Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Real Threat to Democrats: McCain/Lieberman

Though much of the 2008 presidential campaign is still technically ahead of us, the fact is, Arizona Sen. John McCain seems all but certain to win the GOP nomination. Give the plucky war hero some credit. You could've stuck a fork in his campaign just a couple of months ago. Like him or not (and I don't), the guy's a survivor...whether it's enduring 5 years of torture as a North Vietnamese prisoner of war, or as a presidential candidate. After a highly contentious and losing effort in 2000 against the leader of the real Axis of Evil (Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez), 2008 finally looks like John McCain's time in the political sun. And if the scrappy Senator chooses Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate--as I suspect he will--I believe he will not only win the Republican nomination, but also the big prize next November. Democrats should be afraid. Very, very afraid. Against either leading Democrat--NY Senator Hillary Clinton or Illinois Sen. Barack Obama--this would be an unbeatable ticket.

To be sure, a McCain/Lieberman ticket would not only be attractive to run-of-the-mill Republicans, but to conservative Democrats and independents alike. On the religious front, Lieberman would likely draw the Jewish vote, as well as evangelicals, who adore his piousness. And Old Joe is an already vetted, proven entity. Remember that former veep Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 with Lieberman on the ticket. That was eight years ago. Cut to '08, and the big question is this: are voters in the United States--a country unfortunately still riddled with racial, religious and gender discrimination and prejudice--while clearly accepting of a Jew in the White House, ready to elect a Black or a woman? This is not to say that Clinton or Obama cannot win in the general election. But the simple fact is that Republicans and independents are not going to vote for Clinton. And while Obama might fare slightly better with some left-leaning independents, the bulk of these renegades will clearly go to McCain. This landscape presents a steep uphill climb for either Democrat.

Now let's look at McCain for minute. We know he's tough. We know he's a war hero. And while he's without question a military hawk, he does have a deep respect and concern for our servicemen and women, given his own battle scars. Unlike our draft-dodging president, who never knew firsthand the pain and suffering of war, the odds are McCain would think long and hard before sending our troops into battle. And as a relentlessly tortured POW, he also has an unwavering respect for the Geneva Conventions, and was an aggressive opponent of former Attorney General and torture-monger Alberto Gonzalez. This makes him a very attractive choice among the national security crowd. Ditto for Lieberman.

On the fiscal side, while he's certainly not put forth any ground-breaking economic proposals (his recent stimulus plan is "long-term based" and actually quite weak), he is a pro-growth, smaller-government, free-trader who initially opposed the Bush tax cuts but now favors them. Again, these positions will certainly appeal to Repubs, conservative Dems and the highly coveted indies.

And while I for one don't buy into this myth, he's somehow earned the reputation as a moderate, which he is anything but. Not militarily, not fiscally, and certainly not on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. Yet all of this has been tempered by his much-revered rebel status. Someone who marches to the beat of his own drummer. While he's indeed sucked up to, and backed down from, Bush and others on many occasions, this independent cred, and that of Lieberman, could really resonate among voters fed up with Bush, politics and politicians in general. Stack up this ticket against "more Clinton years," as many Republicans and Democrats loudly lament, and you can see how easily it could be for McCain to be our 44th president. And by putting Lieberman on his ticket, McCain, in my opinion, becomes a shoe-in.

So, how real is this threat? A new Los Angeles Time/Bloomberg poll released Thursday has Clinton at just 46% to McCain's 42%. With 10 months to go until the election, and with what we know of McCain's record as a fighter and survivor, these are very scary numbers.

On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us achieve this very important mission. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I agree, only if folks want what we have now. Why would they vote for a pro-war ticket who do not agree with a national health care plan? All the polls are against this point of view. Of course, Bush and his ilk could cause something scary to happen that would shift voters (even if it means he duped them again)

Clinton/Obama in '08!

Now that's a winning ticket!

Unknown said...

I do think it appears that McCain will win the GOP nomination. As for Lieberman I don't think he would be such a wise choice for VP candidate.
With Lieberman on the ticket it would be a lot less likely for the GOP to attract "crossover" votes from Democrats, and I doubt his appeal to independents.

Sidney Condorcet said...

