The Note: Base Instincts

(And does this mark the beginning of the end of Lieberman's association with the Democratic caucus? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he'll address the Lieberman situation after the election -- when, almost certainly, Democrats won't need his vote like they do right now. Here's guessing stalwart Democrats won't like the idea of welcoming back a man who spoke at the Republican National Convention -- not that he'll need the job anymore if McCain wins.)

It's probably not possible for the Netroots to hate him any more than they already do: "Yesterday, Democratic anger escalated after the GOP announced that Lieberman will deliver a major address to its convention," Michael Kranish writes for The Boston Globe. "At the 'Lieberman Must Go' website, 52,000 people have signed a petition seeking his ouster from the Democratic caucus, and many leave comments that call him a turncoat -- or worse."

Gail Collins nails the weirdness, in her New York Times column: "Talk about bipartisanship! . . . . When you have a 71-year-old presidential candidate, it's particularly important that voters be confident that he's backed up by an experienced and qualified vice president prepared to step in and do the exact opposite about everything except Iraq."

She continues: "Lieberman is certainly capable of dumping everything he has ever believed in and assuring the anti-choice, anti-union, anti-government folk that he is on their team. But then the magic fades and all you've got is a conservative Republican who likes the environment teamed with a guy who will do anything to move up. If that's all you're looking for, you might as well take Mitt Romney."

Do you really want to provoke the right like this? If conservatives bolt because Lieberman is on the ticket, "They would be the ones morally responsible for electing a pro-choice president," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a "pro-life" Lieberman fan, tells the New York Sun's Russell Berman.

What does McCain want? National Review's Byron York: "Talked to more people today who are knowledgeable, in one way or another, about the McCain camp. I run past them what I heard yesterday, that is, if McCain knew ahead of time that he was going to win, then he would definitely pick Lieberman or Ridge as vice president. People pretty much agree."

McCain is letting the party activists have their way with the platform -- his previous statements on the subject notwithstanding. "John McCain's campaign signaled on Wednesday that the Arizona senator is backing away from his previously stated goal of changing the GOP's platform on abortion," ABC's Teddy Davis and Rigel Anderson report. "McCain's plan to take a hands-off approach with the abortion platform stands in stark contrast with the position he took during his first presidential run."

New folks to cheer for: "With John McCain set to accept his party's presidential nomination, the Republican National Convention lineup that will precede him features a panoply of new faces in the Grand Old Party," Jason Hoppin writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Bobby Jindal, the first-term Louisiana governor who is the son of Indian immigrants, will have a prominent speaking role. So will Michael Steele, current head of GOPAC and the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, who is black. As will Gov. Sarah Palin, the popular first-ever woman to lead the state of Alaska."

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