Joe Lieberman opened his speech by stating the question that must have been in the minds of most of those watching and listening: What’s a Democrat like me doing at a Republican National Convention like this? That’s a very good question. He didn’t actually leave the party of his own choice, he was forced out by party activists and yet has voted consistently with the party in the Senate ever since. He sits as an independent Senator after defeating the party rival who replaced him, Ned Lamont. So what was he doing? Apart from the obvious task of trying to pull in disaffected Dem voters, I’ve argued over at Brassneck that he’s helping re-brand McCain as the anti Republican Republican candidate. Bush, on the other hand was reduced to an eight minute telelink scheduled outside prime time viewing. Party’s are traditionally much weaker operations in the US than in Europe. But by anyone’s calculation Lieberman’s (who ran in the the acrimonious campaign of 2000) endorsement of a Republican is an extraordinary turn of events.
Adds: There’s been rioting going on in St Paul, not that you’d pick that up from the mainstream press. Here’s an excellent and relatively detached piece of citizen journalism from Aaron Landry.