Marshall Wittman Envy & a 2008 McCain-Lieberman Ticket

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The politically ambidextrous king of one-line political zingers Marshall Wittman has made bloggers and traditional style journalists go bonkers the last couple of days. He’s going back to work in the Senate, but this time for an Independent.
I wondered what was going on when Wittman moth-balled on November 17th his thoughtful blog, The Bull Moose, which frequently seemed to be tracking issues similar to what I was writing and thinking about (or I him) — with us occasionally on quite opposite sides of an issue.
Today, the New York Times‘ Mark Leibovich penned a quite harsh treatment of Wittman’s political profile and work career on the occasion of Senator Joseph Lieberman hiring “the bull moose” to be his new communications director.


Here’s some of this biting review:

To say that Mr. Wittmann defies classification is like saying Paris Hilton defies modesty. But in his peripatetic soul, he is a Washington Original, a man without a political country going to work for a senator without a political party.
Mr. Lieberman, a longtime Democrat of Connecticut who was re-elected as an independent and calls himself an “Independent Democrat,” has not ruled out becoming a Republican.
Mr. Wittmann, meanwhile, is a Trotskyite turned Zionist turned Reaganite turned bipartisan irritant turned pretty much everything in between — including chief lobbyist for the Christian Coalition, the only Jew who has ever held that position.
“Jewish mothers do not raise their Jewish sons to work for the Christian Coalition,” said Mr. Wittmann, offering one of many explanations for why that job was not an ideal fit.
“I think I’m the only person who has worked for both Cesar Chavez and Linda Chavez,” Mr. Wittmann said of the union pioneer who inspired him in the 1970s and the conservative Republican whose Senate campaign in Maryland he joined in the 1980s.
“I think I’m the only person who’s worked for both Ralph Reed and Bruce Reed,” Mr. Wittmann added, referring to the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and the top lieutenant to former President Bill Clinton.

Wittman appears to be politically amoral, but that might not be fair. I’ve met him numerous times and have marveled at his ability to see the nugget of a political idea that escaped everyone else and then market that dark horse notion into dominating mainstream political discourse.
It angers people that Wittman has worked for ALL sides, and he has — but in the case of many Washington insiders, what is driving this Wittman frenzy is pure jealousy because he has so regularly and frequently outmaneuvered Washington’s population of turbo-charged opportunists.
Until I met Wittman and looked at his resume, I thought I was a stand-out having worked for Richard Nixon in his latter years and then worked in the Senate for Democrat Senator Jeff Bingaman. I knew a few others like that — William Reinsch worked for Senator John Heinz on the Republican side and then jumped to Senator Jay Rockefeller. Today, Bernie Toon, former Chief of Staff to Senators Bill Bradley and Jeff Bingaman now works for Richard Lugar.
But we are all very small time cases of ideologically-blind policy wonks compared to Wittman.
What those heaping scorn on Wittman are missing, however, is what his employment by Lieberman really means.
When political giants tie up, it’s not an accident.
Lieberman’s acquisition of Marshall Wittman, who is very close to John McCain, signals a calculation by some that McCain and Lieberman might tie up for the 2008 Presidential run. The progressive left will start choking at this point, coughing and convulsing uncontrollably — but reason needs to be gripped for a moment.
McCain and Lieberman would be a formidable challenge for any Democratic opponent because even though both are now self-described neoconservatives and strongly supported America’s botched war against Iraq, to many pundits they would “seem like” the very epitome of centrism.
John McCain and Joseph Lieberman are also both attracted to Marshall Wittman because of his work and thinking about a “new campaign of national greatness.”
The framing of those five words already outperform most of the lead challengers on the Democratic side — perhaps with the exception of Barack Obama who really is sizzling.
It would be a mistake to see McCain and Lieberman as the champions of a new centrist political ethic, but the cosmetics of their partnership will be too seductive for many pundits who will fall for the deal.
Wittman is smart, and he will possibly be the midwife of a McCain-Lieberman campaign — and rather than railing against Wittman, people need to get smart and outmaneuver those who want to steal the center away from Democrats in the next big political race.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

49 comments on “Marshall Wittman Envy & a 2008 McCain-Lieberman Ticket

  1. Fred says:

    Is it Wittman or Wittmann?

