The Politics Junkie

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It's Joe "Lede" Lieberman on Thursday as the Big Four papers go with the would-be veep. NYT's Richard L. Berke calls the speech "a forceful appeal on behalf of Mr. Gore and a muted rebuke of Gov. George W. Bush," but civic-like, leads with "Albert Arnold Gore Jr.," as if the guy gets gravitas just for hugging his daughter unscripted. WP's David Broder gets the top job and goes analytical on Joe's butt with another stallion of a lede: " The 'new guard' leadership of the Democratic Party took command tonight, as Al Gore was formally nominated for president and his running mate, Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, promised their administration would help all Americans 'claim the limitless possibilities of their own God-given lives.'" Far be it for me to contradict, Mr. Broder, but Lieberman didn't act like no New Dem to me.

USAT's Jill Lawrence goes so straight they hed with "Lieberman Offers Intimate Portrait": "Sen. Joseph Lieberman, at the threshold of a landmark moment for American Jews, introduced himself Wednesday night as a more universal figure: a son who journeyed from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of the American dream." It wasn't the first time I thought, Dukakis.

WSJ's Bob Davis piece heds with it all: "Lieberman Learns to Juggle Loyalty and Independence": "Mr. Lieberman faced a daunting task last night: He had to introduce himself to a country that barely knew his name 10 days ago, establish himself as a moderate, and yet show himself to be faithful enough to Democratic values to be welcomed by the party's liberal wing. He made his case with a mixture of emotion, biography and gentle sarcasm, and received a standing ovation on almost every applause line in his speech." Valuable lesson? Look what that skill-set's done for Al.

LAT — yes, I'm up that late — goes local with a newser on L.A.'s intriguing cops-and-rabble Rampart show: "Behind that apparently antagonistic scene, however, was a carefully orchestrated arrangement, a minuet of police and protesters worked out in such detail — and with enough trust on both sides — that the LAPD actually advised its critics on what crime to commit in order for them to be conveniently and safely taken into custody."

Second Bananas

Lieberman's not done yet. NYT's David Barstow does pol positioning: "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman continued his efforts today to win the full support of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party as one of its prominent members, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, went before the New York delegation to praise the historic alliance between Jews and blacks." Hmm. Hadn't heard about that one, Jesse.

WP's Dan Balz gets the tee-up story with Gore's "two overriding goals when he delivers his acceptance speech here on Thursday night. One is to emerge as a politician standing on his own. The other is to persuade the voters that this election matters. The question is how he tries to do it." Could have run that one last week and gone on vacation.

USAT's Jessica Lee tests the limits of straight-ness with Hadassah's introduction of her "regular Joe": "In introducing her husband Wednesday, Hadassah Lieberman confided, 'Community keeps Joe grounded and reminds him of his commitment to respectful living.'" Confided? To all the PBS viewers?

WSJ's Harwood/Cummings does delineation duty with a thinker for the Olympics blackout: "George W. Bush wants you to think big and broad. Al Gore plans to win by homing in on the details." Et cetera, et cetera.

LAT's Barabak/Cooper seconds with straight-ish news, having pushed Joe below the top: "Offering his life as a parable of America's promise, Joseph I. Lieberman accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination Wednesday night with a vow to 'break down the barriers' that limit the nation's possibilities."

Notable: NYT's Katharine Q. Seelye reports: Gore Eager to Provide Previews of Address. "As Al Gore tinkers with the final version of his address to the nation, his speech has come together in what he and his aides describe as a political self-portrait: heavy on personal biography, policy detail and a vision for the future, all composed in his own hand and in his precise syntax." Al Gore, alone. Please, Al, add something about how you're no good at this campaigning stuff, because all I can think of is that DLC speech in '92 that was so boring it made your press secretary cry. And I'm too tired to deal with a disaster like that tonight.


Cops and Rabble (LAT)

"They asked what it would take to get arrested," Moore said. "We looked up the law and gave them some ideas. They wanted to lie down in the street, but we told them they wouldn't get arrested for that." —Capt. Michael Moore, who oversees the Rampart station in L.A.

"The whole scenario was known. LAPD knew our plans. It was peaceful all the way. We were talking no violence, no violent civil disobedience." —Fermin Dominguez, a 19-year-old psychology major at Cal State Northridge who helped organize the march.

To quote Joe Lieberman, "Is this a great country or what?"