Joe Lieberman bows out.

Politics and policy.
Feb. 4 2004 5:40 PM

Joebituary

Joe Lieberman bows out.

Joe No! It's all Joever now
Joe No! It's all Joever now

Say it ain't so, Joe.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

Here's Joe Lieberman on TV, quitting the race.

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I have such fond memories of Lieberman's campaign. Actually, it was never the Lieberman campaign. It was the Joe campaign. The Web site was www.joe2004.com. The campaign vehicle was the Joemobile. The blog was www.blogforjoe.com. Why the Joe theme? To identify with the average Joe, I suppose. And maybe because the folks at the Lieberman campaign thought the name Lieberman sounded, well, a bit too Joeish.

Joe was the heir apparent, Al Gore's right-hand man. A bit too right-hand, as it turned out. He started out the race with a presumptive seniority that might have been called, in the parlance of his campaign, PrimoJoeniture. But on the stump, voters found him Joematose. He had trouble rustling up Joenations. Antiwar Democrats in Iowa found his support of the Iraq war Joefensive. He went into a Joesdive. He was Joewhere.

In New Hampshire, however, he sensed a Joepening. All those McCain independents could vote in the state's Joepen primary. Joe set up house there and went to work. The crowds welcomed him with Joevations. He surged in the Joevernights. "Joementum!" crowed his campaign. He was Joevial.

Alas, Joeverconfidence felled him. He finished fifth in New Hampshire and was written off. He was Joast. Joadkill. D-Joe-A.

Yet he refused to bow out. The Joe must go on, he vowed. Critics said he was in Joenial, but he flew south, taking his Joe on the road. He faced down his lengthening odds with a certain Joe de vivre. Where would he break through? Joeklahoma? AriJoena? North DaJoeta? New MexiJoe? The Joe Me state?

Alas, he came up empty tonight. Joe-for-7. Joe-miliation.

Joe revoir, Joe. Joerivederci. Hasta Joe Vista. Somewhere conservative Democrats are laughing, and somewhere McCain independents shout. But there is no Joe in Mudville. Joe Lieberman has struck out.