August 28, 2008

McCain will reveal his VP pick at 11 ET today [CORRECTION: not today, Friday].

The NYT reports. Perfect timing, tearing us away from the Democratic Convention just as Obama is about to deliver his oration to the multitude. [Except not: The announcement comes on Friday, and today is not, as I thought, Friday. The perils of early morning blogging!]
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.

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.
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?
[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.

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.
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.)

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.


Mr. Colby said...

"McCain Has Made His Pick and Is Set to Tell on Friday"

Unless I've seriously overslept, that'd be tomorrow. The day after Obama does his thing.

Meade said...

"But I've got to say that I kind of love Lieberman."

You do know he's already married?

J. Cricket said...

It will wreak havoc with my cruel neutrality.

This canard now seems older than McCain. You have never been neutral, cruelly or otherwise.

But there isn't a chance in hell that McCain will pick Leiberman. You are apparently forgetting his desperate need to pander to the ring-wing nut cases who control his party. Someone who supports abortion rights or gay rights is out of the question.

KCFleming said...

A bit off topic, I suppose, but I need some advice. Seriously.

This weekend I will be hosting two couples. One is very far left, the other libertarian right. Me? Conservative, former lefty.

On the phone to the lefty last night the husband remarked about the DNC (we were not talking politics but food): "I hope someone in Minneapolis gets Bush and Cheney and strings them up."

My resonse was a silent "WTF?" I said. Uh ...yeah. Aannnnnyway, I'll bring the wine.

So my question, a serious one: How do I manage this, a weekend -during the GOP convention- with a Euro social democrat and Karl Popper's son? Avoidance? Giant underpants? Drunkenness?

Bill Buckley was famous for getting along with ideological opposites. But it seems people are far more polarized and angry than in the past. I dunno. Maybe I shouldn't show up at all.

Bissage said...


Meade said...

And, just as a friendly reminder: I'm still single and available.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well if McCain wants to assure that Obama wins in November, by all means pick Lieberman. McCain already has issues with the conservative base and picking a liberal as his VP would have to be viewed as nothing more than an act of self sabotage. Yes, Lieberman is a liberal, his outspoken views on support for the Iraq war notwithstanding.

If McCain wants to shake up the party, forget Palin whose I like but needs some seasoning. Pick Kay Baily Hutchinson and watch the 40+ female vote come in droves. Plus it gives him the conservative backup he really needs.

You are apparently forgetting his desperate need to pander to the ring-wing nut cases who control his party.

If only they did the deficit wouldn't have tripled in the last eight years. The current crop of the GOP have governed like Democrats.

Unfortunately, if Obama wins, that isn't going to change.

Anonymous said...

If it happens, it's terrible timing. Bad form, and the media will pay NO attention.

Meade said...

There you go, Pogo - Bissage has your answer.

Bissage said...

Meade's hungry and he's rooting for Joe Lieberman. LOL!1!!1!!

Simon said...

Andy McCarthy has a good point about why if McCain's waited this long he should wait just a little longer.

"It would really shake things up now, wouldn't it?"

It would guarantee Obama a kind of win that would make Lyndon Johnson weep with jealousy. I can't believe that McCain would seriously consider it, and hope it's just people around the campaign running interference. He's a straight down the line liberal on every issue but the war - not that there's anything wrong with that - and abandoned the positions that made him seem bipartisan in the 1990s in order to run for veep.

McCain needs to pick someone who shores up his support among conservatives and gives moderates and disgusted Clinton supporters a reason to come on over. Lieberman may net him some moderates, but it will lose him a serious number of voters on the right, and the election. There just aren't enough votes available in the middle to compensate for the loss of the base, which makes the strategy irrational.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So my question, a serious one: How do I manage this, a weekend -during the GOP convention- with a Euro social democrat and Karl Popper's son? Avoidance? Giant underpants? Drunkenness

I guess it depends on whether or not you want to stay friends.

For me I just toss their hypocrisy back at them. String up Bush and Cheney? Say that you would have never guess they were proponents of capital punishment and see what they say.

