Joe Lieberman being vetted as McCain VP

Some word swirling about that Democrat-turned-Independent Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman is on McCain’s short list for VP. Lieberman endorsed McCain and has been an outspoken supporter from day one.

Story from Financial Times:

Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee who has endorsed John McCain, is being vetted as a potential running mate for the Republican presidential hopeful, according to an adviser to Mr McCain’s ­campaign.

Mr Lieberman, who has campaigned for the Arizona senator, has long been ­considered an unconventional but plausible choice for Mr McCain.

Although Democrats have rejected Mr McCain’s image as a maverick politician, Mr Lieberman’s support for the presumptive Republican nominee has, much to the chagrin of his former ­colleagues, helped to boost Mr McCain’s reputation as a bi-partisan legislator with friends on both sides of the aisle. Mr Lieberman, a staunch supporter of Israel, could also help Mr McCain win over Jewish voters.

“[McCain] loves Lieberman. And he is on the [short-]list because Lieberman has never embarrassed anyone, never misspoken. The first rule is, don’t take someone who costs you votes,” said one McCain adviser.

But not everyone would be enthusiastic about Mr Lieberman being added to the ticket. While Mr Lieberman has staunchly defended Mr McCain’s support of the surge, the escalation of US troops in Iraq, and the lawmakers have teamed up on legislative proposals to ­combat global warming, the registered independent is aligned with Democrats on most other issues.

“Conservatives would be pissed as hell – I think you would have a revolt, but sometimes John does what John wants to do,” the McCain adviser said.

Another McCain adviser said that it was unlikely that the Republican candidate would base his decision on “tactical considerations”.

“He can be pragmatic, but on the biggest decisions he tends to favour his instinct for the bigger picture,” the adviser said.

Mr Lieberman’s office declined to comment. But when the senator was asked recently whether he would decline a request by Mr McCain he said: “It’s not going to happen”.

Conservatives may well be pissed, however, if McCain can attract moderate Dems and independent-minded voters, does he need conservatives at all? It would sure be a bold move but in the face of fanatical support for Obama, I don’t think McCain can afford much less.

That being said, does McCain really want to alienate most conservative voters for the next 4 and 8 years should he be reelected?

My thoughts are that it won’t happen but it’s fun to speculate about the possibilities.