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Posted : 2008-09-07 17:33
Updated : 2008-09-07 17:33

Whats to Become of Joe Lieberman?

Scripps Howard News Service:

If the Republicans win on Election Day, John McCain and Sarah Palin will have new jobs. And so too, in all probability, will Democrat turned independent turned featured Republican convention speaker Joe Lieberman. There will be a place for Lieberman in a McCain Cabinet, GOP convention chair Mike Duncan told a TV interviewer.

Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential candidate eight years ago and presidential hopeful just four years ago, actually was on old friend on McCain's short list for a running mate. There was, however, the problem that Lieberman is technically still a Democrat. At least he votes with them in the Senate.

The Connecticut senator lost in the state's 2006 Democratic primary because of his support for the Iraq war. The Democratic establishment backed the winner, but Lieberman came back and won his Senate seat as an independent. So thin was their margin in the Senate that the Democrats needed him and made him chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. But it has been an uneasy alliance, and his appearance at the GOP convention in St. Paul may have fractured it ― at least when the Senate Democrats no longer need him.

Bad enough that he told ecstatic Republicans that he was endorsing McCain for president ``because country matters more than party." Worse was his patronizing and dismissive reference to Barack Obama, the Democrats' own presidential candidate: ``Senator Obama is gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record ― not in these tough times." Ouch.

The Senate Democrats need Lieberman this fall, but if they pick up six or more seats, a distinct possibility, come January they can organize and run the Senate without him. If they're still angry, they can strip him of his committee assignments and even expel him from the Democratic caucus.

If McCain wins ― and Lieberman could get partial credit or blame, depending on where you stand ― a Cabinet post would look mighty attractive. Of course, he would have to be confirmed by a Senate committee dominated by these same Democrats, and that would be another in a series of seemingly nonstop political spectacles.

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