely plugged in.

She is to the right of center but not far enough for me. She will not take a leadership role on anything of consequence to conservatives.

DanMan on August 27, 2008 at 2:56 PM

On the McCain rollout thread, I recounted the gist of the conversation I had with some people last night. It’s in several separate blocks, if you are interested. To sum up, Huck helps where McCain doesn’t need it, doesn’t help where he does, and has too many negatives overall.

Get out the vote people in the campaign are pushing Mitt or Palin.

No real interest in Hutchison.

General consensus: He’s heard the conservatives, will pick a conservative. Any reasonable conservative is seen as contributing to a winning ticket.

There’s more, but that’s the gist.

texette on August 27, 2008 at 3:07 PM

That would bring a smile texette. Hope your right.

DanMan on August 27, 2008 at 3:18 PM

i might be able to live with kbh, but she surely wouldn’t be topping my list — since the TX contingent is lukewarm on her, that’s a fairly bad sign …

Buckaroo on August 27, 2008 at 1:34 PM

\

Ummm Arizonans are pretty lukewarm about McCain too. So he might feel that is a plus.

petunia on August 27, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Who cares?

Whoever it is, is only going confirm what I’ve been telling you, and to depress me even more.

It WON’T be a strong conservative. If it is someone with even slight conservative leanings, it will be someone with weak personal resolve that McCain can bully into his particular brand of Mediocracy™.

LegendHasIt on August 27, 2008 at 3:45 PM

If McCain really wanted to reach out to the left, why not put Hillary in the cabinet and make Bill ambassador to Russia (I would love to see him irritate Putin/Medvedev with his improvisations)?

JC Silverberg on August 27, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Buford Gooch on August 27, 2008 at 2:13 PM

I can agree with you there! I’m going to be printing up vote for mccain air sick bags for the republicans to take with them into the booth.

flytier on August 27, 2008 at 4:04 PM

yup, as Hannity keeps saying: Liebs for SecState

lodge on August 27, 2008 at 5:16 PM

The Republican operative who urged Lieberman to dissuade McCain from picking him believes that there is still a very useful role for the maverick Democrat in this campaign

When I first read the above and got to “maverick Democrat” I thought they were referring to McCain and thought, “Nice to see a more main stream site finally make that point about McCain” and then I realized that isn’t what they meant.

Oh well. John McCain remains the best democrat running regardless of the capital letter following his name. Maybe in 2012 the GOP will run a Republican for president. That would be a nice change.

deepdiver on August 27, 2008 at 5:26 PM

I don’t want to see Kay Barely Republican on the McCain ticket. I want the opportunity to vote against that RINO when she runs for Governor. I’ve voted for her in the past, but she’s become a disappointment over the last few years…

golfer1 on August 27, 2008 at 5:39 PM