Hillary's choice: Joe Lieberman

By Joe Schembrie
web posted August 14, 2000

The Jewish vote is only two percent nationally and, like Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman's home state, was already in Gore's column. So why did presidential candidate Al Gore choose Joe Lieberman as his Vice Presidential running mate?

Many conservatives sense the heavy hand of Hillary Roddam Clinton.

That Hillary pulls Bill's strings has been observed since their Little Rock days. Bill Clinton has a photographic memory, but like so many other such gifted people, he can neither focus nor be on time to save his life. Hillary is the decisive, practical thinker behind the throne, Bill's guide into the universe of concrete reality.

And maybe she has the goods on him. We can only speculate.

But why does Al follow Bill? Here are some reasons that don't involve stealing FBI files and moving corpses in Fort Marcy Park:

1. Bill is much better at raising funds for Al than even Al is.

2. If there's a split, the media will side with Bill over Al.

3. Bill provides Al with a daily charisma transfusion.

4. The Justice Department has declined to investigate Al Gore's fundraising activities. Now, who controls Janet Reno?

5. Bill has a back-up copy of those e-mail archives that were 'accidentally' deleted from Al Gore's computer hard drive before investigators could examine them.

6. Read #5 again -- because you know it's true!

7. Al Gore really does believe that Bill Clinton is one of the greatest Presidents, ever.

So be it resolved: Hillary controls Bill, and Bill controls Al. But who chose Lieberman?

Not Al Gore. Lieberman called for the Department of Justice to probe Gore's fundraising activities. Lieberman is the last person that Gore would freely choose.

Nor did Bill Clinton make the call. Lieberman may have voted against presidential removal, but also delivered a scathing speech against Clinton's morals. Bill Clinton has a long memory and a thin skin. He wouldn't have freely chosen Lieberman, either.

Of the Clintonista's Unholy Triumvirate, only Hillary Clinton has no animosity toward Lieberman.

Hillary ClintonIt certainly looks like she's in charge. If she's not, why is her campaign receiving a vastly disproportionate $3 million from the otherwise destitute national Democratic Party's coffers? Why is she scheduled to speak the first night of the Democratic National Convention? You may respond, "Well, at the Republican convention, Laura Bush spoke on the first night." Yes -- and following that parallelism, Hillary Clinton is the most important person in Al Gore's life.

Which is my point.

Why did Hillary choose Joe? Because Joe Lieberman just happens to be Jewish, and Hillary has had a problem lately with Jewish voters.

After Hillary's certain obscene remark about Jews came to light, her standing in the New York Senate race changed dramatically. She had been running neck-and-neck in the polls with Republican challenger Rick Lazio. Then, she plunged fifteen points behind.

The Jewish Vote is tiny nationally but huge in New York. A Democrat running for statewide office in New York can't win without strong Jewish support. Hillary's Jewish support was wavering.

After all the things she's done, to Jew and Gentile alike, of all the things to sink her -- three angry words, uttered a quarter of a century ago! But sink her they did. To become the next Senator from New York, she must dramatically prove that she's not anti-Semitic. If only she could appoint a Jew as Vice Senatorial running mate!

What she can do is order Bill to persuade Al to select Joe.

Already her poll numbers have bounced back. And soon, Joe Lieberman -- who just happens to be Jewish -- will swing through New York so often that you'll wonder if he's running for the Senate there (he's not a resident, but since when does that matter?). Hillary will always be available for a joint photo-op before another crowd of New York voters . . . who just happen to be Jewish.

If Al Gore had been in complete control of his VP selection, he'd have chosen Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who carries no baggage with him or Clinton, and is not only Jewish but also female -- a twenty-five times larger voting bloc. But Hillary, who eagerly aligns with women but ultimately desires no rivals as she positions herself as the Number One Woman in Democratic Party Leadership, isn't about to elevate Feinstein.

In the end, Hillary must be pleased with how it all turned out. Yet national voters must ask, "Who's in charge here?"

If we're to be concerned -- as liberal pundits were only a couple weeks ago -- with whether George W. Bush's father had input on his son's VP choice, how much more should we be concerned that Al Gore seems merely a puppet, bobbing haplessly at the end of Hillary Clinton's string?

Joe Schembrie is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right.

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