Wednesday, August 20, 2008


A comment to an earlier post asked why McCain would even be considering Joe Lieberman as his running mate, given the fact that he's "guaranteed to piss off the far right and the entire Democratic base."

I think it's McCain's Rat Pack-y worldview -- McCain thinks his pals are the greatest guys. I also think, obviously, it's an attempt to play ethnic politics, with an eye toward Florida, along with New Jersey and Connecticut even if New York is out of reach.

But in addition, I think it would be a pick aimed at the media.

If you think the press is McCain's base, that's true of Lieberman to the power of a million. The press loves him to death. Beltway journalists love the idea that he's just an innocent mensch who's been forced by those mean old Democratic bullies to leave the party he loves ... over one little disagreement. And they'd hammer that message from the moment of his selection until November.

I still don't think McCain has the guts to stand up to the "agents of intolerance" in his party and pick an abortion-rights supporter, but if he does, it's because he knows his (and Joe's) base will praise him to the skies for it.


OH, AND: I should add that the press is one reason I've become comfortable with the idea of a Biden pick for Obama. Biden probably provides the best possible combination of good politics (angry about Iraq, supportive at least some of the time of ordinary citizens rather than the powerful) and acceptance by the Village. Dean Broder and Sally Quinn and their ilk won't sneer too much, and might even interrupt their endless recounting of Daddy dreams about McCain to begrudge Biden a few kind words. I'm not sure Obama can do much better than that.

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