Republicans close to the campaign said that the top contenders remained the same three men who have been the source of speculation for weeks: former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and, possibly, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.How truly bizarre it would be if Lieberman is a VP pick a second time. What is it about him that inspires this confidence? It must be strong indeed if the opposite party's candidate could consider him. Picking Lieberman would maximize the distraction from Obama. It would really shake things up now, wouldn't it?
It was unclear how seriously Mr. McCain was considering his good friend Mr. Lieberman, who favors abortion rights and whose selection could set off a revolt among delegates at the Republican National Convention next week in Minneapolis-St. Paul as well as a furious backlash among Christian conservatives, a crucial voting bloc of the Republican Party. But as recently as Tuesday, Mr. McCain was said to still be entertaining the idea of Mr. Lieberman, who was Al Gore’s running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2000.
[Some] Republicans said they suspected that whatever Mr. McCain’s personal views, his aides could be pushing Mr. Lieberman with reporters as part of a disinformation campaign to stir interest in the selection and to make it appear as if Mr. McCain, a longtime opponent of abortion, was open to all possibilities and was therefore more of an independent candidate.Yes, a crucial point must be that he's not a very good campaigner. He was terrible in the VP debate with Dick Cheney — and Dick Cheney was hardly even trying to be good. I was completely for Al Gore in 2000, and I was mystified to find myself suddenly open to the notion of voting for Bush. (I didn't.)
Some Republicans also said that Mr. Lieberman had not caught fire as a campaigner in 2000 and that he would alienate more voters, particularly evangelicals, than he would attract.
But I've got to say that I kind of love Lieberman. He's just about exactly where I am on most things. Why should I fret about what evangelicals and staunch conservatives think? It would suit me just fine! It will wreak havoc with my cruel neutrality.