I find most lefties to be irrational in thier arguments and for the most part ignore them. I have some liberal friends I can debate and its enjoyable but the more leftist ones I avoid because it's like arguing with a Truther.

Peter V. Bella said...
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Simon said...

It seems to me that if if McCain wanted to be on the top of a bipartisan ticket, he should have run as an independent. He didn't. He ran for the nomination of the Republican Party, and the discretion given to the nominee by the party to pick his veep is a trust: it presupposes that the Republican nominee will choose a Republican veep (this holds true on the other side, too). For McCain to pick someone who stands directly against the party - a man who for the last two years has personally provided the other party with control of the Senate - is an abuse of discretion, an abuse of that trust, and the convention would be well within its rights to overrule McCain (assuming it has the power to do so), an electoral disaster in itself.

Simon said...

It's very similar (not identical) to Jim Jeffords running for reelection as a Republican and then immediately changing his status to an independent. That's what Lincoln Chafee would almost certainly have done, and it's what rumor has it that Lieberman might do in reverse by running as an independent and then joining the GOP (although I doubt it myself). It's dishonest. It betrays the expectations that the voters had. Jeffords was elected as a Republican. If he wants to change parties, he should have resigned and sought reelection. Lieberman was elected as an independent. If he wants to join the GOP, he should resign and seek reelection. And if McCain wants to run a bipartisan ticket rather than a Republican ticket, he should have said so during the primary. It would be a huge mistake, a catastrophic blunder that guarantees Obama the election. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the base aren't that stupid.

Simon said...

It would be the equivalent of Barack Obama picking Pat Buchanan as veep and justifying it by saying "it's okay because he's with us on the war and he thinks Bush is a dick, too." I fancy the Democrats would balk at that.

Meade said...

Whoa, Bissage, I had completely missed that thread! Beef Wellington it shall be!

Now, how are we going to talk Rush Limbaugh into going on Bloggingheads with Althouse?

ricpic said...

Will McCain's compulsion to stick it to conservatives override good sense? Stay tuned.

Meade said...

Who are these thin-skinned conservatives who would help elect Obama just because McCain picks an honest liberal who has principles and integrity, experience and competence?

ricpic said...


"Feel free to speak your mind but please don't assume your host (Pogo) agrees with what you've just said," might be away to politely give your guests pause before spouting a second time.

Simon said...

Meade - they're the people he needs for money, ground game and votes. I think that McCain has done good work to get the base behind him since securing the nomination, and that they are ready to back him. Of course some aren't, some will vote for Bob Barr, and that's silly but it's okay. But that tiny number will turn into a significant percentage if McCain throws that work away by picking Lieberman. I won't be one of the ones who walks, but don't think for a moment a large number won't. If he announces it's Lieberman, Obama is the next President.

MadisonMan said...

Well, what do I know? I never thought Obama would pick a fellow Senator. I thought all the names that were floated beforehand were red herrings.

I will laugh long and hard if McCain picks Lieberman.

Meade said...

A McCain-Lieberman ticket would hold great appeal to disaffected Hillary supporters.

ricpic said... honest liberal doesn't, or at least shouldn't, define the Republican ticket. There's another party for that garbage.

Josh said...

I can't see him announcing it tonight unless it's an unconventional pick. Pawlenty isn't exactly going to steal the spotlight from Obama tonight.

My hope is that he's going with Meg Whitman, and the Lieberman/Ridge rumors were meant to make her moderate viewpoints more palatable to the staunch conservatives in the party.

Sloanasaurus said...

I thought McCain was going to announce on Friday as well?

The media is just putty over the whole Obama convention. Will it never end?

McCain will not pick Lieberman.

McCain will most likely pick Pawlenty. He is a new guy that eveyone will want to learn about. The Clinton Democrats in Ohio and Pennsylvania will find out they like him a lot.

Nevertheless it would be more exciting if McCain chose the Alaskan governor or Bobby Jindahl or someone that no one expects.

