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Publication: Conservative Review
Goodbye, Joe?

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                   July 15, 2008

Goodbye, Joe?
by Robert D. Novak

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Despite assurances to the contrary from 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic insiders are 
certain Sen. Joseph Lieberman next year will be kicked out 
of the party's caucus and lose his Senate chairmanship if 
he addresses the Republican National Convention in St. 
Paul, Minn., as planned. 

Lieberman's Democratic colleagues willing to accept his 
support of Sen. John McCain for president consider speaking 
to the GOP convention as the last straw. Lieberman was re-
elected from Connecticut as an independent in 2006 after 
losing the Democratic nomination because of his support 
for the Iraq war. 

After his 2006 election, the Senate Democratic leadership 
agreed to give Lieberman the Homeland Security Committee 
chairmanship if he provided the decisive vote to make the 
Democrats a 51 to 49 Senate majority. However, with 
additional Democratic senators likely to be elected this 
year, that agreement is expected to be null and void in 
the new Congress. 

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Old Democratic hands believe Sen. Barack Obama's decision 
to deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech 
at the 75,000-seat Denver Broncos football stadium Aug. 28 
ignores a lesson from 48 years ago. 

The last presidential nominee to deliver an outdoor accept-
ance speech was John F. Kennedy in 1960 at the Los Angeles 
Memorial Coliseum. That diminished the impact of one of 
his best campaign speeches, in which he unveiled the "New 
Frontier." The then-100,000-seat Coliseum was only half 
filled, and the sound was imperfect. 

Technical advances in sound projection have been made in 
the last half-century, and Obama has been particularly 
effective in large outdoor venues. Nevertheless, Democratic 
pros feel the safer course for Obama would have been to 
give the speech in the 19,000-seat Pepsi Center, where the 
convention is being held. 


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The nine Republican senators who switched positions 
Wednesday to pass the Medicare bill were taking their 
presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, off the hook 
to avoid the wrath of senior citizens and doctors. 

McCain, who was on the campaign trail, was absent June 26 
when the Senate fell one vote short of the 60 needed to 
pass a bill stopping a cut in Medicare payments to 
physicians. With his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack 
Obama, present when the bill came up again Wednesday, 
Republicans feared that McCain would be blamed for block-
ing the measure. 

The absent McCain was still opposed, but the nine 
Republicans switchers made his position moot. Three of 
the GOP converts are up for re-election this year and 
were under heavy pressure from the American Medical 


The possible return of political consultant Mike Murphy 
to help Sen. John McCain's campaign is definitely off, 
with the Republican presidential candidate's aides putting 
out word that Murphy will not be back. He has signed with 
NBC as a campaign commentator. 

McCain was interested in returning Murphy, a key strategist 
in his 2000 presidential campaign. But it was determined 
that Murphy would cause too much friction within McCain's 

Murphy was not involved in the battle for this year's 
Republican presidential campaign. He had been close to 
both McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 
and did not want to choose between them. 


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Barney's Retreat

The House Republican minority scored a rare victory over 
the usually masterful Rep. Barney Frank, when he pulled 
from the House floor Wednesday a bill to protect as a 
"scenic wilderness" site the Taunton River at urban Fall 
River, Mass., in his district. 

Such measures are routinely approved when sponsored by 
a powerful committee chairman such as Frank. However, 
Republicans launched a campaign contending that the bill 
was intended to block a liquefied natural gas terminal 
opposed by Frank. A surprised Frank indicated he was not 
prepared for a floor fight. 

"It'll come back," Frank was quoted by Congress Daily. 
Congressional sources later said Frank might try again 
this coming week, with a possibility that the LNP terminal 
would be carved out and not included in the protected 
scenic area. 

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