Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lieberman's Speech: B+

Thanks to superior Republican technology, I was easily able to view Tuesday's Republican National Convention speeches on my Linux computer.

I focused on Sen. Joe Lieberman, who gave what appeared to be a very effective speech for McCain. As a Democrat, Lieberman put the McCain candidacy on a nonpartisan platform as doing what was right for America. He deftly used the experience of Hurricane Gustav to segue into issues of national importance, and minimize partisan differences.

His speech was respectful of Obama, while painting McCain as a leader of unique abilities who is right for America. It was even-tempered, without the red meat partisans like to throw to their peers. That was not his job, which was to paint McCain as reaching above politics for the good of the country.

Lieberman's speech was calming after the last few days' nuttiness with Sarah Palin this and Sarah Palin that -- nuttiness that took the spotlight away from the man who is, after all, the Republican nominee in the election. (Have you ever seen a presidential nominee so overshadowed by his running-mate?)

I differ with Lieberman and McCain on some important issues. Besides the Iraq war, I don't like the campaign finance "reform" that McCain talks so proudly about. It's doomed to fail, because people will always find a way to spend money to advance the candidates and views they like. And I think it should fail, because political advocacy is part of free speech. Forget the useless finance restrictions. Just require full and prompt disclosure, and put the information on the Web.

Lieberman was well-qualified as a Democratic maverick to endorse a Republican 'maverick', (even if McCain's reputation as a straight talker is overstated and largely false). McCain could not have chosen Lieberman, whom he has known and respected for years, because the latter's pro-abortion rights views made him politically non-viable. Joe Lieberman will have far more influence in a McCain presidency than will Sarah Palin, the running mate McCain barely knows and picked out of political necessity.

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