TOLD YA (AND I'M SURE YOU'RE SICK OF HEARING ME SAY THAT)
From The Hill:
Lieberman willing to star at Republican convention
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the Democratic Party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, is leaving open the possibility of giving a keynote address on behalf of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) at the Republican National Convention in September.
Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman's appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle....
"Possibility"? "Possibly"? Oh, give me a break -- this will happen, as I've predicted over and over and over again for almost two years.
Why wouldn't it happen? Because Lieberman fears the wrath and fury of the take-no-prisoners Democrats?
...If Democrats pick up more seats as expected in November, and Lieberman angers Democrats along the campaign trail, some privately expect there might be an attempt to deny him his bid to retain his chairmanship.
One Democratic leadership aide said losing his chairmanship could happen in that scenario, but "the bar would have to be very high."
Endorsing the other party's presidential candidate? Pondering a high-profile appearance at the other party's convention? Red-baiting the likely nominee of the party you caucus with, who's a fellow senator? All that put together still doesn't clear the bar?
Oh, but there are more important matters than, y'know, actually taking one's own side in a dispute:
...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has a close relationship with Lieberman.
Unlike a number of Democratic colleagues who backed Lieberman's challenger Ned Lamont after the 2006 primary, Reid offered words of praise for the senator, saying he would not "turn on Joe." Reid called Lieberman and promised him a chairmanship if he won reelection, a move that angered some Lamont supporters.
Even though Reid may not need Lieberman next Congress to claim a Senate majority, he told Lieberman in private conversations that he would protect his seniority....
When asked Tuesday if Lieberman's chairmanship was at risk next Congress, Reid said succinctly: "No."
"We have one difference of opinion, maybe two with Sen. Lieberman," said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a prominent supporter of Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) presidential candidacy. "As a whip, I can tell you time and again, he's been there when we’ve needed him." ...
Not good enough. You people are pathetic.
This is bad because the speech won't be Zell Miller, it will be Zell Miller plus. The plus is the fact that the press -- still -- treats Lieberman as the cuddly, adorable, highly appealing independent (I almost typed "maverick") who'll make swing voters sit up and take notice. Here's the Hill story with the conventional wisdom:
Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman's appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters.
Endless repetition of the notion that support from Lieberman equals support from a Democrat makes it seem true.
That's why, well before this speech happens, the Obama campaign needs to neutralize Lieberman. Obama needs to make sure that everyone in American realizes that that elfin, soft-spoken, apparently nice guy is possibly the biggest apologist in America for a war the vast majority of the country hates. Obama needs to portray him as a dishonest faux-naif who acts shocked, shocked, when anyone dares to suggest that he's exactly what he is, a Republican apparatchik still pretending not to be one.
Will that happen? I doubt it. But if it doesn't, this speech will do real damage. The press will see to that.