Hillary has built her candidacy around the notion of her "experience." McCain will have no problem bursting that bubble. Sure, she's sat on the Armed Services committee for a few years. However, he has far superior experience with over two decades in Congress (not to mention his military valor)...

He will also pick off independents and moderate Dems...Since she has a pro-Iraq war record, McCain's support for the war will not work against him.

If Obama runs against McCain:
1) he'll be able to compete for independents..
2) his youth and vigor will be a point in his favor against the 72 yr old McCain
3) His outspokeness against the war will give him the freedom to argue that McCain's pro-war position does not resonate w/ the American people and his judgment on national security issues is fundamentally flawed and out-dated (which will work well with the age disparity)

If it's Clinton v. McCain, McCain will win w/ a good 55% of the vote. Let's not commit political suicide, Democrats. Vote for Obama!

Anonymous said...

Two words: IRAQ and ECONOMY. His pro-surge, pro-"victory in Iraq" will assure his loss; and his supporting stance of Bush's "permanent tax cuts," regardless of the deficit, guarantees it. Throw in his positions on immigration and gays and well as his age, and "it's over," no matter who his VP choice is.

Anonymous said...

My heart sank when I read this becuase I know Ostroy is correct and I know this is going to happen. In the beginning I thought it would be Rudy who would win against a woman or a black man. However, McCain is even better because he's socially more acceptable to many. I think he's disgusting and spineless, despite what his war record may be. After Bush lied about him and humliiated him and thus won the election, McCain appeared in public and on TV hugging and even kissing Bush. He behaved like a "battered wife" and I lost all respect for him and trust in him. And, look at how he's molded himself differently for this election. (I am sick of hearing "my friends.") He is not to be trusted. Lieberman is just like him. They are pathetic and will do our country no good. However, they will win because no one in the south or in any other "red" state will vote for a black man or a woman. A neighbor, and a woman, thinks it's disgraceful that one denomination here allows a woman to be its minister. And, there are more like that than there are liberals or if you prefer, progressives. Our only hope would be if Edwards were our candidate and if he presented himself as a "beer-drinking-buddy" who shoots animals.
Then, too, we might win if the economy really tanked, and if Hillary is the candidate, some might then vote for Bill.

Anonymous said...

Actually, as it stands, Romney is at least as if not more formidable than McCain.

The short of it is that Romney's campaign has virtually all the markings of Bush's 00' campaign.

Romney has also done little to disguise the fact that he would do ANYTHING to get elected -- maybe even moreso than Bush. Throw in the fact that unlike Dubya, he has a brain, and the capabilities of his campaign become ever more disconcerting.

McCain might get the nomination, but Romney is more likely.

Anonymous said...

If McCain wins the nomination all the Dems have to do is run ads with video of him saying we'll be in Iraq for 100 years and he's done. Iraq has slipped as the main issue, but a McCain nomination will bring it right back to the front. There's no way he can win with that position. Thank God McCain is such a hawk. Otherwise he'd be a formitable candidate.

57andfemale said...

A McCain/Clinton match-up goes to McCain -- all the independents go to him. The MSM narrative has been written that he's moderate and a maverick -- none of which are true, in the long haul. He would do further damage to the courts that would cement Republican policies for the next generation -- that should frighten everyone. I am a 57 year old White Female Democrat who defended the Clintons with her whole heart and soul when they were so viciously maligned by the right wing. It sickens me to see the Clintons use those tactics against another Democrat, when Bill has been nothing but conciliatory to the Bushies for 7 horrendous years. Now he decides to get passionate? Disgusting. Edwards, unfortunately, just can't get traction. Obama is smart, will be counseled well and make judgments that consider his party, his country and the world. The country will never rally behind Hillary, but there is a good chance they would rally behind Obama. I trust him and I no longer trust the Clintons. They seem to believe that they are the only saviors of America at this point -- and I'm sick of messianic delusions. They feel they can scorch everything in their path to their own righteousness. Does this sound familiar? Moderates and independents will flock to McCain. God help us.

Anonymous said...

McCain's campaign slogan should be "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" (sung to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Ba Ba Ba Ba Barbara Ann")

Anonymous said...

