Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Scoop Lieberman: TNR has a clever look at Rabbi Joe through the Scoop Jackson scope, and I think he fits the bill quite well. John McCain, remember, ran as a self-proclaimed Scoop Jackson Republican in 2000. The mantle fit him a lot better, since he is a more vocal maverick, but that very quality also caused him som self-inflicted wounds. McCain did a funny little head fake on abortion in 2000, which caused quite a bit of GOP squawking. (I think it was about this time that he dropped the Scoop reference in favor of calling himself a "Ronald Reagan Republican.) Likewise, Joe rolled over for Gore on some welfare state and racial spoils issues in 2000, as the TNR piece mentions. Don't think Kerry or Edwards won't ask Lieberman to "clarify" his stance on, say, vouchers sooner or later. In the end, obviously, the challenge is to do what Scoop couldn't: get the nomination. I think Lieberman is better positioned than McCain was, because he is a less vocal maverick, a quiet moderate with a streak of social conservatism. Primary voters notwithstanding, I think Joe's values are where the average Democrat's are. The party would be foolish to trade a great candidate -- if not exactly a party-line one -- for a stuffed suit like Kerry.

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