Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Joe Lieberman May Give RNC Keynote Address

Senator Joseph Lieberman may give the keynote address at the Republican National Convention in September, The Hill reports:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee, is leaving open the possibility of giving a keynote address on behalf of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) at the Republican National Convention in September.

Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman’s appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters....

Lieberman, a staunch Iraq war supporter, has taken the Democratic Party to task for its push to withdraw from Iraq, likening that approach to surrendering to al Qaeda. He has called for aggressive action against Iran and pushed measures that some Democrats have likened to war-mongering.

He continues to criticize the Democratic candidates for their foreign policy positions, and says the party has jettisoned its tradition of being strong on defense by pandering to its liberal base.

Making those points to a Republican audience in front of national primetime viewers would make a strong case for McCain’s candidacy, which is based largely on his national security experience, Republicans say.

“I think it would be a great idea,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), McCain’s closest Hill ally. “If you looked at economic issues and social issues, I bet you we disagree a vast majority of the time. But when you look at what the primary job of what a United States senator is in the age in which we live, we have pretty much universal agreement — and that’s to protect the homeland.”

“I think Sen. Lieberman would be a very powerful spokesperson,” said Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.), a former general chairman of the Republican National Committee. “I think he really is someone who helps Sen. McCain break through to independent voters.”

Lieberman’s presence could potentially anger some social conservatives because of his positions supporting abortion rights and other liberal values. But Lieberman’s arguments that McCain is best suited to lead the country at a time of war would override those objections, said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), a hero of the religious right.

“If he’s talking about security issues, Iran, Joe is fabulous on those issues,” Brownback said.
The greatest risk is to Lieberman himself, as Senate Democrats may never forgive him for backing the opposition so prominently (and thus Lieberman could lose power in Congress). McCain won't have too much difficulty on the right, actually, as many social conservative Malkin-tents and Rush-bots are still mad at McCain anyway, so far-right anger will be a replay from the primaries.

In any case, beyond reving up the independent vote, few figures in American politics can speak more authoritatively or eloquently on the Iraq war than Lieberman.

I look forward not only to a Lieberman RNC address, but to the screeching outrage among lefties for what will be alleged as the ultimate incantation of the Connecticut Senator's partisan apostasies.

See also, "Democrats Hijacked by Hard-Left Base, Lieberman Says."