A War Hero? I am sorry but, John McCain is a war criminal who got caught. Torture is NEVER justified and I do not condone what happened to him in the Ha Noi Hilton. However he bombed civilians (including children) and non combatants. That is a war crime, for which he has never apologized.

Anonymous said...

What have you ever done for this country? If you've ever put your life on the line for this country, I'd like to know if you ever made any mistakes doing it ?

Ostroy is a racist pig! He will do anything to sink the one real candidate running for President in the Democrat party. Ostroy wants more corruption by putting another corrupt clinton into the white house.

Bush -> Clinton -> Bush -> Clinton

Ostroy pushes the Ostroy Idiots towards voting on the side of corruption.

McCain/Lieberman couldn't be a 'bad' thing for democrats - they ARE two Democrats and they'd be competing against two other Democrats.

Anonymous said...

whoever wins the GOP nomination will not be ready for what is happening come November '08. The Afganistan situation has become untenable. While we waste 200 million dollars a month in Iraq, the central front in George Bush' "War on Terror" is being lost. by the time Novemebr comes, Karzai is likely to be out of power due to a resurgence of the Taliban there. When this happens, we'll still be mired in Iraq with no available forces ready to move anywhere else. We're already over-extended. What if something else happens? While John McCain touts the surge "is working", my question is "working for whom?" BTW, I beleive that it is NOT working. We're only seeing the result of segregation of the factions in Iraq. When the refugees begin returning out of financial and political neccesity, it will probably begin all over again. We can't financially afford any more years of this expense. In the General Election debate, I want the Democratic candidate to repeat the costs of this adventure over and over again. Remember what is happening fiscally here at home. I don't believe the public will be able to take it.

Anonymous said...

Just remember: Voting Republican/McCain means:

You want the war to continue for years
You want no national health care plan
You don't care if we have oil rigs off all our coasts
You don't believe in glogal warming

Sidney Condorcet said...

Voting for McCain means you don't believe in global warming? Gosh, clearly you don't read much. McCain is one of the few Republicans who have joined the fight (albeit in a limited, half-measure type style) against global warming. Best avail yourself of google, downriverdem...

Anonymous said...

Simply put a McCain-Lieberman administration will pursue the same bellicose policies of the current administration. Expect increased budgets for defense and more aid to Israel to fit the neoconservative goal of ME colonization and global military dominance. You will also see an increase in dual Israeli-US citizens in high government office to compliment Michael Chertoff of Homeland Security, Paul Wolfowitz and Michael Mukasey, the US Attorney General. If these two right wing hawks are selected by our fail proof touch screens in November 2008, it maybe time to consider leaving the country, although I fear no country will be safe from these two.

Anonymous said...

Who knows what McCain's point of view about global warming will be as the campaign grinds on? He's changed so often - his image and opinion.

Not the place, probably, but I'm so outraged over Chris Matthew's hatred or fear of Hillary. Months ago when the campaign first started he said, misogynously, that she looked like a school bus in her yellow outfit. He has not let up on her. After the Republican debate his only interest was to play Romney's ugly comments about Hillary and agree with him. Is Matthews bashing Hillary his misplaced envy and fear of his own very accomplished wife?
And, how is it Obama is not playing the race card when HIS WIFE made an ad, Harvard grad that she is, using - whatever it's called -- black "street, dialect talk" in an appeal to black voters.

Please, Gore, save us.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton is racist sex maniac!

Now he has lowered himself even more by comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson. I previously thought Bill Clinton would only lower himself this much to go down on an intern, but as always, the Clintons never cease to amaze me.

Maybe his wife can cry us a river. That seemed to help in New Hampshire. It also may help us fight terrorists. We've never tried crying at them. This is definitely one positive point to have a Democrat in the White House. Kerry wanted to honor the enemy, Hillary will just try to cry at them.

Anonymous said...

Los Angeles once had a wonderful mayor named Tom Bradley. Wildly popular with liberals and conservatives, rich and poor, even Republicans and Independents. Tom Bradley ran for Governor of California and led in the polls right up to election day. Tom Bradley would have been a good Governor. Tom Bradley lost the statewide election. Sometimes good intentions and need for change can be subverted by logic. People need to think about that when they consider young, inexperienced candidates who will never win a national election (that's voting all 50 states!).