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Monday, August 25, 2008

A (Much Lower Profile) Lieberman of Our Own

posted by on August 25 at 19:14 PM

The last speaker at the Democratic National Convention was—gasp! A Republican. Former Representative Jim Leach of Iowa was introduced by the true blue Tom Harkin.

There was some scattered applause when he talked about the way the United States’ standing in the world has been diminished in recent years. But the murmur of the crowd definitely increased. It’s clear that this speech was for the viewers at home. So, Republican-leaning independents who inexplicably read Slog, were you moved by this talk of national parks and global warming and the Gulf War?

Still, the crowd perked up at the line, “In troubled times, it’s clear that country comes before party.” The attempts to appeal to the libertarian wing of the Republican party also went over fairly well. And it takes some chutzpah to use the word “Hence” in a speech, teleprompter or no.

I have a feeling Lieberman will be much more warmly embraced at the RNC. Unless, of course, he’s he’s McCain’s running mate.

RSS icon Comments

1

Oh god, that guy was awful.

Let's face it, folks. The first night is pretty much just to be sure the lights and mikes work. Only wonks like me -- us? -- watch this.

Not watching? Imagine a spectacularly-funded corporate event where the most compelling speech of the evening is delivered by an octogenarian with terminal brain cancer. Now you have an idea.

I hope Michelle works it. This convention needs it.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 25, 2008 7:20 PM
2

He was ok.

But why put him on before Michelle?

We want the First Lady!

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 25, 2008 7:24 PM
3

Assuming Kelly O and Ari Spool are part of "The Entire Staff of The Stranger" currently in Denver, I do hope they brought some of that Rize along.

That oughta liven things up, doncha think?

And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | August 25, 2008 7:27 PM
4

Of course the GOP will love Lieberman, but they'd never put a Jew on their ticket. Unless he converted like Dr. Laura, in which case they'd be delighted, especially since that might hasten the end of the world.

Posted by dwight moody | August 25, 2008 7:38 PM
5

I'm a former Iowan who grew up with Jim Leach as my Congressman. He was also one of the reasons that until very recently I didn't have to speak about being a Republican in hushed tones (I'm no longer a Republican and caucused for Obama). He is not a dynamic speaker (or dresser) but he is an incredible man and a deep thinker, something rare in politics generally and verging on extinction in the GOP. He was well-loved by independents but hated by the far right, many of whom never voted for him opting instead for a theolo-fascist third party. His endorsement will play well in Iowa where Bush won by ~10,000 votes last time around.

Posted by Hawkyou | August 25, 2008 8:08 PM
6

As a total independent-left-wing weenie, I really appreciated the thoughtfulness and care that Leach showed in his one-sentence-at-a-time old-man way. Whether or not he's a brilliant speaker (though I think he's just fine), I think choosing Leach to speak at the convention was a small bit of brilliance on the Dem's part. I've shamefully never heard of this guy and I hope to hear more from him in the future - seems like he has a brain between his goddamn ears.

Posted by meatwhichdreams | August 25, 2008 8:26 PM
7

Michelle, my belle.
Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble,
tres bien ensemble.

If you can't utilize your children to further your career, what's the point of having them at all? If you're a student of campaign literature rarely does a candidate stand nakedly alone without a partner, children or a tic-infested dog.

This moment far surpassed that theatrical look of Nancy's pure adoration when she looked up and saw Ronnie and said the same thing as Michelle's daughter: "Daddy!!!"

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | August 25, 2008 8:38 PM
8

Sulk,

You suck. At least come up with your own tagline. I didn't see Leach accuse a kid of killing his sister with no reference to anything. Fuck off. Go ride your fixie in traffic.

Posted by Charles_Mudede_Is_A_Latent_Racist | August 25, 2008 8:53 PM
9

Next to Michelle's magnificent speech -- and giving the requisite nod to Teddy -- the most significant remarks of the night were by Jim Leach. Thanks to SLOG for the comment. Hawkyou has it exactly right.

I'm a lifelong Democrat but I watched Jim Leach operate in Washington and would vote for him in a heartbeat if I'd lived in his Iowa district. He's everything the two-party system is supposed to deliver and so seldom does.

Much will be made next week of Lieberman's courage in endorsing McCain but with Joe, it's pretty much all about Joe. (Remind you of anyone?)

Leach has no such baggage. Hard as it may be for the first morons in this thread to believe, he's a principled Republican, deeply respected in Congress, who realizes his party is totally bonkers and is willing to step out of line and say what needs to be said. Without, it must be said, the lure of the vice-presidency dangling in front of his eyes.

Tom Harkin doesn't have to apologize to anyone for his liberal credentials and when he praises Leach the way he did in his introduction, you know he's the real deal.

I hope the Obama people capitalize on this. It's the sort of important crossover that makes a difference.

Posted by Mr. Viking | August 25, 2008 9:00 PM
10

Look this guy may be the Golden Son of Iowa and god bless him for it, really, but as a compelling Republican voice to trumpet the notion of cross-over appeal to the rest of America,...well, I'd'a rathe had Hagel.

A retired rep from Iowa versus Uncle Joe, a former VP candidate and current sitting senator; it just don't signify.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | August 25, 2008 9:34 PM
11

I'm a proud Iowa native and actually interned for Leach in college. Leach's district has historically been relatively liberal in Iowa, but he managed to be in congress for 30 years because he was respected, humble, and genuine. He also voted against the war in Iraq.

He lost this last election cycle because of the anti-republican sentiment. How did he handle his defeat? ''This is the happiest day of my life.'' He said he felt ''as if a burden has been lifted.''

He's the only republican I've ever voted for and think it's great he's supporting Obama. He's nothing flashy, but he's right on.

Posted by ICmann | August 25, 2008 9:43 PM
12

Why do you Lib dimwits always get it wrong.

You think that Republicans are like Democrats, but simply holding the opposite opinion on everything.

Here's the simple truth: we don't care about any of this crap...we don't think it matters one lick what someone's "energy policy" is...Republicans are enjoying life...we like global warming because we can stay by the pool for more months of the year...do we care if oil goes up...nope -- because we bought Exxon-Mobil stock....do we care if goes down...nope, because we shielded ourselves with small caps.

Posted by John Bailo | August 25, 2008 11:02 PM
13

Well, seems like 12 summed it up pretty well there. He's right of course. Conservatives/Republicans/Selfish shit heads, whatever you want to call them, care about themselves above all else. They'll gladly burn the world to the ground if it will further their personal ambition. Those are the people we're up against. Remember that when all you young people are wondering whether to bother getting out of bed on election day.

Posted by Colin | August 26, 2008 6:21 AM
14

Which is all the more reason why we should tax the rich. I agree with Dorothy Parker: "The rich should be taxed for being alive"

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | August 26, 2008 6:49 AM
15

@8,

You, sir, are a latent sock puppet. Your blog wears combat boots, and your mother is HTML-illiterate. Go drink a Rize and die.

And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | August 26, 2008 8:31 AM
16

TROLL FIGHT!!!1

Posted by kid icarus | August 26, 2008 8:34 AM
17

I hope the trolls bust out the shivs and knife each other to death. Good fucking riddance.

Posted by Greg | August 26, 2008 11:13 AM

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