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Tipsheet

The Beauty of Keeping Lieberman in the Mix

News reports say that John McCain is keeping Joe Lieberman in the running for VP.

That's fine with me.  Not because I think McCain will pick Lieberman -- if he does, he's so openly disrespectful of the policies and priorities of his base, and so dismissive of his need for their support, that his judgment  is in question. 
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McCain surely understands that his VP pick will send a huge signal to the base about where he sees the GOP going.  It doesn't even make sense for someone who's identified himself as an admirer of President Reagan and as a "conservative" to choose someone who could comfortably run with Al Gore eight years ago. 

But keeping Lieberman in the mix, even as conservatives like me reiterate our strong opposition to a Democrat as veep on the Republican ticket plays well for McCain.  It's designed to send a message to independents -- just as his supposed openness to a pro-choice running mate was supposed to reassure PUMA's.  He's using the veep process to re-establish his credentials as a "maverick" who may not always toe the GOP line, without actually moving left on any policies . . . and if talking up Lieberman helps him in Florida, he's not averse to that, either.
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At least, I hope that's what's happening.  And I hope that if and when McCain wins the presidency, he remembers that the allegiance of independents can be fleeting -- and isn't the basis for a stable governing coalition.  But with someone as left -- and as inexperienced -- as Barack on the other side, there's nothing to do but take my chances with McCain.

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