    Reply

  2. Pissed Off American says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-welch26nov26,0,3481494.story
    Do we need another T.R.?
    If John McCain gets his way, you’ll have your faith in the country restored … or else!
    By Matt Welch, Matt Welch is assistant editor of the editorial pages of The Times. matt.welch@latimes.com
    November 26, 2006
    YOU CAN READ 1,000 profiles of GOP presidential front-runner John McCain without encountering a single paragraph examining his core ideological philosophy. His career is filled with such distracting drama — torture at the Hanoi Hilton, noisy conversion to the campaign-finance-reform faith, political suicide on the Straight Talk Express — that by the time you’re done with the highlights, and perhaps a few “maverick” anecdotes, time’s up.
    People are forever filling in the blanks with their own political fantasies. Third party candidate! John Kerry running mate! Far-right warmonger! Republican In Name Only! But with the announcement that the popular Arizona senator has formed his presidential exploratory committee, it’s time for our long national guessing game to end.
    Sifting through McCain’s four bestselling books and nearly three decades of work on Capitol Hill, a distinct approach toward governance begins to emerge. And it’s one that the electorate ought to be particularly worried about right now. McCain, it turns out, wants to restore your faith in the U.S. government by any means necessary, even if that requires thousands of more military deaths, national service for civilians and federal micromanaging of innumerable private transactions. He’ll kick down the doors of boardroom and bedroom, mixing Democrats’ nanny-state regulations with the GOP’s red-meat paternalism in a dangerous brew of government activism. And he’s trying to accomplish this, in part, for reasons of self-realization.
    The first clue to McCain’s philosophy lies in two seemingly irrelevant items of gossip: His father was a drunk, and his second wife battled addiction to pain pills. Neither would be worth mentioning except for the fact that McCain’s books and speeches are shot through with the language and sentiment of 12-step recovery, especially Steps 1 (admitting the problem) and 2 (investing faith in a “Power greater than ourselves”).
    Like many alcoholics who haven’t quite made it to Step 6 (becoming “entirely ready” to have these defects removed), McCain is disarmingly talented at admitting his narcissistic flaws. In his 2002 book “Worth the Fighting For,” the senator is constantly confessing his problems of “selfishness,” “immaturity,” “ambition” and especially “temper,” though he also makes clear that his outbreaks of anger can be justifiable and even laudable when channeled into “a cause greater than self-interest.”
    “A rebel without a cause is just a punk,” he explains. “Whatever you’re called — rebel, unorthodox, nonconformist, radical — it’s all self-indulgence without a good cause to give your life meaning.”
    What is this higher power that ennobles McCain’s crankiness? Just as it is for many soldiers, it’s the belief that Americans “were meant to transform history” and that sublimating the individual in the service of that “common national cause” is the wellspring of honor and purpose. (But unlike most soldiers, McCain has been in a position to prod and even compel civilians to join his cause.)
    Liberals and conservatives alike fail to truly reflect his views, McCain writes, because “neither emphasizes the obligations of a free people to the nation.” His main governmental inspiration is Teddy Roosevelt, the “Eastern swell who became a man of the people,” whose great accomplishment was “to summon the American people to greatness.” In Roosevelt’s code, McCain writes approvingly, it was “absolutely required that every loyal citizen take risks for the country’s sake.” This is an essentially militaristic view of citizenship, one that explains many of McCain’s departures from partisan orthodoxy. Unlike traditional Republicans, he will gladly butt into the affairs of private industry if he perceives them to be undermining Americans’ faith in government; unlike Democrats, he thinks the executive branch generally needs more power, not less.
    “Our greatness,” he wrote in “Worth the Fighting For,” “depends upon our patriotism, and our patriotism is hardly encouraged when we cannot take pride in the highest public institutions.” So, because steroids might be damaging the faith of young baseball fans, drug testing becomes a “transcendent issue,” requiring threats of federal intervention unless pro sports leagues shape up. Hollywood’s voluntary movie-rating system? A “smoke screen to provide cover for immoral and unconscionable business practices.” Ultimate Fighting on Indian reservations? “Barbaric” and worthy of government pressure on cable TV companies. Negative political ads by citizen groups? They “do little to further beneficial debate and healthy political dialogue” and so must be banned for 60 days before an election if they mention a candidate by name.
    If his issues line up with yours, and if you’re not overly concerned by an activist federal government, McCain can be a great and sympathetic ally. But chances are he will eventually see a grave national threat in what you consider harmless, or he’ll prescribe a remedy that you consider unconscionable. Nowhere is that more evident than in his ideas about the Iraq war.
    McCain has been banging the drum from nearly Day One to put more boots on the ground in Iraq. “There are a lot of things that we can do to salvage this,” he said on “Meet the Press” on Nov. 12, “but they all require the presence of additional troops.” McCain is more inclined to start wars and increase troop levels than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. He has supported every U.S. military intervention of the last two decades, urged both presidents to rattle their sabers louder over North Korea and Iran, lamented the Pentagon’s failure to intervene in Darfur and Rwanda and supported a general policy of “rogue state rollback.” He’s a fan of Roosevelt’s Monroe-Doctrine-on-steroids stick-wielding in Latin America. And — like Bush — he thinks too much multilateralism can screw up a perfectly good war.
    The price of all this war-making, in money and manpower, would be staggering; it’s hard to imagine without a draft (McCain has long been a fan of mandatory national service, at the least). But the costs to his political ambitions may even be greater. The nation is in no mood for the war we’ve got now, let alone a doubling-down on Iraq and ramped-up unilateralist tough talk in the Middle East. The trend lines of public opinion on these counts are not pointing in McCain’s direction.
    One of the many charming confessions in “Worth the Fighting For” is McCain’s complaint that the man he replaced in the Senate — Republican icon Barry Goldwater — was “never as affectionate as I would have liked.” Small wonder.
    Goldwater, a man who seemed to emanate from Arizona’s dust, was the paragon of limited government, believing to his core that the feds shouldn’t tell you how to run a business or whom you can sleep with. McCain, on the other hand, is a third-generation D.C. insider who carpetbagged his way into office, believing to his core that “national pride will not survive the people’s contempt for government.” On Nov. 7, those conflicting worldviews collided when Arizonans voted on whether to outlaw gay marriage. McCain campaigned in favor of the ban, in the name of “preserving the sanctity” of heterosexual unions. His exhortations went down to surprising defeat. Not, one suspects, for the last time.

