Joe Lieberman--The Jewish Jesse Jackson

Remember all that talk about Barack Obama's Jewish problem? I do. And Joe Lieberman was supposed to help McCain capitalize on all those problems. There's only one problem with that theory:

Only 37 percent of Jews view the Connecticut Independent in a favorable light compared to 48 percent who have a negative perception. As for Obama, 60 percent of Jews view him favorably while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

Sam Stein inexplicably goes on to note that if Barack Obama has a Jewish problem, than Joe Lieberman is "in monumental trouble." Sam didn't get the memo--black people always have problems. Black people are "monumental trouble" incarnate. Every time a white guy eats a steak, some black kid somewhere develops heart disease.

Anyway, my point is that Lieberman is now entering that territory where--much like Al Sharpton--he gets gravitas for representing a group of people, who, in reality, have decidely mixed feelings about him. Lieberman poses a Jesse Jackson problem. Both Lieberman and Jackson's greatest appeal is to a portion of the base which thier respective candidate have already locked down. Furthermore, both are repellants to other members of thier respective candidates coalition, who are far less wedded to them.

The same white voters who wouldn't support Barack in the primary, are the same white voters who hate Jackson. The same right-wing evangelicals who hate McCain for his refusal to completely bow before thier social agenda, are the same right-wing evangelicals who despise Joe Lieberman's support for abortion rights. Lieberman's main right-wing accolade is his support of the war--but that's also McCain's main right-wing accolade. Obama is smart enough to see that Jesse can't help him. But because media love the facade of bipartisanship, and don't hate Lieberman anywhere near as much as they hate Jesse, McCain hasn't ben forced to take a hard look at how much Lieberman is helping. My guess is not much.