Stephen Bainbridge has several posts on the failed campaign of Joe Lieberman. First, he called him a “dead ender” staying in the race for no apparent reason, an opinion that was reinforced by Gore’s endorsement of Dean. And he posts a reader e-mail comparing him to Eyor of Winnie the Pooh fame. Yikes.

I feel sorry for Lieberman and think he’s probably the Democrat currently in the race who is both most suited to govern and who would be the most appealing in the general election.* But he sold his soul to be Al Gore’s running mate, sacrificing much of his main selling point–integrity–in doing so. And he got nothing in return. The Democrat faithful still don’t like him all that much and even Gore isn’t grateful. Indeed, for a man who got elected to the Senate in part because of the active endorsement of National Review and the support of conservatives tired of Lowell Wiecker, it is somewhat ironic that he’s come full circle: the only people who support him now are Republicans.

*Certainly a debatable point. While Lieberman won’t generate the same enthusiasm among the Democratic base as a Dean or even a Clark, my feeling is they hate Bush enough that they’ll turn out for any Democrat. Unless the situation in Iraq gets radically worse, Dean can’t carry a single state in the South, making the electoral college math very, very difficult to do. Lieberman would once again put Florida in play.

The only other Democrat in the race that I could see winning is Clark–althought that may merely be a function of the consensus that he’s a charismatic moderate, which is largely a theory at this point. But I don’t see how he gets the nomination.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kevin Drum says:

    I don’t agree. Sure, there are plenty of Dems who hate Bush enough to vote for anyone else, but they wouldn’t be enthusiastic enough about Lieberman to work for him, contribute to him, and get out the vote for him. That would be the difference, I think.

  2. I find it a bit strange that the the man who was on the ticket with Gore in 2000 didn’t even get his endorsement. What does that tell you – about either Gore, Lieberman, or the dems in general?