Joe Lieberman, fresh from a Fox News appearance smearing Barack Obama--a man whose endorsement he pleaded for, and received, in his tight reelection race less than two years ago--is now evidently angling for a speaking role, perhaps even the keynote address, at the GOP convention in September:

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....

“If Sen. McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will,” Lieberman said in a brief interview. Lieberman said he doubts McCain will ask him to give a keynote address, but acknowledges the subject has yet to come up in the two senators’ discussions. Lieberman aide said even though there are no plans for the Independent to give a speech at the convention, it is a “likely possibility” he will address the Republican audience in some form.

 And then there's this, from comments Joe gave to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation last week:

As an Independent, it doesn’t bother me at all to be honored at the same dinner with Rush Limbaugh. In fact, to show you how much things have changed for me, one of my greatest missions this year is to convince Rush to support the Republican candidate for President! The truth is I greatly admire Rush’s love for our country and support for our troops, as shown by his remarks tonight and his generous support of MCLEF. Rush has a big voice but he has heart that is even bigger.

I'm tempted to compare Lieberman to Zell Miller, but I don't actually think that's quite right. Zell was a bitter old crank who was getting out of politics. Lieberman, by contrast, doesn't seem ready to retire and--presumably realizing he'll never get reelected in Connecticut and is done in Democratic politics--is shamelessly auditioning for a post in a McCain administration. Ah, loyalty.

--Christopher Orr