Ready on Day One

READY ON DAY ONE…. Last month, Joe Lieberman was asked whether he believes Sarah Palin is prepared to lead if something should happen to John McCain after the election. “Well, you know, let’s assume the best,” Lieberman said, adding, “Let’s assume that nothing bad will happen.”

Yesterday, Lieberman, who’s generally toed the party line when it comes to Palin, slipped again.

In a discussion with journalists from his home state of Connecticut, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Democrat-turned-independent but staunchly in the Republican presidential nominee’s camp, offered a somewhat ambiguous assessment today of Gov. Sarah Palin’s readiness to be president.

Asked by the Stamford Advocate whether Ms. Palin was prepared to be commander in chief, Mr. Lieberman said: “Thank God, she’s not going to have to be president from Day One. McCain’s going to be alive and well.”

Lieberman added that Palin will get ready, thanks to the fact that she’s “smart,” and would get “on-the-job training” as the nation’s vice president.

I get the sense Lieberman probably doesn’t realize how ridiculous this sounds. We should be thankful, he says, that Palin won’t have to take the lead on Day One. But what if she does? McCain, a cancer survivor, would be the oldest president ever elected. What if something tragic happens on the first day, or the second, or maybe sometime in the first week, before Palin’s “on-the-job training” can begin?

Lieberman may be one of McCain’s most sycophantic allies, but even he seems worried about Palin holding national office. It’s not a good sign.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.