    Reply

  3. charles belenchia says:

    Senator McCain—Senator Lieberman—Which one gets TOP BILLING and what party will offer these two incompetents for our highest office. There would be no contest if these two ran for NATIONAL HOTAIR CHAMPIONS (with no balloon–category)…Charles Belenchia

    Reply

  4. Jeff Barea says:

    Seriously,
    Do any of you even know the terms you’re throwing out?
    Those that think they are Democrats, liberals, or even caring intellectuals because they throw out hack phrases remind me of Shakespeare’s writing about sound and fury… signifying… what it does…
    Being anti-Bush doesn’t make you a liberal. Being anti-war enough to commit violence doesn’t make you a lover of peace. Hating Liebermen doesn’t make him a (wow) christo-fascist. It just makes you petty for losing – oh, and anti-democratic to boot.
    Can you imagine if anarchists started creating organizations and membership drives. Coordinating rallies and traveling to meetings? Working together for a common goal? At what point do they stop being anarchists?
    Lieberman kicked some major booty and stayed a Senator. That’s the definition of credibility when it happens in an overwhelmingly liberal democratic state.

    Reply

  5. luke at large says:

    Since they are both proven they don’t have a single new idea on Iraq, and since our current administration is bound and determined to blow up the middle east before it is done….the only person who will have a hare’s chance in hell come 2008 will be someone who has either been against the war (Obama) or has been on the sidelines (Gore). The rest of the wannabes will watch as this country erupts into smoldering anti-war fanatasism.

    Reply

  6. Berken says:

    Bravo to the blunt honesty of so many comments on this blog. McCain & Lieberman have nothing to offer in 2008 except their lack of moral and intellectual integrity. They don’t have a platform they dare present in public (that is, beyond the screen of their devoted supporters in the national media.) In an actual campaign, people would notice their beliefs are those of right-wing Republicans with a light varnish of righteousness.
    Rational Republicans like Hagel or Romney would crush McCain & Lieberman in the primaries. Guiliani can’t win the Republican nomination, his views on the key issues are to the left of most Democrats. He couldn’t be more doomed as a Republican nominee if he were a gay, black, female named after Che Guevara.
    Any one of a half-dozen Democrats could utterly destroy McCain and Lieberman in the general election. Most of the leading Dems have a platform to run on–beltway types like Wittman seldom pay any attention to what Democrats actually write and say, so they wouldn’t know about this–and the Democrats have the opportuntity to put much of it before the people and in range of Bush’s veto pen in the 110th Congress.
    I followed the Bullmoose a few years back when he expounded an understandable and sensible centrist, progressive tone. Then he caught that brain fever of so many “centrists” that requires him to loath beyond measure honest Democratic progressives while deferring to the corporatist criminals, religious fanatics, and hustlers destroying the Republican party. All that blog space where he could have been advocating new ideas is now devoted to hateful screeds without any rationale or evidence. These are waste of time from anywhere in the political spectrum.

