Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mr. Irrelevant

After garnering quite a bit of attention in 2008 by endorsing John McCain over Barack Obama, some were curious who Joe Lieberman would endorse this time around.  Apparently, he actually had a hard time deciding, telling Fox a couple days ago that he was thinking about supporting Trump.  It seems the "second amendment" threat tipped him the other way, as he has now come out in favor of Hillary Clinton.

As you might recall, Joe traveled all around the country with Mackie 8 years ago, and there was some speculation McCain would pick him as his VP, but Joe didn't have enough clout among the religious conservatives, so we got Sarah Palin instead.  No matter, Joe still gave his full-throated support to his Senate buddy, while everyone else was questioning such an absurd choice.

Despite being one of the featured speakers at the Republican convention, the Democrats still let Lieberman caucus with them in the next Senate session.   Nonetheless, Joe couldn't bring himself to endorse Obama in 2012 either, choosing instead to sit that election out.  He also chose to retire from politics, and has quietly assumed a role in a group that goes by the name of No Labels, promoting a "middle way" in politics.  It seems to be the place has-been politicians end up when they have no clout left in their own parties.

It would have been surprising if Lieberman had supported Trump, who has been the most deeply divisive political candidate in decades, but Joe likes to keep people guessing with the hope they will seek his political advice.

Joe's moment of glory was finding himself on the same ticket with Al Gore in 2000.  It was perhaps the most boring presidential ticket since Harding and Coolidge.  They managed to garner more votes than Bush/Cheney nationwide, but failed to win the key electoral state of Florida by a paltry 500 votes.   I never understood what Gore thought he gained by putting Lieberman on the ticket.  It was probably the first time many persons ever heard of him.  Usually, you pick someone from a swing state, like Florida, to be your running mate.  Senator Bob Graham would have been a great choice, but Gore did just about everything a presidential candidate could do to lose that election.

So, why should anyone take Lieberman's advice?  He didn't help Gore in 2000 or McCain in 2008, but here he is hoping to play a role in the Clinton campaign.  If I were Hillary, I would keep Joe at a distance, as he appears to be bad luck.

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