Friday, December 01, 2006

Lieberman for President?

Difficult as it may be to believe, I think I have come up with a scenario for the next election that nobody else has suggested.

Consider Senator Lieberman's qualifications for the Democratic nomination.

1. He is a long term senator and an (admittedly unsuccessful) vice presidential candidate.

2. In the most recent election, he demonstrated an ability to attract Republican votes unmatched, so far as I know, by any non-Republican candidate in recent history. Connecticut is not, it is true, a Republican state. But holding the Republican candidate for senate to 10% of the vote is still a striking accomplishment.

3. Odd though it may seem in the light of the religious conflicts of past centuries, his status as a deeply believing Jew probably makes him more attractive to the Republicans' religious hard core than any other Democrat.

It is true that Lieberman's support for the Iraq war looks, at this point, like a liability. It is less clear if that will still be true in a year or two, with the Democratic majority in Congress having to share the problems associated with that particular mess and the blame for whichever bad outcomes they support—no good outcomes being available. And there is the argument that someone with a record of support for the war is best placed to get us out of it, as Nixon was best positioned to abandon U.S. hostility to communist China.

One minor objection that might be raised to Lieberman's nomination is that he is not, at the moment, a Democrat. The obvious response is that that was not his choice; it was the Democrats who rejected Lieberman in the primaries, not Lieberman who rejected them. If the party now wishes to kiss and make up, there is no reason he should object. And they are, after all, currently counting on him to provide the crucial vote required to maintain their status as the majority party in the senate.

Which raises another and still more interesting, if even less probable, scenario. The Democrats are not the only party in search of a presidential candidate.

But I don't think I will explore that one today.

16 Comments:

At 1:36 PM, December 01, 2006, Blogger Rick and Gary said...

I remember one woman being quoted as saying she wouldn't vote for Gore because she couldn't stand the sound of voice and couldn't bear the prospect of listening to him for 4 or 8 years.

Kerry sounds even less like a real human being, and Lieberman is the worse of all three.

If Lieberman gets the nomination and looses in a squeaker, that would make a really interesting trifecta. A Broadway show, perhaps.

 
At 1:56 PM, December 01, 2006, Anonymous phosphorious said...

Interesting prediction.

But my reading of the election was not that Republicans supported Lieberman, only that they preferred him to Lamont.

The Republican candidate didn't have a chance, so they voted for the democrat they could live with (and probably took some glee in sticking it to the Connecticut democrats who had rejected Lieberman).

 
At 2:26 PM, December 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no way that Lieberman could win in the primaries. Hard-core Democrats actively dislike him, and hard-core Republicans wouldn't prefer him to a conservative.

But even if Liberman were selected by the proverbial smoke-filled room system, I don't think he would make a great candidate. Zero charisma, for one thing.

I don't think being a practicing Jew makes him more electable than being a Christian, but it certainly makes him more electable than a lapsed Jew (atheist). Better to pray to the wrong God than to no God.

 
At 7:35 PM, December 01, 2006, Anonymous Aaron Krowne said...

rick and gary:

Right. And George W. Bush is eloquent and euphonious.

Apparently people can get used to anything.

 
At 8:49 AM, December 02, 2006, Blogger John T. Kennedy said...

On the minus side, Lieberman is a huge mope and mopes tend to lose presidential elections. See Kerry, Gore, Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, etc.

 
At 10:23 AM, December 02, 2006, Blogger doolz said...

The rabid DailyKos left would have a hissy fit, and they are quite numerous within the Democratic Party. I don't think it would work. Too bad, really.

 
At 6:52 AM, December 04, 2006, Anonymous pace said...

This is not a good idea. Liberman is a terrible candidate. It would not work and I for one would not want it to.

 
At 7:20 AM, December 04, 2006, Blogger CLS said...

Lieberman was for all practical purposes the Republican candidate. The GOP abandoned their own candidate, refused to endorse him and instead top Republicans funded Lieberman. Since the Republican was abandoned it is no surprise he managed only 10%.

 
At 5:09 AM, December 06, 2006, Blogger zoiprof said...

The next president of the United States will certainly be a Democrat UNLESS the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry or someone of their socialist ilk. And even each of those three would have a very good chance of winning.

The strategy would be to maintain all the states Kerry won (very easy with any candidate) and win one state that went red in 2004. I think that's also very easy with an Evan Bayh, a Barrak Obama, or Ed Rendell. It would also be very easy with Joe Lieberman. The trouble all of these potential winners face is getting the nomination which will require some support from the left of the Democratic party.

