Top advisers to President-elect Barack Obama’s presidential campaign said Thursday that Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) would have been a powerful boost to the Republican ticket.OK, I dunno if I'd go anywhere near that far.
During a conference on the 2008 election hosted by Politico and the University of Southern California, Obama-Biden deputy campaign manager Steve Hildebrand said choosing the renegade senator as his running mate would have helped McCain undermine Obama’s claim to represent a new kind of politics.
It's true that Joe Lieberman would have possible been a small help to McCain's campaign, but it would be much more of a he ain't Sarah Palin vibe, rather than a Lieberman represents the same kind of politics as Barack Obama thing.
Because he doesn't. Joe Lieberman has made the last six years all about supporting the same failed policies that George Bush made famous, and nobody thinks that John McCain would have hesitated to continue his presidency along the same path.
“I think if he would’ve picked Lieberman or another Democrat, he would’ve taken away an important trademark of Barack’s,” Hildebrand said, explaining that he believed the Republican base would have accepted a Lieberman nomination. “I think the convention would’ve been just fine.”Couple of things suggest that Hildebrand is talking out his ass here. First, calling Lieberman a "Democrat" is a huge misnomer, at least as far as "pre-November-4th" thinking goes. Joe Lieberman, the great Democrat, couldn't even bring himself to VOTE in the Connecticut primary back in February!
Second, the GOP base was the main reason Lieberman wasn't selected to be the VP nominee. I'd bet dollars to donuts that John McCain was drooling in anticipation of the prospect of having someone like Joe Lieberman join him on the ticket. Lieberman had a presumed (though faulty) "bipartisan" appeal, he's much more measured in his public speaking than McCain, and he could bring a lot of pro-GOP, pro-Iraq, pro-bomb Iran experience to the ticket.
Plus, Joe Lieberman hadn't run against John McCain in the primaries. For some reason I have a feeling that McCain possesses a very fragile ego, and I think it would have galled him to share his ticket with someone who might have said negative things about him during their campaign. Joe Lieberman has never said an unkind word about McCain.
But the Republican base still perceived Joe as a wild-eyed, baby-killing, Eastern establishment liberal, and nothing could dissuade them from that notion. I'd be surprised if McCain didn't lobby long and hard for Joe, but the ultimate powers that be (the Republican money men) seemed to distrust Lieberman and refused to give him their blessing. So that left McCain scrambling to find a replacement for his BFF Joe.
Which is where Sarah came from. She was obviously a compromise choice, decided upon due to her solid GOP credentials, the fact that she never ran against McCain, and an ill-conceived idea that she'd appeal to disgruntled Hillary supporters. And for a good two weeks after the Republican convention, she seemed to be the miracle that McCain was looking for. Of course, once the world learned that even though the lights were on, nobody was home behind Palin's eyes, and the honeymoon was over.
What the Republicans didn't count on was how awful a candidate she really turned out to be. Dozens of high profile long-time GOP supporters not only abandoned the ticket, but they went public in support of Obama-Biden. And the primary reason they gave was because of John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for VP.
Republican panelists defended the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, though they acknowledged that she had not accomplished all the goals the McCain camp hoped she would.In their attempt to appeal to moderates, they lost a big chunk of their conservative base. And considering Palin's no-kidding ultra-conservative politics, it looks like they vastly misread the effect she'd have on the very moderates they were trying to persuade.
“Certainly our hope with Gov. Palin, going forward, was that there would be a connection to more moderate voters,” said Mike DuHaime, who served as the McCain campaign’s political director.
The reason McCain lost is because the GOP is a party in disarray, that lost their way and was taken over by religious extremists and the ultra-conservative. And if they don't let sanity prevail and somehow learn to become more moderate, they'll continue to lose.
And nothing Joe Lieberman could have done, even if he was their VP candidate, would have made any difference.