    Reply

  7. Jay C says:

    Sorry, I’ll have to join the pile-on and add my utter lack of impressedness with Marshall Wittman to the discussion: – his “Bull Moose” shtick might be an interesting read the first couple of times, but after a bit, one realizes that his principal thesis – in just about everything – is a near-pathological aversion to anything at all that might even remotely be considered as “leftist”; coupled with a driving need to caution (i.e. scold) the Democratic Party against even seeming to adopt anything approaching “leftist” policies. Which of course, positions The Moose (by design) smack in the middle of the “Sane Center”: with admiration and plaudits for his wisdom and moderation graciously accepted, of course.
    Feh.
    Hack.
    End of story (but with sequels available on his blog!).

    Reply

  8. Mikey says:

    McCain Lieberman?
    1) The Christain hard right evangelical side doesn’t trust McCain… but might not mind Lieberman on proIsrael grounds…. and might even really like him. Somehow they’ll connect electing a Jew to VP in their minds to the second coming of you know who.
    2) But, oddly, the Republican Non-Evangelical non-hardcore-on-Israel folks won’t go for a Jewish republican/”independent democrat” (Lieberman)… because of traditional antisemitism to some degree… that’s the last pocket of it, and it won’t show up in the polls, only at the polling places.
    3) Some nominal Dems will defect toward McCain Lieberman, but that will be partly balanced by lack of enthusiasm on the right as described above.
    4) A competent charismatic Democratic candidate will nail McCain on abortion and other betrayals of alleged moderate-ness…
    5) Competent means not Hillary, not Kerry.
    6) Obama would be fascinating choice…. Boring old grumpy guys versus the New America. He’s young. But just imagine. But he sure is young. I don’t know. He would make McCain look OLD.
    7) Clark… has he improved as a candidate? Maybe he’d be OK. Even he would make McCain and Lieberman look OLD.
    8) Feingold at VP could show America what a real mainstream (ie progressive) Jew stands for in American politics…. and neutralize many Jewish losses to a McCain-Lieberman ticket.
    9) Please go home John Kerry and Hillary Clinton…. you are old old old. I say it every year about someone, and then don’t do it, but this time I really mean it. If either of you are the best the Dems can do, I’m staying home. A party that nominates you losers deserves to lose and lose again.

    Reply

  9. Jim C says:

    Their campaign slogan could be ” Two opportunistic rightwing neanderthals for the price of one ” .

    Reply

  10. darker says:

    McCain/Lieberman = Bobbsey Twins take a thumpin’ next.
    They’re such old, old news. And they’re too old, too.
    They can’t inspire.
    It’s time to retire.
    Bye-bye…

    Reply

  11. Paul in Austin says:

    I am theoretically attracted to a Centrist package like McCain/Lieberman. But I would want them to lay out a compelling Centrist agenda to get me excited. Can they lay out moderate/centrist remedies to the top 15 controverial issues of the day:
    Abortion, gay marriage, energy, ethics, health care, SS, fair trade, …

    Reply

  12. section9 says:

    You stupid mokes. Liberals are so predictable.
    McCain won’t win the nomination. What you people know about the Republican Party can be put in a small UPS box and buried with Pierre Gemayel.
    Neither will Mitt Romney. He is stupidly going after the Macaca lobby, and that’s after Jimmy Webb boxed Macaca into retirement.
    Nope. Rudy Giuliani will be the nominee, and he’ll pick Condi as the running mate. And there are other scenarios out there on the boil, even more frightening for the Dems.
    Funny thing is, you people are too committed to Hillary not to nominate her. This will be a bloody Dem primary.
    Count on it.

    Reply

  13. horseloverfat says:

    Woodrow Wilson (D) was elected running against the Bull Moose Party and the GOP.

    Reply

  14. Rich says:

    Moving Bradley to Lugar is nowhere near the leap of going from Cesar Chavez to Linda (“Hispanic when it’s convenient” Chavez. And Nixon was a moderate when he wasn’t simply an opportunist. Wittman’s blog was tedious and pedantic. He’s zigzigs and adoptions of Lieberman suggest that he lacks a center, moral, political or otherwise, rather than the lack of a “center” with in the world of elcetoral politica or political ideology.

