Thursday, December 11, 2003

Joe Lieberman, stop whining -- and everyone else, stop feeling sorry for him. That's what Michael Tomasky says in this American Prospect article. Tomasky says Gore graciously stepped aside for Lieberman, but Lieberman squandered the opportunity, so why shed tears over his snub by Gore?

Tomasky also reminds us that there's been friction between the two for a while. In case you've forgotten:

Leaders of a centrist Democratic group, the Democratic Leadership Council, meeting last week at a policy conference in New York, complained about Gore's economic populism theme from the 2000 campaign. They said they did not believe a theme of "the people versus the powerful" was a winning formula for Democratic candidates.

--USA Today, 8/4/02

I believe Governor Bill Clinton and I were right to maintain, during our 1992 campaign, that fighting for "the forgotten middle class" against the "forces of greed." Standing up for the people, not the powerful was the right choice in 2000. In fact, it is the ground of the Democratic party's being, our meaning and our mission.

The suggestion from some in our party that we should no longer speak that truth, especially at a time like this, strikes me as bad politics and wrong in principle. This struggle between the people and the powerful was at the heart of every major domestic issue of the 2000 campaign and is still the central dynamic of politics in 2002.

--New York Times op-ed by Al Gore, 8/4/02

Al Gore's 2000 running mate said Sunday that Gore's populist themes did not accurately reflect the Democrats' pro-growth campaign for the White House.

"The people versus the powerful theme was too subject to misunderstanding and not representative" of the economic growth that occurred during the 1990s under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, said Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.

The populist approach, Lieberman said, was "also not expressive of the fiscally responsible, pro-growth, grow-the-middle-class campaign we were running" that included targeted tax cuts and other centrist proposals championed by the Democratic Leadership Council.

--USA Today, 8/4/02

Gore has moved to the left, and Lieberman and the DLC have responded by taking potshots at him. So who was rude first?

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