I must say I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that the Democrats should have nominated Joe Lieberman.
I like Joe Lieberman. I respect Joe Lieberman. He showed - to dismally low support in the primaries - that it's possible for today's Democratic Party to be as credible on defense as Republicans. Given a choice between he and Bush, I'd jump on the Joe-mentum bandwagon without too much complaint right about now.
On the other hand, I disagree about the reason why he was rejected. Al Gore, despite growing increasingly more unstable, still draws applause at Dem and lefty events. His aura of failure wasn't sticking to Lieberman that
much. I also find it hard to believe, given the number of mildly goofy-looking presidents elected in the modern media era, that his appearance was key.
No, I might be way off, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because he's Jewish, and thus perceptually more pro-Israel (and thus anti-terrorism) than even a non-Jewish candidate with the exact same positions. I'm not talking facts, necessarily - just perceptions.
Democrats, on the whole, aren't anti-Semitic, unlike an uncomfortable number of their scary hard-left fringe. But how many made the calculation - consciously or not - "Hmmm...if the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hate us now
, what would they do if we elected a Jewish president?" I don't think such a decision would be made out of bigotry, or even, as I say, consciously; it's just that there were other candidates less likely to inflame the claimed-all-important 'Arab Street,' and thus have more diplomatic credibility.
I know, even if I'm anywhere near right, that it wouldn't have been the sole reason; Lieberman was and is just too hawkish on defense than the Democratic base. But I still think it might have been at least a partially-contributing factor to his primary defeat.