The Corner

With Joe – Contra Kennedy

This morning Lieberman held a brief press availability at a Manchester diner during one of his daily “Cup o’ Joe with Joe” events. He stood behind the diner’s counter, directly behind the muffins and danishes, and faced a battery of cameras and microphones. He was, as usual, determinedly upbeat, saying he was delighted by Carol Mosely Braun’s presidential run and hopes to entice her into his administration when he is president. I asked him about Ted Kennedy’s charge that the Iraq war was essentially a political stunt from the beginning. “As you know,” Lieberman said, “I have never said that” – a kind of understatement. He then went on to give the history of the Iraq Liberation Act, which he hatched with John McCain and others back in 1998. If there was a Bush political conspiracy, it must have gotten a very early start. Lieberman noted the hundreds of thousands of people Saddam had killed and the benefit to the Iraqi people of having him gone. “If Howard Dean and Wes Clark had had their way,” he said, “Saddam would still be in power.” Then, he clarified: “I mean the Wes Clark position after he took the seven other positions on Iraq before he settled there.”