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November 24, 2006

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Once again, the point of everything seems to evade you.

Schmitt doesn't suggest the two will be successful. Just that this is one scenario, and one reason Lieberman may have hired Marshall Wittman.

I think you are too hard on Mark Schmitt here. He made a perfectly valid speculatory point about a McCain/Lieberman run. Maybe you just don't like speculation because the points you make are pretty soft.

You seem to be pitting Mark's statement that it's quite obvious that they'll run against his statement that "There are many ways this could go wrong.". Sorry, but the two statements are not mutually exclusive. Both could well be true. It seems to me to be very possible that Lieberman/McCain may run together on some third party ticket and yes, there will be many ways it could go wrong, or, depending on the mood of the public in two years, there are many ways it could go right. You have ignored in your post that Lieberman did the exact thing in his senate run as is being speculated about for the McLie possible run, and he won.

A McLie ticket could draw votes and donations from both parties and be dangerous for that reason, it just depends on the mood of the 2008 electorate and the performance of Joe and John till then.

Your oft-flogged "third parties can't win!" point does not address the possibility that McCain and Lieberman might have big enough egos to believe that they can win, and run anyway. The possible reward of becoming president is gigantic enough to make no-name pols with no chance of winning mount quixotic primary runs. So your snide dismissal of Schmitt's argument that they might run is quite weak, as both previous commenters have pointed out.

Keep in mind that much campaign money is spent to buy name recognition-- and McCain has that already. Has there ever been a third party presidential candidate with as much recognition (and popularity) as McCain? Of course this doesn't mean he'll win, but it's what he'll tell himself to convince himself it's possible. Also keep in mind that if immigration is still a big issue in '08, McCain will lose the Republican primary. Your strongest argument is the "traitors" point but McCain will be 72 years old and sitting in a Democratic Senate-- why not go for broke and at least try?

I could maybe see Lieberman running 3rd party. I can't see McCain.

The big question is will the GOP compromise and accept McCain as their nominee? McCain is the Howard Dean of the GOP, most of the insiders hate him, but the base (generally) love him, plus he has appeal with independants. One of the lessons the Republicans should have learned from this election is that they need moderate candidates (or at least those percieved as moderates). But in order to win they have to somehow keep their Christian fundamentalist base too. It could be tricky to walk that tight rope, but in the end who else are they going to vote for?

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