May 12, 2003
How conservative is Joe Lieberman?

I'm not a supporter of Joe Lieberman, but something always feels a little off to me when people refer to him as being a near-Republican. Yes, he's been a hawk on Iraq, which is something the Democratic base may never forgive him for, but overall, how conservative is he?

Well, maybe we should check and see what some actual conservatives think. Lieberman has a lifetime score of 20 from the American Conservatives Union. His score last year was also 20, which compares pretty favorably (from a Democratic perspective) to John Breaux (42 last year, 46 overall), Blanche Lincoln (40 and 23), Zell Miller (47 and 54), and Ben Nelson (55 and 53). He's also quite the liberal when compared to the Senate's Republican "moderates" - Lincoln Chaffee (53 and 47), Olympia Snowe (65 and 52), and Susan Collins (55 and 57). Jim Jeffords (6 and 26) has him beat last year, but not overall. You can find all of the ratings here.

How does he compare to other Democratic Presidential candidates?

John Kerry - 20 in 2002, 6 overall.
Richard Gephardt - 8 and 12.
John Edwards - 30 and 15.
Bob Graham - 20 and 18.
Dennis Kucinich - 0 and 13.

No ratings are available for Howard Dean and Al Sharpton. I'm too lazy to look through their archives for Carol Moseley-Braun.

From where I sit, Lieberman is a relative moderate in Democrat terms. There are certainly reasons to dislike him, and there are certainly reasons to think he's not electable (you'll have to argue with Greg Wythe about that), but let's be honest here: Joe Lieberman is worlds better than George Bush, and I for one will get over my lack of enthusiasm for him pretty damn quickly if he winds up carrying the Democrats' banner.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 12, 2003 to The making of the President | TrackBack

The archives aren't available for 1998 and the last overall rating is from 1996, but at that point Carol Mosely Braun garnered a lifetime score of 4.

Her votes that were in agreement with the ACU were for a Balanced Budget bills in '94, '95, and '97, for some Tort Reform bills in '95 and '96, and against a campign Spending Reform bill in '97.

Posted by: Patrick on May 12, 2003 10:53 AM