We already pretty much knew that, but here’s your confirmation. As I recall, both parties agreed at the beginning of this congressional term that the Dems would retain control even if a senator ended up switching sides, so Reid can safely strip him of his committee assignments if he wants to. But does he want to? If he pulls the trigger, Lieberman gets to go to St. Paul and tout it as evidence that partisanship has gone too far, that he was deemed perfectly qualified and capable of serving the American people on those committees until he stepped out of line, and that McCain’s the only maverick in the race willing to bridge that divide and put country first. Meanwhile, TNR tsks-tsks that it’s sad how Lieberman’s career has devolved to being a “sideshow” for a party that would never offer him more than a “symbolic honor.” Which prompts the question: Do cabinet positions constitute symbolic honors now? Because I know some Republicans who could live with that.
As for Joementum as VP, you’ll never guess which other member of the McCain inner circle is reportedly pushing for it. Here’s a hint: It wouldn’t be the first time he’s ignored the base’s opinion on a hot-button issue. Exit question: Is John Heilemann right? Quote:
So what the hell’s the deal with all these ostensible pro-choice trial balloons? Well, what if McCain were planning to name a running mate who, despite being pro-life, the religious right has some qualms about? What if that putative V.P., indeed, had lately been criticized by another erstwhile GOP presidential runner — a Baptist minister, no less — for his shifting stances on social issues, stirring up a rearguard action among some Christianists to block him? Isn’t it possible that McCain and his people are engaged in a bit of elaborate gamesmanship designed to make Evangelicals more grateful than they otherwise might be for the selection of that guy?
The heart doth sink and the mind doth reel, but I do believe what we are looking at here is the start of the Romney Rollout.