By promoting John McCain at the Republican convention tonight, Joe Lieberman made it extremely likely that if the Democrats increase their margin in the senate in November, he will no longer be able to claim a committee chairmanship as a member of the majority party. His was an act of political betrayal. But I have to disagree with Mike Crowley about the quality of his speech. I thought he gave an extremely effective speech on McCain’s behalf.
McCain and the Republicans needed desperately to move toward the center; and Lieberman began that journey for them. Unlike Zell Miller at the Republican convention in 2004, Lieberman didn’t excoriate the opposition. Instead, he devoted the bulk of his speech to portraying McCain as a non-partisan independent who would attack the gridlock in Washington. Unlike Fred Thompson, who preceded him, he didn’t trumpet McCain’s support for conservative causes. Instead, he compared McCain favorably with Bill Clinton. These words were designed to appeal to independents and undecided Democrats--and they may well have done so.
--John B. Judis