    Reply

  15. della Rovere says:

    Quel Surpris!!! Carroll understands “left” hatred of Bushbot Lieberman as an expression of anti-semitism. Isn’t it wonderful that the mentally disadvantaged have such a handy explanation of everything that bothers them.

    Reply

  16. MP says:

    “not sure that i agree with you, foo. i understand that marshall’s services are very much in demand in d.c. and as for lieberman’s “slide to irrelevance,” the guy just won by 11%.”
    Not only that, but the Dems won by moving to the middle, which is actually pretty progressive in terms of social issues (“progressive” in today’s terms anyway). That’s the big story of this election IMO. The “radical center” is Wittman’s big thesis and one reason, I think, that he’s sought employment on all sides of an issue. He can’t tolerate the extremes. People on the extremes are losing their jobs. Cry about it in the wilderness, you’re still in the wilderness.

    Reply

  17. weldon berger says:

    Bigelow: Democrats can’t prevent the administration sending more troops unless they refuse to fund the endeavor, and even that really isn’t in their power: the costs will be included in a future supplementary budget request, not the current one, at which point refusing to pay will amount to stranding the troops. That’s not going to happen.
    Whoever gets the last word on Iraq before the 2008 elections will probably get saddled with it; the best anyone can say (true or not) is that theirs was the least bad option.

    Reply

  18. winnipeger says:

    Whittman’s history was catching up to him. Certainly the Democratic party was rapidly moving away from him and his mealy analyses. This move is less one of brilliance and more one of desperation. The Lieberman constituency is all he’s got left. He has two years to somehow halt Lieberman’s slide to irrelevance. Best of luck to him.
    Posted by foo at November 23, 2006 12:40 PM
    not sure that i agree with you, foo. i understand that marshall’s services are very much in demand in d.c. and as for lieberman’s “slide to irrelevance,” the guy just won by 11%.

    Reply

  19. foo says:

    Um, envy Marshall Whittman? Nobody listens to him any more.
    Whittman’s history was catching up to him. Certainly the Democratic party was rapidly moving away from him and his mealy analyses. This move is less one of brilliance and more one of desperation. The Lieberman constituency is all he’s got left. He has two years to somehow halt Lieberman’s slide to irrelevance. Best of luck to him.

    Reply

  20. vachon says:

    If Carville was taken out in about a day and a half, how long do you think Lieberman/Bull will last. It’d be amusing to watch, though. For about 15 seconds.

    Reply

  21. bigelow says:

    It’s the Democrats that are being set up to “own Iraq.” McCain, probably Lieberman, Gen. Batiste, and many others are demanding that more troops be sent to Iraq for glorious victory knowing it can’t and will not be done since the Dems will likely block escalation. Then the cut and run rhetoric comes back and the Dems get pinned with having lost the war we could have won. Same playbook from Vietnam times. McCain and Lieberman say with them at the helm Iraq would not have been lost, the neo-cons have new life, and let’s all hope that Rangel’s draft bill gets watered down to at least firing up the county Selective Service boards and issuing draft cards so that everybody has a stake in the neo-con Act II as the McCain/Lieberman administration shows us their foreign policy tough guy chops, aka “national greatness,” the same prideful God Blesses America the Greatest Country in the World! that got us in the fix we find ourselves today.
    And Lieberman’s cloying droning monotone, OMFG !!!

    Reply

  22. Mrs. K8 says:

    I don’t know why you think the blogs are “missing” the notion of a so-called “Unity” ticket featuring McCain and Lieberman, both of whom share an abiding devotion to their number one value — opportunism.
    Over at Firedoglake in the comment sections, folks have been discussing just this match-up for some time now.

    Reply

  23. buck turgidson says:

    It’s quite amusing that the man with few political loyalties, except his own paycheck, moves from the staff of one to the staff of another Senator with strong political ambitions for which he’d be willing to sacrifice almost anything, but certainly any principles that people used to associate with him. Lieberman has been yelling at everyone that he’s still a Democrat, while his positions have been moving further and further to the Right. He also ignored the will of his own state’s Democrats by courting the support of Republicans in his reelection campaign, after the Dems threw him out on his rear. McCain has gone from maverick and independent–questionable terms to begin with, but more applicable to him than any other Republican–to a kiss-up to every social conservative and Christo-Fascist cause that he can lay his lips on. Sucking up to Jerry Falwell’s ass was only a symptom.
    Great! We have a moderately unprincipled hack helping to unite two highly unprincipled politicians. What a piece of work!

