Will ‘Hagee-gate’ sink hopes of a McCain/Lieberman ticket?

May 29, 2008

Probably not, but either Hagee needs to leave CUFI, or Lieberman needs to reconsider his decision to attend their conference

I have to admit that as someone who is a fan of gambling and someone whose church attendance is limited to once a year and hoping that Celtic beat Rangers, I am in no position to criticise anyone’s belief. My knowledge of Hagee derives from the press accounts of what he has said, and as such might have taken his comments out of context (although I don’t how his comments could be explained away). However, I think that they were disgusting and I firmly agree with Joe Lieberman that John Hagee’s comments were, ‘deeply unacceptable and hurtful’ and with McCain’s belief that they were, ‘crazy and unacceptable’. I also think McCain made the right decision to repudiate Hagee’s support. Therefore I have to say that I think Joe Lieberman’s decision, along it must be said with other Senators and various diplomatic officials, to speak at the CUFI summit in July, will both damage McCain’s campaign and reduce the chances of a McCain/Lieberman ticket, although only slightly.

Of course, it has to be pointed out that there is a lot of hypocrisy and hysteria going on here. There is no way that one can construe the decision to appear at CUFI as some sort of endorsement of Hagee and equate it with Obama’s continued association with Wright. Indeed, even now Obama remains a member of Wrights’ church and specifically limited his repudiation of Wright’s comments, rather than the man himself. Also, some of the reaction to Lieberman’s decision to appear at a CUFI event on web-logs like Daily Kos has revealed a very nasty side to the members of that website. The fact that Hagee managed to fool a large number of prominent and respected people means that it is not easy to immediately make a U-turn. Thankfully, the press coverage has been scattered and apart from few rants on TV, the damage to Lieberman seems minimal.

Overall, I think it would be prudent for either Lieberman to reassess his decision to attend, or for Hagee to fall on his sword and relinquish membership of CUFI. Given that the raison d’etre of a McCain-Lieberman ticket would be to unite America, being associated (however tangentially) with such a wacky, hateful and divisive figure such as Hagee would be a bad decision. It is also being spun by the few outlets who are covering this event as McCain hedging his repudiation, which is damaging in itself. However, I don’t think that this can really be used by the Democrats, not least because of Obama’s comments about his great-uncle. Indeed I suggest that it only reduces the possibility of Lieberman being on the ticket from events to 3/2 (40%), and even this can be reduced, especially if either Hagee or Lieberman acts quickly. In this context I think the odds of 23/1 quoted on Lieberman being McCain’s running on Betfair are ridiculous.



  1. Lieberman was never going to be the pick anyways.

  2. Ditto.

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