Monday, February 12, 2007

Giuliani/Lieberman '08

Jon Chait comments on the prospect of a Giuliani/Lieberman ticket in 2008. It's an interesting possibility, and not inconceivable. Basically, this ticket would mean the GOP is doubling down on the security issue after getting thrashed on it in 2006. In normal circumstances, I'd say this is a losing proposition--for very good reasons, the GOP has been running scared of Iraq and like issues, knowing that they will be hung like a weight around their neck in 2008. Could a Giuliani/Lieberman neutralize the CW on this issue? Giuliani reminds America of the time immediately after 9/11--scary, to be sure, but they associate it generally with the moral clarity and focus we're missing now, and him specifically with leadership and vision bringing NYC together in the wake of the attack. Maybe a self-deceptive recollection, but it's what's out there.

Chait elaborates:
Lieberman strikes me as both a shrewd choice for Veep and a likely candidate to get it. Republicans have been largely discredited, so their best chance is to persuade the public that the Democrats are not a legitimate alternative. Lieberman, as a nominal Democrat, would have the best chance of making the case that his party has been taken over by a left-wing fringe. Indeed, that's pretty much what he's saying now. In fact, I think he's trying to set himself up to run on the GOP ticket in 2008.

I want to say that, as someone who supported Jim Jeffords' party conversion in 2001, I think Lieberman has every right to leave the Democratic Party and run on a GOP ticket if he sees fit. But we shouldn't delude ourselves--him and Giuliani on a ticket would represent an endorsement of the Bush foreign policy in which Americans have largely lost faith. The only question is whether or not Americans will know what they're voting for. And that will require the media to resist the easy narrative about a "moderate" GOP ticket, and point out that on arguably the most important issue facing the electorate in 2008, Giuliani/Lieberman would represent the status quo. If they're going to run that ticket, Americans deserve to know what they're being presented with.


Anonymous said...

"If they're going to run that ticket, Americans deserve to know what they're being presented with."

It's called primaries, the campaign trail, elections, debates.

The electorate isn't as stupid as you would make them out to be.

Anonymous said...

Giuliani would be crazy to put Lieberman on the ticket. Rudy needs the Dems votes to be elected and Lieberman is loathed by most Dems. The Reps are only using him because Lieberman was one of their only positives that came out of last years elections. Giuliani does not need all the Lieberman baggage, even though Lieberman is the Prince of the Press and will get the Jewish vote. I don't think the media in this country can save Lieberman, loyalty to ones own, is prized by both parties as well as with most Americans.

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