July 16, 2006


Lieberman Hopes His Fate Isn’t Sealed With a Kiss (MARK LEIBOVICH, 7/16/06, NY Times)

Kisses mock Mr. Lieberman, the incumbent Democrat, all over Connecticut — on signs, on buttons, even on giant parade floats. They commemorate the one President Bush appeared to plant on his cheek after last year’s State of the Union address, a symbol, in the eyes of Mr. Lieberman’s liberal critics, of an unforgivable alliance in support of the Iraq war.

“It’s a ‘Godfather’ kiss — one of those kisses that says, ‘I own you,’ ” said Edward Anderson, a supporter of Mr. Lieberman’s Democratic primary opponent, Ned Lamont, who was distributing “kiss” buttons outside a Lieberman campaign event in Stamford, Conn., on Monday.

In an interview in his Senate office, Mr. Lieberman said he recalled only a hug, not a kiss, but acknowledged, “There has been some doubt, based on the postgame films.” Asked if there had been any subsequent kisses with the president, he said, “None that I’m prepared to talk about,” and chuckled. [...]

Mr. Lieberman’s allies discuss him these days with a tinge of sadness, as if mourning a kindly gentleman who has wandered into a bad neighborhood. “He’s being subjected to the hate machine like Bill Clinton and George Bush have,” said Mr. Davis, a former special counsel to Mr. Clinton. “Joe Lieberman has never been subjected to this before.”

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and one of Mr. Lieberman’s closest friends in the Senate, called him “one of the most decent men I have ever known” and simply shook his head when asked about his friend’s situation. “I hesitate to say anything nice about him, for fear that it would be used against him,” Mr. McCain said. “And that’s a terrible commentary on the state of politics and the political climate today.”

Switch parties and he'll slip you some tongue.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 16, 2006 8:45 AM

You're right. If McCain switches and goes over to the Dems, he and his best friend, Leiberman, can run as co-candidates for president/vice president switching offices every other week and otherwise dividing up their duties to fit their individual strengths.

Lieberman can and never will become a Republican for a host of reasons not the least of which he would be shunned by every single person in his life, personally and politically.

It would be no big deal for McCain to switch, not being an ideologue like Lieberman, he has nothing to lose.

Posted by: erp at July 16, 2006 9:29 AM

Lieberman's friends and family won't shun him for becoming more powerful.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 9:35 AM

Wanna bet?

I can't even think of an action that could be more self-destructive than Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew and an orthodox liberal joining the party of the their enemy, the Christian fundamentalists.

Posted by: erp at July 16, 2006 12:01 PM

Orthodox Judaism is conservative. He'd be getting right with God.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 12:38 PM

Quite possibly, but God isn't a member of his caucus or his temple.

Posted by: erp at July 16, 2006 2:18 PM

"but God isn't a member of ... his temple.

C'mon, they might let Him in if He sits quietly in the back and doesn't say anything or cause a scene.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 16, 2006 2:33 PM


Kudos to you for the best reply to OJ's vapors about Lieberman.

Jumpin' Jim Jeffords switched out of spite, and because he wanted to be on the cover of TIME.

Lieberman has been on the cover of TIME, and he isn't joining the GOP to spite Al Gore.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 16, 2006 3:37 PM

And you think he won't spite Democrats for bailing on him? He's sold his soul for that party and now they're selling him.

God governs his caucus, his temple and conscience.

Any time a self-righteous man can do what God wants and screw over his foes at the same time it's a gift from Heaven.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 3:40 PM

... oj. conscience! Now I think the heat up there's gotten to you.

Posted by: erp at July 16, 2006 5:29 PM

He's not a sociopath, just a pragmatist.

Posted by: oj at July 16, 2006 5:32 PM

He's sold his soul more than once - first by voting to acquit Clinton, and then by modifying all his politics to suit Al Gore (and doing damage to the Republic in the process). And then by acting like nothing happened.

Sure, he's stood strong on the war. And he certainly deserves credit for it (unlike staddlers like Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, et al.) who want praise from both sides.

If he switches after winning re-election, no one will be more surprised than I. And if he actually loses the primary, and runs as an independent, then the GOP should woo him. It would be a gift. But I don't think Joe is shopping.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 17, 2006 12:10 AM

Having established that a soul is for sale the only question becomes price. A committee chairmanship would do it.

Posted by: oj at July 17, 2006 8:05 AM

I'm not sure that "underestimating" is the right word, but you guys are wrong about Joe. He won't switch. However he gets back into the Senate, he'll caucus with the Democrats and they'll welcome him.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 17, 2006 9:09 AM