    Reply

  24. Carroll says:

    I think we can safely assume BullMoose is not going to work for Joe because he is really fond of the democrats.
    I see nothing about BullMoose to be impressed about…except he got the “Bull” part right. Just another hack.
    It’s hysterically funny how all the political hacks call each other “smart”. It’s like some little career requirement in DC where they all have nothing to judge anything by except other hacks like themselves so they all agree to call the other guy smart so the other guy will also call them smart.
    http://bullmooseblogger.blogspot.com/archives/2006_07_23_bullmooseblogger_ar
    chive.html
    The degree of left hatred toward Joe sometimes betrays something deeper. One
    can see it on the threads on left wing web sites where they routinely refer
    to “Holy Joe” and charge him with dual loyalty to Israel. Anti-Semitism will
    often not speak its name directly, but there is a distinct undercurrent that
    may explain some of the irrational venom.
    Anti-Semitism is certainly not a primary factor driving the opposition to
    Joe. But, it is there. If you seek hostility to Jews and Israel, you will
    find it in the same left wing blogosphere that spreads the vile venom
    against Lieberman.”

    Reply

  25. weldon berger says:

    It bugs me when you say stuff like “I’ve … marveled at his ability to see the nugget of a political idea that escaped everyone else and then market that dark horse notion into dominating mainstream political discourse” without providing an example and questioning whether or not the nugget actually should be dominating the political discourse. Most of the nuggets dominating the political discourse during the past six years were not exactly gold.

    Reply

  26. Prabhata says:

    Bring it on! It will be rewarding to see McCain and Lieberman rejected at the polls.

    Reply

  27. Ben Rosengart says:

    If politicians were stocks, I’d have shorted McCain a long time ago. The press loves him, and I guess the public does for now, but I suspect that the public’s support for him is “soft” and will crumble at his first misstep.
    We’ll see.

    Reply

  28. Fred F. says:

    A McCain/Leiberman ticket would be a media love-fest and a political wash since neither of them has the ability to *move* the public in passionate way. Clinton obviously had that talent and sadly so did Bush.
    Obama TOTALLY has that ability, but it’s not all that’s needed. For those that say Obama doesn’t have Executive experience, look at George Bush, he had lots and look what good it did him.
    We need a Prez. in ’08 that is DIPLOMATIC. All else is secondary.
    Btw, I believe Hillary to be the most politically adept candidate out there, she could crush McCain when it comes to fund-raising and political maneuvering, she just startes with such a serious deficit and “I already don’t like her” opinion from so many it’ll be a hard win.

    Reply

  29. winnipeger says:

    “DLC’ers are Republicans with white hats.”
    funny 🙂

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  30. Jon Stopa says:

    The only good that came out of the Democrats defeat in 2000 is that Leiberman never became Vice President.

    Reply

  31. jen says:

    “Wes Clark/ and ? VP will wins hands over John ‘I will say anything to get elected’ McCain and his Joe “No Credibility” Lieberman…”
    My thoughts exactly, SaneSoutherner!
    The best part would be to see General Clark confront LIEberman about accusing him of being a Repub in the ’04 debates! LOL!!
    McCain/LIEberman would be as disastrous for this country as Jr/Cheney has been, and could well be the end of this grand experiment called the United States of America.

    Reply

  32. Marky says:

    DLC’ers are Republicans with white hats.
    They love Lieberman.

    Reply

  33. winnipeger says:

    McCain-Lieberman? I would like to see it happen if only to witness Joe make history as the first Vice Presidential candidate to be on a losing ticket for both major political parties.
    Posted by: FDR_Democrat at November 22, 2006 07:27 PM
    hilarious, FDR!
    also, all this conjecture about ’08 may be entertaining, but it is darn near meaningless. 2 “political” years in this 500 channel, 24 hour news cycle, coming-apart-at-the-seams day and age is much, much more than a lifetime.
    either way, lieberman is beyond lucky to have landed the bullmoose as a communications director. many pols on both sides of the aisle would love to have him messaging for them.
    steve, any word on how this news was received at the DLC? have his former colleagues, clients and patrons gone ballistic?