A primary match-up between Obama and Clinton would be very entertaining and a Clinton-McCain presidential contest would be entertaining as well. Call me jaded, but I agree with the wit (Mencken? Rogers?)who wrote that our politicians are worth their salaries in entertainment value alone.

 
At 10:20 AM, December 06, 2006, Blogger David Friedman said...

Zoiprof may be remembering Mencken's comment that Congress was worth its cost as entertainment.

 
At 12:55 PM, December 07, 2006, Anonymous raphfrk said...

Tradesports has the following odds:

Republican: 47.2%
Democrat: 49.4%
Other: 3.3%

So, it could go either way.

The nominees are (chances of President win in brackets):

Rep:
McCain: 49.9% (25.0%)
Giuliani: 14.9% (11.3%)
Romney: 14.5% (9.7%)
Huckabee: 8.6% (unlisted)

Dem:
Clinton: 57.0% (24.0%)
Obama: 17.2% (12.5%)
Edwards: 10.6% (5.7%)
Gore: 8.1% (6.7%)

They don't do conditional probability, but it can be back calculated using the other odds. However, that adds even more noise.

Anyway, the conditional probabilities for each winner are:

Rep:
McCain: 50.1%
Giuliani: 75.8%
Romney: 66.9%

Dem:
Clinton: 42.1%
Obama: 72.7%
Edwards: 53.8%
Gore: 82.7%

This means that the Democrats should pick Gore and the Republicans should pick Giuliani.

It also shows that Clinton has a good chance of being nominated, but a low(er) chance of being elected.

However, Gore's total is very effected by 'noise', as his numbers are small compared to the spread. This can be reduced somewhat by dividing the offer price on the nominee market by the bid price on the president win market. (This basically gives the lowest possible conditional probability):

Gore: 5.1/8.2 = 62%
Obama: 11.4/17.4 = 65.5%

This helps to reduce the effect of the direction that the market is moving in and indicates that Obama is slightly ahead of Gore. However, it is within the margin of error.

One of the parties should say that they are going to nominate the candidate who manages the highest possible conditional probability. This would maximise their chances of winning.

Liberman is btw, at 0.1% chance of being nominated and unlisted for President.

Also, if you disagree with the conditional probabilities, you could place a bet to correct it.

 
At 3:08 PM, December 11, 2006, Anonymous Nate Edel said...

I think Lieberman is a non-starter as far as the Democratic base goes, no matter what his cross-party standing make give him in going for "electability." They're a big enough part of driving the nomination process that he's an equal non-starter in seeking the democratic nomination.

Have you seen any of the stuff from Unity08? I don't recall anything linking them to him, but he'd be a logical candidate from what I can see of their way of thinking to pull from both sides in the general election.

As you allude to at the end, he'd also be a dandy "moderate" choice for the Republican nomination, albeit probably only marginally more palatable to their base than to the Democratic one.

 
At 11:36 PM, December 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the republican party that got out the vote for Lieberman. He lost in the primary in CT and would likewise be completely unable to get a democrat nomination. I predict that he will switch parties to the one he votes for: the republican. DINO = democrat in name only.

 
At 9:31 AM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE PROBLEM FOR DEMOCRATS IS NOT WHO?
THE PROBLEMS IS THAT THEY HAVE CHOSEN TOO IGNORE POPULAR ISSUES.
GIVE ME AN INDEPENDENT
1 WHO WANTS TO WIN IN IRAQ.
2 WHO HAS A PLAN TO END OUR
INVOLVEMENT WITHOUT NEGATIVE CONSQUENCES.
3 WHO IS AGAINST ABORTION.
4 WHO WANTS IMPROVE OUR NATIONS
SECURITY WITHOUT UNDERMINING OUR
PERSONAL FREEDOM.
5 PROMISE NOT TO RAISE TAXES.
6 WILL PROMISE SOCIAL SERVICE
INCREASE BY REDUCING SPENDING.
IN SHORT THE CANIDATE THAT CAN \
STEAL THE WIND FROM THE REPLICANS
SAILS WILL WIN THE RACE.

 
At 3:10 PM, June 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he run as an Independent? The two main
candidates (Obama and McCain)
have so little to offer.)

 
At 6:48 AM, September 04, 2008, Blogger red said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

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