ABC: McCain "now seriously considering" Lieberman for VP

He’s going to transform the party — by turning us into hawkish Democrats? Nuance.

There’s a bigger point — and this initial volley, they say, lays the groundwork for it. They will be sharpening McCain’s message that he, not Obama, is the true change agent, a man who’s repeatedly taken unpopular stands, made the hard calls and forged bipartisan alliances.

Part of the calculus now is how his VP choice will further sharpen that message. There is significant support among top McCain advisers that he make a “transformative” pick who would change the Republican Party — someone who would appeal to moderate Republicans and Democrats…

A person who fills that bill, these advisers say, is Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman, an Independent Democrat, flatly denied his interest to ABC’s Ron Claiborne earlier this month, but McCain is now seriously considering him as that “transformative” pick, sources tell ABC News…

What’s more, some McCain advisers believe Lieberman would dramatically enhance the point they are now trying to make about Obama in this “celebrity” ad campaign.

McCain and Lieberman are anti-celebrities, the argument goes. They have, as one top adviser said, felt the heat after taking unpopular positions because they were willing to do “what’s right for the country” — whatever it meant for their own popularity.

Good news for that unpredictable five percent in the middle he needs to win, not so good for, er, everyone else in America. Are evangelicals going to vote for a guy who scored 100% on NARAL’s annual report card? Are Reagan conservatives jittery about McCain’s maverickiness going to feel reassured knowing Al Gore’s choice for VP is waiting in the wings? Is the left going to reach hitherto unscaled heights of apoplexy at the thought of the one pol they hate more than George Bush somehow ending up on the Republican ticket? (No, no, and yes, respectively, if you’re scoring at home.) Think of it in practical terms. Assume the worst happens and through some misfortune Vice President Lieberman becomes President Lieberman. Either the Democrats’ animus towards him results in hopeless gridlock in Congress or the breach is healed and we’ve got a lefty executive working with a lefty legislature towards common goals — Iraq excepted, of course. I like Liebs; I don’t like the idea. But the signs are there if you’re willing to look…

Exit question: Maybe the left, true to its proud tradition of honoring dissent, will forgive Joementum his apostasy? Hmmm.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on March 24, 2023