John McCain Regrets Not Picking Joe Lieberman for VP Slot in 2008 Instead of Palin
Senator John McCain is getting very candid with his upcoming book and the HBO documentary coming out about him.
As has been reported previously, The Restless Wave features McCain, among other things, criticizing President Trump‘s outlook on the world and reflecting on his own life following his cancer diagnosis.
Per the New York Times, part of the book (and the documentary) deals with McCain’s regrets, and there’s one pretty big one from his presidential campaign 10 years ago: not picking Joe Lieberman to be his VP pick.
Lieberman used to be a Democrat, and by 2008 he was an independent. The two senators were close and there was much buzz back then about Lieberman joining the ticket.
McCain recalls the decision-making process and the regret he ultimately felt over it:
He recalls that his advisers warned him that picking a vice-presidential candidate who caucused with Democrats and supported abortion rights would divide Republicans and doom his chances.
“It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” he writes. “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.”
Even more striking is how Mr. McCain expresses his sorrow in the documentary. He calls the decision not to pick Mr. Lieberman “another mistake that I made” in his political career, a self-indictment that includes his involvement in the Keating Five savings and loan scandal and his reluctance to speak out during his 2000 presidential bid about the Confederate battle flag flying above the South Carolina Capitol.
McCain, of course, ultimately chose Sarah Palin to be on the ticket with him, and as the Times notes, that choice is viewed by some in his part as one that “unleash[ed] the forces of grievance politics and nativism within the G.O.P.”
But McCain apparently does still “defend Palin’s performance,” even if he ultimately wishes he ran with Lieberman instead.
The Times report also adds that people close to the Arizona senator have told the White House that “their current plan for his funeral is for Vice President Mike Pence to attend the service to be held in Washington’s National Cathedral but not President Trump.”
[image via screengrab]
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