Focus Point - The Lieberman PickCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 17, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. If Al Gore was looking for a way to distance himself from Bill Clinton, he couldn't have made a more useful vice-presidential selection that Joseph Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut.
When George W. Bush picked a solid, no-nonsense guy like Dick Cheney, it let Gore off the headline hook, and let him pick a democrat equivalent. Lieberman was the democrat who hollered loudest and earliest about the Clinton White House cesspool. By picking him, Gore seemed to endorse Lieberman's views; "If I can run with him," the selection implies, "I'm severing all ties with Bill.... let's see, what was his name?"
But there's a downside. As the Democrat publication "The American Prospect" notes, Lieberman had a more conservative voting record than that of nearly every southern Democrat, siding with the Republicans on most economic issues. That may help Gore with the center, but it could be the final shove that sends the party's left into Ralph Nader's arms. We'll see what the next couple of months bring.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Regulating Cheese.