    Reply

  34. Campbell says:

    Campbell
    Thank you Hollywood and the Dateline team, also the SBS journalist for a wonderful year of enlightenments of world currant affairs that no commercial TV had the guts to show us. They were too busy selling us American TV crap all year round and making our kids obese with their obnoxious advertising.
    And A nice Xmas to all of you, don’t pray for any gifts, because the mythical god is on vacation, you will have to buy what ever you want yourselves for you and your kids.
    He or she was certainly on vacation when you showed us the atrocities committed by the US and Israeli war criminals in the Gaza Strip last night, The Israeli propaganda Machine was at it again, telling Palestinians to spend their money of schools and Hospital infrastructure, so the Zionist can blow them away again.
    They have created scenarios that has galvanised ALL Palestinians now, to detest the US and Israel for their inhumane acts of massive aggression and destruction of towns and Villages, not only in Palestine but Lebanon as well, and to deprive them of fish and the right to feed their families, imposing inhumane sanctions are atrocious.
    The Myth was also on vacation in Iraq where an est. 650,000 were killed and with women and Children having their limbs torn from their bodies.
    I would also like to thank the posters, who done their homework and research, who have enlightened and educated me on their views on the Middle East and other countries who have suffered from inhumane treatment, notably in the poor African countries and Burma where millions of lives have been needlessly lost through greed and corruption. The myth was also on vacation in those countries too. No bread and fish for them.
    But NO thanks to G W Bush for his bungling , and the American people, who eventually saw through his cronyism and made him a lame duck literally, it was a day of rejoicing for them when the mid-term election results came through and the lunitic was suprised OH MY. The Old adage, That you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, came true with that madman.
    Even Tony Blair, seeing his New Labour Party disintegrating before his eyes, because of his bullshit and lies, he at last has come out and admitted that Iraq was a disaster, but the dope still wants to stay the course along with Australia’s little corporal, the high flying photo seeking, at every opportunity with sports stars Johnny Howard.
    Have A good one Comrades and don’t forget to attend the rallies on the 30th November to show your disgust and contempt with little Johnnies IR laws and his Nuclear ambitions for Australia….And may the New Year bring some sanity back into the planet that is slowly being eroded… CHEERS FOR NOW!!

    Reply

  35. della Rovere says:

    thoughtful blog? have you ever read his putrid crap? really.When he dismisses progressive blogs in toto without any particulars. yes. very thoughtful. in the land of the blind, the one-eyed being is king. what does that say about you?

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  36. Marky says:

    Maybe the Bush mafia wants a Republican to lose in 08, to give Jeb a better shot in ’12.

    Reply

  37. FDR_Democrat says:

    McCain-Lieberman? I would like to see it happen if only to witness Joe make history as the first Vice Presidential candidate to be on a losing ticket for both major political parties.

    Reply

  38. Judy says:

    I have a feeling that McCain/Lieberman will not appeal to Democrats, but will split the Republican vote a la Perot.

    Reply

  39. km4 says:

    > Wittman is smart, and he will possibly be the midwife of a McCain-Lieberman campaign
    Whatever….
    Wes Clark/ and ? VP will wins hands over John ‘I will say anything to get elected’ McCain and his Joe “No Credibility” Lieberman.
    Wes Clark ‘walks the walk’ and has clearly showed why he is the gold standard of leadership in the Democratic party today. Clark has the credentials and cahones to take on the opposition face to face and obliterate them and yes that includes McCain/Lieberman.
    Here’s more….
    The reason the pundits can’t wrap their heads around Clark is because they can’t wrap their heads around us, the American people. Wesley Clark is one of those Democrats whose views most accurately reflect the views of the vast majority of us. We’re for the most part people with deeply held values, concern for our fellow man, not opposed to protecting ourselves if need be, and a very common-sense grasp of realities, both domestic and foreign.
    The pundits have no clue about the real people (ah, that mythical little man!) in this country, ergo they have no clue about Clark.
    He puzzles them because we puzzle them. They dismiss him the same way they dismiss us, the same way they dismissed Webb and Tester and other populist candidates earlier this year. A veteran by definition can’t be against war, a rural gun-owning farmer can’t be for progressive social programs, and a General can’t be a leading voice regarding global warming.
    The press says: “Stick to your damn niches! We have dictated the roles available in the public debate, and you WILL audition for one of them.” Wesley Clark, like Howard Dean, won’t play their game by picking up the assigned script.
    I’d love nothing better than to see Wes Clark run in 2008, and will gladly be part of his hard-working grassroots if he does.
    by SaneSoutherner on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 07:50:19 AM PST

