Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain VP pick speculation

As a liberal who lives in the Communist state of Taxachussets, I have virtually no insight into minds of the GOP electorate... but for some reason I feel like I need to say something about who McCain will announce as his Vice Presidential pick tomorrow.

Since the whole point of announcing someone tomorrow is to take back the news cycle after Obama's big speech, you can't announce some boring random Governor nobody has heard of like Pawlenty. The biggest "Stop the presses!!!" pick is clearly "Independent" Senator Joe Lieberman who you may remember from such classics as "Al Gore's running mate in 2000" and "Lost his Senate Democratic primary in 2004 and then ran as an Independent". Lieberman is basically a hardline neocon these days who throatily endorses their policy of bombing everything that moves in the Middle East, and thus is widely reviled by the "not insane" portion of the state of Connecticut's electorate. However, I'm not sure how many people outside of those who obsessively read political blogs are aware how conservative he's become. Also it would reinforce what is the reason this election is even close... his "mavericky Straight Talk" reputation that he developed in 2000. The reason why I thought it was such a terrible idea for him to go all Rove a few weeks ago was precisely because it damaged his brand... he might unite his conservative base, but lose the press and thus independents as he became "a typical pol who would say anything to get elected". Picking Lieberman would cause the MSM to collectively swoon and fall in love with The Maverick all over again. Also, as Ezra noted:
A Lieberman pick also offers McCain some inoculation against the McSame tag that's begun dogging him. Running with the guy who beat George W. Bush in 2000 may not be proof that McCain isn't a Bush acolyte, but it certainly muddies the charge. And it's a charge that McCain needs muddied.

I think that's pretty true, and since people seem to be able to close their eyes and pretend that McCain is the same man he was in 2000(or even 2004) it's possible that Lieberman would be viewed the same way... as the "moderate" he so often claims to be. So McCain can play the part of the moderate independent thinker of bipartisan cooperation, and with Lieberman's experience, he can still paint Obama as "dangerously liberal" and as someone who can't keep you safe in a dangerous world.

Of course the BIG problem is that he has a Pro-Choice voting record. However, I think Patrick Ruffini is right that because Lieberman would be picked as a show of bipartisanship, his stance on abortion is irrelevant... he's not setting the GOP party platform... he's there to make sure we're bombing Iran by February. But, like I said, my insight into minds of conservatives is virtually nil... so maybe it would cause the party to explode. Who knows?

It's a risky pick, but I think it gives him his only path to winning the election.

Of course, this new poll suggests Lieberman would totally sink McCain... even in Florida(!)... so I'm probably wrong as usual.