A Palin-Lieberman 2012 Republican Ticket?
Joe Lieberman won’t be running for reelection in Connecticut next year. No surprise there. He didn’t stand a chance at the polls. This might not end his political career, however. I’m thinking he would make a perfect running mate in a presidential campaign of Sarah Palin.
This may sound odd at first because of some very obvious differences in their stands on certain social issues. And with another candidate on the top of a Republican ticket, that alone would be enough to disqualify Lieberman, as was the case when John McCain sought to put him on his own ticket. Palin, however, could do what no other Republican could do in this regard. She could merely shrug off such differences because her core supporters know with absolute certainty that they wouldn’t affect her own policies. These differences, in fact, could then be presented as proof positive that Governor Palin is aiming for a “big tent” politics,
Beyond a few easily fudged caveats such as these, Lieberman in so many important ways is perfect for a place on a Palin ticket. He would reassure more conventional Republicans that a political adult would be inside a new ruling circle, a former three-term senator, one whose credentials include heading the Senate’s Homeland Security committee.
Lieberman’s presence would reassure conventional Republicans in other ways as well. His victory as an independent candidate for Senator from Connecticut in 2008 was won with more Republican than Democratic votes. He was considered by John McCain for his own ticket in 2010 and actually supported McCain that year. He was well-known in Washington during the debate years over Iraq as Dick Cheney’s favorite Democrat.
Lieberman’s “former Democrat” label is perhaps his most powerful attraction, his greatest asset to a Palin ticket. It’s one thing when Republicans snipe at Democrats. But here is a man who was actually one of them, a liberal reformer for years no less, who could say he used to be a true believer but has finally seen how out-of-step with the real America Democrats have become. The Prodigal Son comes home. The penitent tearfully stumbles toward the drumhead. The perfect person to introduce Palin at her political tent revival meetings.
There’s one other Palin-Lieberman possibility that might come to pass. Suppose Palin does not get the nod from the Republican Party. Suppose she then decides on a third party run. Lieberman’s fund-raising abilities with pro-Israeli interests and the insurance industry would give such a run considerably greater financial clout.
Is the present Independent senator from Connecticut and former Democratic vice-presidential candidate going to take a whack at running as a Republican or Independent veep? There’s no indication at present that this will happen. But if Joe Lieberman “on a matter of principle” crosses the aisle in the next few months, and caucuses with the Republicans during his final months in the Senate, the fat’s in the fire.
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