    Reply

  40. km4 says:

    > Wittman is smart, and he will possibly be the midwife of a McCain-Lieberman campaign
    This is hilarious Steve Clemons and I say bring it on !!!
    Wes Clark/ and ? VP will wins hands over John ‘I will say anything to get elected’ McCain and his Joe “No Credibility” Lieberman.
    Wes Clark ‘walks the walk’ and has clearly showed why he is the gold standard of leadership in the Democratic party today. Clark has the credentials and cahones to take on the opposition face to face and obliterate them and yes that includes McCain/Lieberman.
    Here’s more….
    The reason the pundits can’t wrap their heads around Clark is because they can’t wrap their heads around us, the American people. Wesley Clark is one of those Democrats whose views most accurately reflect the views of the vast majority of us. We’re for the most part people with deeply held values, concern for our fellow man, not opposed to protecting ourselves if need be, and a very common-sense grasp of realities, both domestic and foreign.
    The pundits have no clue about the real people (ah, that mythical little man!) in this country, ergo they have no clue about Clark.
    He puzzles them because we puzzle them. They dismiss him the same way they dismiss us, the same way they dismissed Webb and Tester and other populist candidates earlier this year. A veteran by definition can’t be against war, a rural gun-owning farmer can’t be for progressive social programs, and a General can’t be a leading voice regarding global warming.
    The press says: “Stick to your damn niches! We have dictated the roles available in the public debate, and you WILL audition for one of them.” Wesley Clark, like Howard Dean, won’t play their game by picking up the assigned script.
    I’d love nothing better than to see Wes Clark run in 2008, and will gladly be part of his hard-working grassroots if he does.
    by SaneSoutherner on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 07:50:19 AM PST

    Reply

  41. Marky says:

    One matchup I don’t recall reading about is Gore vs. Hillary in the Dem primaries.
    I think campaigning against Gore would be very problematic for Hillary.

    Reply

  42. Marky says:

    Even more than McCain or Lieberman, I suspect that Hillary’s “ownership” of Iraq is going to severely dim her luster over the next two years.
    She has been so committed to winning the moderate Republican vote through her unwavering support for the Iraq war that she might be blown away in the primaries.
    Obama lacks courage. He needed to call for troop withdrawal now. His call to do so in six months is an echo in reverse of the refrain from the right that we must wait six months, then see.
    The Iraqi people—those still alive—deserve better from Obama, as do our troops.
    I think the winner in 2008 will come out of the small group of politicians who have not played the Iraq war for their own political advantage.
    Howard Dean is actually the only person I can think of who fits that description. Hmm…. probably Feingold too, now that I think about it.
    Obama just had his chance, but he blew it.
    It’s not too late for him though.

    Reply

  43. jinny says:

    The combination of McCain/Lieberman is just as repulsive to me, as I’m sure it will be to many others, as is Bush/Cheney.

    Reply

  44. gq says:

    Got any thoughts on the upcoming Arab Strategy Forum, Steve? What should we look for, etc.?

    Reply

  45. Paul says:

    Now we know why Lieberman was so intent on being a party of “one”. He has aspirations of being the 2nd highest official in the land. What a perfect pair of “centrists”. The media will gooble this up hook line and sinker without even a question being asked. Get ready for the straight talk express or as I call it–the obfuscation station.
    Paul

    Reply

  46. Steve Clemons says:

    Dan — that might be the right call in fact. Hard to see, but I do think that smart political strategists will do whatever they can to push a McCain-Lieberman ticket into the “own Iraq” space — and not forfeit the centrist space to them on other political and policy fronts.
    There’s a lot of excitement about Obama, and I hope it’s not a passing fad.
    More later — Steve Clemons

    Reply

  47. Marky says:

    Wittman’s brand of knee-jerk left hatred has worn thin over the last three years.
    Expect him to castigate those who do not support SS privatization as “jihadists” and “fifth columnists”.
    I’m glad that loser is working for Lieberman.

    Reply

  48. Dan Kervick says:

    I would relish the opportunity to go up against McCain and Lieberman. Despite McCain’s current popularity, I’m fairly confident that by 2008 both men will be seen as relics of a rapidly vanishing era: two old white guys (72 and 66 in 2008) hanging on to a disintegrating global paradigm and narrative, while most Americans will already have moved on to the next chapter.

    Reply

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