Lieberman backs McCain’s attempt at a political coup…

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.

  • kensei

    He may come to regret it. Regardless of whether the Democrats win the Presidency , there are almost certain to make gains in the Senate. If they get enough seats then there will be a lot of pressure to punish him.

    It isn’t helping his poll numbers, either:

    And I’m not sure this has had the impact of Zell Miller’s speech in 2004. Palin’s troubles appear to have drowned it out.

  • Mick Fealty


    Not sure there was ever a way back for a Dem Senator who backs a Rep for President. That’s one of things that makes his speech that much more remarkable.

    BTW, Zell who?

  • kensei


    I have no idea if you are being facetious, but Google is your friend:

    That got a quite a few news cycles last time round, partly because of the anger it generated with Democrats. This one has been much more low key for me: Lieberman has been an “independent” for a while. Zell also spoke largely on security issues, which chimed with the times.

    Leiberman has the advantage at the moment of swinging a tight Senate. Here’s Harry Reid on the issue:

    It takes some balls to piss against the wind, I’ll give him that. I’m just not sure it is particularly prudent.

  • An extraordinary turn of events? Really? He’s been appearing in public with McCain for ages now. And he only got re-elected to the senate because lots of Republicans voted for him. AND he’s Honorary Co-Chairman of the Committee On The Present Danger, comprising the likes of Daniel Pipes, Victor David Hanson, Jose Maria Aznar and Norman Podhoretz.

  • I also knew this was going to happen for ages so maybe we keep our ears to the ground at different rumour mills, Mick.

    Obama, at least relative to other Democrats, is struggling a little with the Jewish vote – one reason why New York, for example, is showing only big leads for Obama rather than the truly massive leads it usually shows for Dem presidential candidates. Lieberman endorsing McCain does not help in that score, but otherwise I’m not sure how much damage it does. Lieberman has been close to McCain for a long time, and very close to Bush on the war.

    It isn’t great for Obama, that’s for sure, but I don’t think it’s fatal, especially outside Scarsdale or West Palm Beach.

    The news that Palin’s church is closely associated with Jews for Jesus is great counterblast material, as well.

  • Sammy-

    “I also knew this was going to happen for ages so maybe we keep our ears to the ground at different rumour mills, Mick.”

    And to think they say Alliance members are smug. Perish the thought 😉

  • Greenflag

    ‘What’s a Democrat like me doing at a Republican National Convention like this? That’s a very good question.’

    And it deserves a good answer . Unfortunately there are’nt any . As for his putting his country before party many Americans may question which country is he putting first ? Israel or the USA ? Even in ‘technicolour ‘ a turncoat is still a turncoat . To the Republicans who would have booed him from the Convention had he been selected as VP his speech will mean nothing . To the Democrats who have seen their 2000 VP nominee turn his back on his party through his support for an unpopular war and a party which has sent millions of Americans into recession , his speech will only energise more Democrats to run to the polls come November and vote for their party’s candidate and not for turncoat Joe’s senatorial buddy .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Palin’s church is closely associated with Jews for Jesus’

    The JFJ’s otherwise known as the

    ‘Aw shucks we crucified the messiah ‘ shower .

    Nobody but nobody nowadays wants to be accountable any more 😉


  • And to think they say Alliance members are smug.

    What did I do to deserve that one? Get out of the wrong side of bed this morning, did we?

    ‘Aw shucks we crucified the messiah ‘ shower .

    Or, as Kinky Friedman sings, “they don’t make Jews like Jesus anymore”.

  • Mick Fealty

    I was Ken. Sorry. I couldn’t resist it.

    Hugh and Sammy,

    Of course, and I do know that. But I was trying to take a long view, not break the news.

  • Ach, I’m only kidding ya. You gonna be doing any analyses of this election?

  • Thinking about it, more likely to do nerdy Congressional or even state house stuff as there is plenty of presidential stuff on the net. The Economist’s weekly profiles of swing states, also available on the web, are quite decent.

    State legislatures elected for four year terms this year will control the house redistricting process after the 2010 Census, which given the degree of gerrymandering legal in the US is quite significant.

  • Padraigin Drinan

    We have been aware of what has been going on iin St Paul’s for some days now.
    Even before the Convention started the police had moved in to a house where I-Witness people were staying, surrounded the building with heavily armed officers, searched the premises, handcuffed the occupants and generally acted in an intimidating manner.
    Eileen Clancy who has been here on and off over the last decade has let us know what is going on.
    Eileen filmed abuses in Belfast and elsewhere and highlighted wrongdoings, particularly by those in authority.
    It was a video of Eileen’s that showed the police in Springfield Road mounting the pavement and running in to a group of people terrifying them and causing them to run for their lives. There was a successful prosecution as a result.
    Eileen is in I-Witness and their website can be seen here.
    Pádraigín Drinan

  • kensei


    I was Ken. Sorry. I couldn’t resist it.

    Well, maybe the uninitiated will gather something. In any case, rather than painting McCain as an a different Republican, is there not the sense they are trying to play the same game as last time? I’m not so sure it’ll work this time.

  • willis


    I think you need to look at your links in the article above.

    This is the Brassneck link.

  • willis
  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “A man in a gas mask stood in front of the SUV staring at our driver to her the face, refusing to move. The ugly face of terrorism was standing in front of her vehicle.” Haha. Classic stuff.