Thinking about it this morning it just hit me that we have really won the Iraq war. Imagine if we would have lost, how dismal that would have been for America and the world and the cause of freedom.

kjbe said...

I'd love to see Lieberman to the ticket, as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And Pogo - sounds like you could have a pretty engaging weekend. Enjoy the difference of opinion.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Who are these thin-skinned conservatives who would help elect Obama just because McCain picks an honest liberal who has principles and integrity, experience and competence?

/me raises hand


Can you tell me why as a conservative I should vote for a GOP ticket that doesn't represent my views? McCain was literally my bottom choice as nomineee (not that I had any say in the matter) and other than his tax positions and foreign policy cred, he hardly impressess me. Liberman on the other hand may be competent and have integrity but he's a liberal and I'm a conservative. I don't subscribe to liberal viewpoints.

If Lieberman is the VP pick, my choices then look like ordering a shit sandwich or a shit sandwich with all the fixins. Either way, it'll still taste like shit.

KCFleming said...

Engaging? I dunno. I'd rather talk religion with Hitchens and Fred Phelps.

But thanks for the help.

These suggestions, plus wine and huge jockey shorts may just work. (aside ...I hasten to add that my own underpants are decidely NOT giant, I eam geez,look at my avatar; would I lie to you?)

My fall-back plan is taking the kayak out by myself for hours at a time.

As for McCain, as long as he avoids picking Bush as his running mate, nothing matters. Anyway, the outcome is sealed. How do you defeat The One®?

Meade said...

ricpic said...
" honest liberal doesn't, or at least shouldn't, define the Republican ticket. There's another party for that garbage."

There is? Well it sure ain't the Democrats.

Joe Lieberman as Vice President would not "define" the Republican ticket. That is silly.

Tibore said...

Ok, Lieberman's a liberal. I'm not. I'd still vote for a McCain/Lieberman ticket just to piss off all the people that chased old Joe out of the Democratic party for his Iraq war views.

I can handle 4 years of a liberal VP just to see that happen.

Doug said...

Picking Lieberman would be perhaps the most monumentally stupid thing McCain could do. It would piss off a Republican base that already doesn't trust him, it would throw the Republican convention into chaos, and it would probably guarantee Obama's victory.

In fact it's such a stupid idea, that I wouldn't be surprised if McCain went ahead an did it.

Anonymous said...

Pogo - I had a similar situation with house guests last week.

My solution was to put a hat on the table and announce at the beginning of the weekend that the purpose of the weekend was to enjoy one another's company.

And anyone who mentions anything political is required to put five dollars into the hat for each offense. If there is any money in the hat at the end of our time together I'll donate it to the Salvation Army.

Everyone got the message and we had a pleasant weekend free of political discourse and conflict.

Meade said...

Either way, just eat a lot of garlic and wash it all down with Guiness. It's only four years. We survived Jimi Carter (barely) and just remember what came after him. You'll be fine. Slather sunscreen on that thin skin of yours and remember to chew with your mouth closed.

Original Mike said...

Personally, I like Lieberman a lot. Even though I don't agree with him on much, I have immense respect for him. And what a contrast; the far left vs. the moderates. I would enjoy watching the leftards spend the fall comparing their ticket with the Republicans and painting their opponents as "extreme". It would be a good contrast for the public to consider. It just might work, but I think it's too big an electoral risk. And, there's also the risk Lieberman would become President.

I feel for you Pogo. Hopefully, your guests will have the good manners not to ruin the weekend. I mean, how hard is it to STFU? Let us know how it went, please.

EnigmatiCore said...


But, damn, it is just a tease. Another bloody Thursday.

Anonymous said...
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EnigmatiCore said...

"But it seems people are far more polarized and angry than in the past. I dunno. Maybe I shouldn't show up at all."

I would suggest to you that the anger and bluster is specifically designed to cause submission and surrender.

Honestly, look at all the lefties that come on here attacking Ann. Are they trying to persuade? No. They are trying to get her to submit.

