Joe Lieberman, Meet the Press

Aug. 14 2000 12:04 AM

Joe Lieberman, Meet the Press

Issue 1 is Al Gore's selection of Joseph Lieberman as his running mate. Issue 2 is the Reform Party's factional convention.


Lieberman appears on all five Sunday morning chat shows--NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, CNN's Late Edition, and Fox News Sunday. Interviewers try to expose policy differences between him and Gore. They use three tacks: 1) Lieberman is supported by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, yet Gore has denounced both. Lieberman's answer: Look at my voting record. I supported the Patient's Bill of Rights--hated by insurance companies--and Medicare coverage of prescription drugs--hated by drug companies. 2) Lieberman has criticized Gore's fund raising harshly. Lieberman's answer: Gore has promised me that a campaign-finance bill will be the first thing our administration does, and I'm confident that the White House will not be sold when I'm working there. 3) Lieberman has attacked President Clinton for his moral lapses. Lieberman's answer: Yes, but Clinton's problems are not Gore's, and Clinton's record of achievement is a real one. (On MTP, Lieberman says that President Clinton called him a week after his denunciatory speech in the Senate and told him he agreed with him.) On LE, Lieberman reiterates his support for the Pentagon's missile-shield program (which Gore is neutral on), and on MTP Lieberman says that raising the Social Security retirement age should be a policy option (something Gore vociferously opposes).

Most pundits praise the Lieberman selection as a smart one. Susan Page (LE) notes that Bush's bland choice (Dick Cheney) befits his status as a front-runner, while Gore's more provocative choice befits his status as underdog. (John McLaughlin [ The McLaughlin Group] quips, "Cheney provides gravitas, Lieberman provides pietas.") Mara Liasson (Fox) argues that Lieberman's religiosity--he is Orthodox Jew--is an effective counter to the Republicans' promise to "restore honor and dignity to the White House." (Conservative pundits Tony Blankley [TMG], Tony Snow [Fox], and Fred Barnes [Fox] complain that the press has given Lieberman a pass on religion--if a conservative were as overtly religious as Lieberman, they say, the press would accuse him of mixing church and state.) Reactions to Lieberman's politics run the gamut: Juan Williams (Fox) accuses Lieberman of ignoring blacks and teachers' unions, while Steve Roberts (LE) and Paul Gigot (PBS's NewsHour With Jim Lehrer) praise him for being an unorthodox centrist. Both John McLaughlin (TMG) and Bob Novak (CNN's Capital Gang) argue that Lieberman is a closet liberal.

Appearing on MTP, Pat Buchanan appears confident that his faction of the Reform Party--and not the dissident faction under John Hagelin--will receive the $12.5 million federal subsidy. Eleanor Clift (TMG) says that by the time Buchanan and Hagelin finish their expected court fight over the money, it will be too late to use it. Kate O'Beirne (CG) and Mara Liasson argue that Buchanan and the Reform Party are doomed with or without the money--their issues have been co-opted (deficit reduction by the Democrats, social conservatism by the Republicans, and anti-corporatism by Ralph Nader).

Russert Strikes Again

TIM RUSSERT (MTP): This is how Al Gore responded to the major Bush education plan. Gore said, "Bush's plan would give meaning to the three R's--reckless, retrograde, reactionary, radical--that's four R's." Joe Lieberman [said], "We are encouraged by the fact that Gov. Bush of Texas has proposed a reform plan that is remarkably similar to our three R's proposal." So you wouldn't call Governor--

JOE LIEBERMAN: You've got a great research program.

RUSSERT: I work hard at this.

LIEBERMAN: This is great.

Last Word

That [GOP] party [convention] in Philadelphia did not represent Pat Buchanan. I mean, they could have had Michael Jackson up there singing "We Are The World." The Republican Party has been Clintonized in this sense: They revile Mr. Clinton personally and say so from their podium. But they embrace his politics of triangulation and they've embraced almost all of his policies. So I think whether or not you get Bush or Gore does not, to me, make a great deal of difference. Frankly, with a couple of changes in policy, say, on taxes, George Bush's speech could have been given at a Democratic convention.

--Pat Buchanan (MTP)



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.