April 29, 2008


For McCain, There's Only One Perfect Candidate for Veep (Stuart Rothenberg, 4/29/08, Real Clear Politics)

We all hear the same names mentioned as prospective running mates for John McCain: former Office of Management and Budget Director and one-time U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and even former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.

Each one would bring something to the ticket. Some come from crucial swing states that could help McCain reach 270 electoral votes. A number are governors, adding a non- Washington, D.C., piece to the ticket. By most standards, all are good-looking and articulate.

And yet, none of them would change the partisan political equation in the fall election, and I'm not at all sure any of them would increase McCain's chances of winning in the fall. Certainly none of them would constitute a statement by McCain about his presidency, the kind of statement that would send a message to voters.

There is, however, somebody who would fill that bill and therefore be a near-perfect pick for McCain: Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

We are arrived at an exquisite moment in America where the problem with Joe Lieberman is that he doesn't take his Judaism seriously enough for him to be acceptable to the party of Judeo-Christianity. He'd have to have a major come to Jesus moment and repent his years as a death lobbyist before he could be considered for the GOP ticket, or any domestic cabinet post. On the other hand, he'd be an ideal Defense Secretary, National Security advisor or Secretary of State.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2008 8:44 AM

One hopes McCain and his advisors aren't so dumb as to buy into this.

All of the top tier really aren't top tier. Michael Steele would be about as good as one can get.

Posted by: Bruno at April 29, 2008 9:28 AM

The problem with Lieberman isn't that he's Jewish or that he's a Democrat, it's that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the vice-presidency and as so often happens, the devil didn't keep his part of the bargain.

I keep saying to myself that no matter what, I will vote for McCain, but there are six more months before the election and it's getting harder and harder to believe I can do it.

It's not so much that I mind that he's talking trash about Bush. The president doesn't need McCain's support to continue to do his job and his legacy will outlast McCain and all the other lightweights in political life today, it's his dalliance with the left that scares the bejesus out of me. If we're going to be ruined by more liberal lunacy, why not just elect the Hillary/Obama ticket and get it over with? It'll be far less embarrassing that way.

Posted by: erp at April 29, 2008 10:01 AM

I've thought for a while that Lieberman is the obvious pick. McCain just isn't going to pick someone who's not a good friend of his, which limits the field significantly. Plus, he doesn't care if the right hates what he does--his campaign actually views that as a plus. Which it is, of course--he'll be the more conservative candidate in the race (which is always the only key to winning) and having those even more conservative criticizing him will do nothing but improve his standing among the electorate at large, and make the landslide that much bigger.

Posted by: b at April 29, 2008 11:15 AM

erp: because John Paul is 85 and Ruth is ailing.

Posted by: ed at April 29, 2008 11:21 AM

He'd have to have a major come to Jesus moment and repent his years as a death lobbyist

How about first having him repent for helping keep the Dems in power in the Senate on several occasions when it was within his power to deny that to them? Like Moynihan, and a host of other supposedly post-partisan Dems, the guy is loyal party hack dedicated to keeping the Dems in power.

Besides, one Senator on any ticket is more than enough. (And wasn't the last time this post-partisan, cross party ticket thing tried, it resulted in President Andrew Johnson?)

because John Paul is 85 and Ruth is ailing.

Can you point to any evidence that President McKeating will nominate anyone who is the least bit objectionable to his good ol' buddies back in the Senate? He's gonna make the Harriet Miers and Douglas Ginsberg nominations look good while giving Souter companionship.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 29, 2008 12:13 PM

Although I'm fairly certain that Lieberman has made pretty unequivocal statements that he's not going to be McCain's VP, and McCain has made pretty strong statements that his VP will be pro-life.

At any rate, the notion that the choice of VP matters one iota is ludicrous.

Posted by: b at April 29, 2008 12:35 PM

Who ever he selects must be younger and in good health; perhaps Dick Cheney.

With you OJ on a cabinet assignmnet for Joe such as National Security Adviser.

Posted by: Genecis at April 29, 2008 1:34 PM

Joe Lieberman as SofS would be great. Heads would explode from Damascus to Kos (not, now that I think of it, as broad a range as it could be).

Posted by: Ibid at April 29, 2008 4:38 PM

Maverick single-handedly got the conservative claque through the Senate. He's done more to0 make the judiciary conservative than any of the rightwing blabbermouths.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2008 5:51 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the McCain deal on judges ultimately keep the filibuster in place and thus allow Mitch McConnell to bottle up any number of hairball Democratic proposals? If so, it was certainly a prudent move on his part and conservatives ought to applaud him for it.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 29, 2008 8:26 PM

Conservatives don't understand it.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2008 11:16 PM


I was just reading this informative but unintentionally hilarious article in NR a few weeks ago, about how important the filibuster threat has been in reducing the Donkeys to incoherent braying. There were a number of details about the importance of the filibuster -- it's big, it's vital, we're all sunk if we lose a few Senate seats -- and it came across as a bunch of words filling the big empty space where a mea culpa should be.

I was thinking about this during the whole Nuclear Option talk: Gee whiz, we'll sure regret this if we wind up with a Dem Congress and no filibuster to club them with. And if we'd done that we wouldn't have a filibuster, right? Am I missing something here?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 30, 2008 12:47 AM

Only that the lag time on the Right figuring things out is numbered in years....

Posted by: oj at April 30, 2008 7:19 AM