Can you think of any other situation where one group is demanding submission from those not in the group? How do you think that situation should be handled?

What a choice we have. The jack-boots of the left, and the desperate need to wander through the wilderness on the right (they still are renominating people like Stevens and Young).

MadisonMan said...

If Hoosier Daddy is eating shit sandwiches slathered in enough garlic to mask the taste, and then washed down with Guiness, I'm guessing Hoosier Momma is making him sleep on the couch. The couch two doors down the street. Downwind.

TMink said...

"Why should I fret about what evangelicals and staunch conservatives think?"

You shouldnt! You, like the rest of us, should think about who would do the best job out of the several people running and vote for the best one. We should ALL do that.

I am tired of people saying a vote for Barr or Keyes is a vote for Obama. Nope. A vote for Obama is a vote for Obama. Period.

Only party operatives should worry about who will win, the rest of us should worry about casting our vote for the person we believe is best qualified to do the job.

Let the parties heal themselves, they will not it we prop them up. That would be cange I could live with.


Sloanasaurus said...

Floating a possible Lieberman pick is a great psychological play for the Republican base. You get everyone upset, which causes a rapid dissent in expectations. Then, when McCain picks a somewhat moderate republican like Pawlenty, everyone is ecstatic about it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm guessing Hoosier Momma is making him sleep on the couch.

Someone talked.....

Actually we have a spare room. The couch is so 1980s.

Anonymous said...
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Spread Eagle said...

If McCain were to name Colin Powell it would thoroughly usurp Obama. Anybody else not, or not so much.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman is the Jennifer Aniston of politics.

I don't see what makes either of them so attractive to so many guys with better options.

KCFleming said...

"Bore them and go kayaking. Problem solved."

Stellar advice. The former is my area of expertise, as longtime Althouse readers well know. A human soporific, I can evince drowsiness at 100 paces by merely saying the words "That reminds me of a story...". Eyes instantly roll back in the head, limbs go limp, bodies fall to the floor like so many sacks of potatoes. Despite the occasional messiness of incontinence it begets, the skill has proved useful.

Now I am become social death, the destroyer of conversations.

***off to purchase some excellent garlic***

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Pogo.... I suggest a drinking game that during the evening anytime the name of Bush, Cheney, McCain, Obama comes up everyone downs a shot. If the Iraq War is mentioned....a double shot.

By the end of the evening you all will be so drunk you won't care or a huge fight will break out and you will never have to worry about hosting these people again.

Cedarford said...

Hoosier Daddy - If Lieberman is the VP pick, my choices then look like ordering a shit sandwich or a shit sandwich with all the fixins. Either way, it'll still taste like shit.

It's one analogy used a lot that I hope no one using it has actually tried the stuff they can speak from authority.

"Well, as a coprophile, let me tell you elk pellets are quite tasty, human feces in a sandwich less so, but still better than Icelandic fermented shark, Chinese pickled shaved goat hoof soup."

Lets hope for all of us, Hoosier, that it remains an unexperiential analogy, where none of us is personally familiar with what it actually tastes like - akin to "Listening to John Kerry speak again is as painful as having a pantsload of live weasels clawing and gnawing at my flesh".

MadisonMan said...

Wow I actually agree with sloanasaurus! (9:07)

KCFleming said...

Drinking games! That kills two nerds with one stone.

Bissage said...

The former is my area of expertise, as longtime Althouse readers well know.

Pogo, you are one of my favorite Althouse commenters and have been for a long time.

I admire you greatly.

vbspurs said...

Pogo, what DBQ said!

Failing that, how about telling them you have an ulcer, and every time the conversation gets vitriolic, get up excuse yourself, grabbing your stomach. They'll get the drift, if they're really your friends.

Seriously, Pogo, we've all faced this dilemma at one point.

There's a famous aged society lady in New York who uses her beautifully appointed but tiny apartment to host weekly dinners, where major power players of the day attend. She's invited the Clintons the same day as the Obamas.

