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Is this Barack Obama’s Lieberman?

February 14, 2008

Will the Chafee endorsement put Obama over the top?

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One of the defining moments of the campaign so far was Joe Lieberman’s endorsement of John McCain. Although Lieberman had previously campaigned with McCain last summer, it emphasised McCain’s credibility and his stance on Iraq. Therefore one might be mistaken for thinking that Lincoln Chafee’s rumoured endorsement of Barack Obama would do the same. Of course this will give Chafee his five minute of fame, but Chafee’s endorsement is clearly not the same as Joe Lieberman’s of McCain.

However, this is not correct because for every similarity there is a difference. Firstly, Lieberman is an independant Democrat who lost his primary and then sucessfully took on the Democratic machine while Chafee managed to pull a win in his primary only to be crushed in November. At the same time Lieberman was a previously senior Democrat who was the party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2000, while Chafee was a semi-detached Republican who wrote-in a vote for George HW Bush in 2004. While Lieberman earned his Senate seat after being Attorney General of Connecticut, Chafee inherited his seat from his father. Chafee also was not really known as a legislator. While Lieberman was pushing through major bipartisan initatives Chafee was refusing to vote for John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN. In effect the difference between Chafee and Lieberman is between a dilettante who was handed a Senate seat on a silver spoon and a statesman.

What do you think? Leave your comments below.

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