In a column entitled "Lieberman Agonistes" (which Wikipedia tells me means "Lieberman the combatant," an alternative version of my favorite Lieberman nickname, "Fighting Joe"), the Wall Street Journal describes how Senator Lieberman is drawing fire these days from both sides of the political spectrum. The Democrats are aghast and vengeful over Lieberman's outspoken support of John McCain, and his critique of Barack Obama's weak national security credentials. The Republicans are grateful for his support, but wary that Senator McCain may be too grateful, and choose Lieberman as his running mate.
I tend to agree with the opinion of the editorial writer--Senator Lieberman would make a fine Secretary of State in a McCain Administration, but as a Vice Presidential nominee he would not enhance the prospects of the GOP ticket. Not only is he "pro-choice" and liberal in his legislative record, but he simply is not a great campaigner in national races. Witness his own lackluster campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. Those conservative Democrats and independents who most like Lieberman probably are already voting for John McCain. Also, Republicans (being elephants) do not forget that his decision to caucus with the Democrats gave the Democrats majority control in the Senate. Finally, it is hard to name a single state, including his home state of Connecticut, where the choice of Joe Lieberman as McCain's running mate might bring the state into the Republican column.
The first choice of The Hedgehog Blog for the Republican Vice Presidential nomination is and always has been Mitt Romney. However, if Senator McCain insists on risking the alienation of the GOP base by naming a pro-choice politician as his running mate, the Kosher Hedgehog recommends that he choose Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary for Homeland Security. Ridge, still an immensely popular figure in his home state, instantly puts Pennsylvania, with its 21 electoral votes, in play as a possible Red State gain. (Gore won the state in 2004.) Winning Pennsylvania might well mean a McCain victory in November.
A choice of Mitt Romney offers the prospect of securing Michigan's 17 electoral votes. (One might argue that Romney could possibly carry Massachusetts for the GOP as well, garnering another 12 electoral votes, but in my view that is a pipe dream.) Just as importantly, Romney offsets two perceived weaknesses of McCain as a presidential candidate: (1) his age; and (2) his limited grasp of economics and business. Mitt Romney is relatively young and vigorous, has an extensive knowledge of economics, and stands apart from the field in his demonstrated mastery of business.