I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't mind Joe Lieberman that much, and feel myself getting a little excited with his name being floated so prominently at the 11th hour. I wouldn't want him picking SCOTUS nominees, but he'd be a game-changing pick to prevent the ascendancy of the Goracle of Obama.
To me, the VP process isn't about Joe Lieberman or whomever McCain selects. It's about McCain. Showing that he isn't afraid to roll the dice and throw long isn't a bad thing. As far as my vote goes, McCain's willingness to be bold would convert me from anti-Obama to an enthusiastically pro-McCain voter.
True, this wouldn't help with the base. But I have to ask: How could the base possibly be any more demoralized than it is now? McCain is not by nature a base-pleasing candidate, and he has shown no inclination of changing. Why not at least do something that would spark some organic interest and excitement in a McCain-led ticket -- even if it were more trans-partisan and anti-Obama than conservative?
The fact is it's probably not going to be possible to get conservative energy that is distinctly pro-McCain, but it is possible to get enthusiastic about the idea of beating Obama. Anything that would get McCain to a stable lead would do more to get conservatives excited than having an "acceptable" VP and the one of two days of accolades from elites that goes with it.
As I've said above, this is not an endorsement of Lieberman for president, though his judgment on foreign policy, 75% of the President's job, is impeccable. Nor is this a choice any conservative should want in an election we "should" win -- such as one that would come after a two-term Democratic administration.
But McCain is the underdog in this race. History favors an Obama victory, and he will probably have a 10-15 point lead after tonight. In that context, I like the idea of McCain rolling the dice, particularly if the alternatives -- KBH and Meg Whitman -- are just as demoralizing to the base and share none of the symbolic upside of Lieberman.