She is very strict about no one becoming rowdy or rude during the dinners, and the guests are on their toes about it.

No matter how important they are -- this 80 year-old former real estate agent can control them, because they won't be asked back if they transgress (this includes getting up and milling around during dinner).

Lacking control of this nature over your buddies, even if that were your thing, I'd say either don't say anything and come up with an excuse not to go, or tell them straight off, "I'm not into politics the way you are".

The ball is in their court. Good luck, Pogo. :)


vbspurs said...

I don't see what makes either of them so attractive to so many guys with better options.

Yes, but then John McCain is Angelina Jolie. He does his own thing, like it or lump it, and it usually works out for her.

Obama is Brad Pitt. A good-looking lad, but you get the sense if you prod a little, a little hot air will come out.


vbspurs said...
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EnigmatiCore said...

No-gos for me: Romney and Huckabee.

amba said...


Your lefty friend is obviously far less aware than you are that others might have different beliefs than his. Shtetl mentality, anyone?

Funny, "giant underpants" instantly struck me as a good synonym for "big tent."

I think you could go two ways: 1) Begin the weekend with an agreement not to discuss or watch politics. If there's something you need to see, TiVo it. 2) Much more difficult and exhausting: begin the weekend with an agreement to discuss, really discuss, politics in depth and to be civil and open to one another's points of view.

Anonymous said...
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amba said...

But Dust Bunny Queen's advice is the best. Take it.

KCFleming said...

I agree, Amba. It even solves the other problem: one guest is a teetotaler (because of her dad's alcoholism) and is sort of a mini-Molly Hatchet.

Not the heavy metal band, but the temperance utopian. So doing wine shots after every mention of Bush or McCain or Obama is wonderful. Two shots if Hillary is spoken of.

I thank you all.
I have a plan.
Now I need to buy some wine. A case, maybe.

KCFleming said...

You are kind. But I consider my skill at inducing somnolence almost a super power.

As a secret misanthrope, it permits me to drive everyone to bed, so I can stay up and read.

And to make the giant-underpants swing really work, solitude is preferred.

Chip Ahoy said...

Pogo, I have not Buckleyesque advice to confer. I strongly recommend giving keys to your guests so they can come and go at will then take a room for yourself at a nearby hotel until they're gone.

You could explain something private suddenly came up that you need to devote full attention to. That should do it.

Otherwise, avoid all things political and never respond to baited utterances. If you must respond to save yourself from exploding, take the bait as primer for exaggerated utterances. Use what is given to extrapolate ridiculous extensions.

Get Bush and Cheney and string them up. Yeah. As piñatas so we can beat them whilst blindfolded with an adult jerking the rope lifting them out of reach with each swing to prolong the fun until all the candy falls out.

Then they would go, "Candy? You mean tar and guts and offal and stink."

Then you go, "Yeah! Stinky sticky gooey sugary candy that sticks to your teeth and gives you cavities and rots your gums out."

Then they go, "Wut? You're an idiot"

Then you go, "Oh. You started it."

Then do that each and every time until it becomes wearisome even to them.

Chip Ahoy said...

Good hosts are indulging. Stringing up Bush and Cheney is a liberal fantasy. Indulge the fantasy.

"Yeah, string up up. Then pull their pants down and show everybody their big fat underpants! Take pictures of it and circulate them on the internet. Like they did to Saddam. Then rip off their big fat underpants so everybody can see their teeny weenies then hose 'em down with cold water so their ball get sucked up to their necks then take pictures of that and circulate those pictures too.
Then beat 'em with sticks until they're pulp and then pull the ropes in different directions until the pulp separates and then bury them alive! And then poop on their graves.

Then observe their expressions of disbelief with complete uncomprehending innocence. This approach of exaggerated indulgence very well might hasten their departure.

KCFleming said...


Maybe I should make some piñatas for each of them to strike.

I'll do the drinking game alone.

blake said...

DBQ's idea is brilliant.

Combine it with Michael H's and you'd probably have yourself a serious donation to make.