Jay Reding.com

Lieberman To Endorse McCain

The Weekly Standard is reporting that Sen. Joe Lieberman will endorse John McCain tomorrow morning. No doubt this will throw the Democrats into paroxysms. Then again, the way they treated Lieberman, it’s unlikely that he would endorse anyone on the Democratic side.

The big question is what this means for McCain. He has the backing of the Des Moines Register and the New Hampshire Union-Leader—which may help him, but it also tends to remind Republicans that he’s the media’s favorite Republican. That doesn’t help him all that much.

Still, McCain was widely seen as out of the race this summer, and now he’s in a position to surprise us all. The best position to be in is the “anyone-but-Huck” camp, and Romney, McCain and Thompson are all in the running for that position. (The other big story is the collapse of Rudy Giuliani’s campaign—although it’s far too early to call him done.) When it comes to the war, McCain is one of the strongest advocates for victory and can claim that he was right about the failures of the Rumsfeld era. When it comes to economic issues, McCain is one of the strongest fiscal conservatives and one of the best position candidates on pork. On social issues, McCain has a solidly pro-life record.

The albatross around McCain’s neck is immigration, but if he can push forward a plan that makes anything looking like amnesty as a distant second to securing the borders that may help him. Indeed, that’s exactly the strategy that McCain has been pushing for a while now.

This race is wide open right now. McCain could be one of the beneficiaries of a race in which any candidate could have an opening. The fact that he can get things pushed through a hostile Congress may work to his advantage, especially in the general election.

In 2003, the Democrats went with “electability” as their mantra. While Kerry was a weak candidate, McCain is not. McCain has the benefit of giving the GOP a real shot at picking up a sizable percentage of independent voters, and he’s right on most of the key issues, and persuadable on the others. McCain has some real momentum behind him now, and as 2003 demonstrated, the guy who’s languishing in the single digits can become the frontrunner overnight…

One response to “Lieberman To Endorse McCain”

  1. Mark says:

    “The big question is what this means for McCain.”

    The only thing the Lieberman endorsement means is that more Connecticut Democrats who supported that clown last year will screaming, “Oh no what have I done!!!!” and waking up in cold sweats. Lieberman is a liar, completely invalidating the assurances he made during last year’s campaign that he was in fact a Democrat, and will almost assuredly be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus after next year’s elections when the Dems gain enough seats to where he loses his kingmaking power. He should be a recipient of his own “Silver Sewer Award”.

    “He has the backing of the Des Moines Register and the New Hampshire Union-Leader—which may help him, but it also tends to remind Republicans that he’s the media’s favorite Republican. That doesn’t help him all that much.”

    In Iowa, the latter scenario is correct. The left-of-center DMR endorsement will reinforce to conservative IA Republicans that McCain is really a “lib’rul” and that’s why the media loves him. The more reasonable Republicans in New Hampshire may take the newspaper endorsements out that way more seriously. Unless Romney wins or finishes a very strong second in Iowa, I’m thinking McCain will narrowly win the NH primary. Would have never seen that happening even three weeks ago.

    “When it comes to economic issues, McCain is one of the strongest fiscal conservatives and one of the best position candidates on pork. On social issues, McCain has a solidly pro-life record.”

    I’m afraid that when it comes to Republican primary voters, they’ve made up their mind that McCain is a “lib’rul” and outside of a few enclaves of moderation like New Hampshire, little will change that. McCain being on the minority side of the immigration issue really did him, but most “real Republicans” didn’t consider him one of them even before that.

    “McCain has the benefit of giving the GOP a real shot at picking up a sizable percentage of independent voters”

    Bingo. If he’s the nominee, Republicans win in a 2-1 electoral vote rout. The difference between McCain and Kerry is that Democratic primary voters didn’t have a visceral hatred towards Kerry heading into the primaries. Now more than ever, most Republicans do hate McCain. I can’t see how he wins anything other than New Hampshire.