Wednesday, August 20, 2003

On That Note: Here's TNR on the very issue of Lieberman's campaign against a luftward lurch:
. . . only one of Lieberman's problems is that he's seen as too conservative to be the party's presidential nominee. The other, as Will Saletan recently pointed out, is that he's seen as too wimpy to be the party's (for that matter any party's) nominee. By attacking his fellow Democrats for their leftward drift, Lieberman may be exacerbating one problem, but he's probably solving another.
I think it's fascinating that the W-word has reappeared -- the very label George Bush the Elder fought off. Sure, Lieberman seems a little milquetoast-y. And he talks like the father from the TV show "Alf." But while John Kerry rides around an a motorcycle wearing his dude-shades (and recalling Dukakis in the tank), Rabbi Joe has firmly (but politely!) pushed his homeland security cred, which he has over all the other candidates; his hawkishness on Iraq, for which he cites (and always has cited) the far more appealing humanitarian justification that TNR itself pushed, and which the Bush team is now trying to co-opt with the WMD hunt going at less than a kettle-rattling boil; and his generally conservative fiscal positions, where he might just be able to flank Dubya and hit from the right.

I think Lieberman could win, but he's getting no oxygen with Dean and Kerry arguing over the centimeter of straight-up liberal turf left to stand on.

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