Jewish World Review Dec. 14, 2002 / 13 Shevat, 5763

Jeff Kramer

Jeff Kramer
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Consumer Reports

Time to party like it's 2004 | Something big (in the rhetorical sense) and wonderful happened yesterday.

You felt it in the air and saw it in your neighbors' eyes. Smiles are brighter. Strides are longer.

After decades of cynicism, apathy and disgust with politics, the American electorate finally has someone to get excited about.

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman - yes, that Joe Lieberman - announced that he's running for president.

Please party responsibly. Remember, fireworks are illegal in many localities.

But a little celebratory excess is understandable given this grand turn of events.

Call me a delusional fool, but for my money, there's no national figure better capable of re-energizing the Democratic Party than a 4-foot-3- inch moralist who sounds like a dying home appliance and was chosen to run for vice president specifically for his ability to make Al Gore look charismatic.

There's just something about the guy. Look, I'm the last person in the world to go gaga over a politician, but when Joe Lieberman speaks, I just know that no matter what challenges we as a nation face, Snow White will somehow regain consciousness.

Here in Orange County, Ca., I had the honor of breaking the news of Lieberman's probable decision to dozens of shoppers last week at the Irvine Spectrum. Predictably, the place went bananas.

"I have no idea who he is, to be honest with you," said 20- something Samantha Hackett, speaking for millions. "My dad will be so proud."

At a clothing kiosk, manager Kathy Driskell was so excited she went blank.

"Who's Joe Lieberman?" she asked. "Does he run The Irvine Company or what?"

I explained that he was a U.S. senator who ran for vice president two whole years ago and was now seeking the top job.

Driskell seemed confused.

"Didn't we just elect a president?" she asked.

I told her I wasn't sure.

For all his personal dynamism and that sexy swagger the chicks really dig, the road to the White House won't be easy for Lieberman, in part because of his background. Sadly, there are still people out there who would never, under any circumstances, vote for a presidential candidate who hails from "The Nutmeg State."

And of course Lieberman will have plenty of competition from within his own party. Rival Democratic presidential contenders so far include Sneezy, Grumpy and Bashful.

But no one has Lieberman's spark or name recognition, especially with younger voters.

"I have a feeling he's probably a Democrat from what I do vaguely remember," praised Tom Cook, 23, a AAA dispatcher.

"Right-wing Republican," declared Leonard Rivas, 42.

Oh, what difference does it make? Those are just labels. Besides, it's precisely that sort of crossover appeal that makes Lieberman such a lethal threat to defeat George W. Bush two Novembers from now.

George W. Bush, by the way, is president of the United States, which is the country you're living in.

You can find more information about Bush and the United States on the Internet.

JWR contributor Jeff Kramer is a humor columnist based at the Orange County Register. Comment by clicking here.

12/10/02: They're just Scaping by for a cause
12/06/02: The specter of mass shipboard vomiting doesn't have to ruin the good times
12/04/02: Now it can be told: I, too, was married to Lisa Marie Presley
11/27/02: Every good dad is a thriller

© 2002, Orange County Register