The image that Lieberman shoots for is "centrist." That's too far right for many in the party -- Lieberman's support for the Iraq War especiallly raises hackles among a fair number of the party faithful -- but it's principled. And if packaged properly, including with the right kind of running mate, he could be electable in November, although overcoming anti-Semitism in some quarters would be more important (and more difficult) than people might want to admit.
Perhaps his biggest liability is that he's too corporate for the noisy left wing of the party. Too many Democrats want to make an angry statement of across-the-board challenge to Bush, and that leaves moderates like Lieberman out in the cold. Too bad, because it's the middle that decides the elections. I disagree with the vast majority of administration policies, too, but above all, I want an opposition candidate who will win the election. Unlike Lieberman, the hard core ACLU'ers are more interested in hearing themselves talk about their ideas than winning the dirty battles of political life.
In other Demo news, Al Gore, creator of the internet, is backing Howard Dean, 'net darling, and that's bad news for Lieberman, Gore's 2000 running mate. I say, to heck with Gore. Unfortunately for those of us who dislike Bush, Al proved himself a particularly inept campaigner, and his jumping on the Dean bandwagon only reinforces my hunch that Dean is a Dukakis waiting to happen.
Meanwhile, Hillary "In '08" Clinton says she still supports our presence in Iraq, although she would go about running the war differently. This is hardly an endorsement for Dean, and seemingly more in line with what Lieberman has been saying. But the ex-First Lady has not endorsed a candidate, and is probably wisely waiting at least until February, when the field will be narrower -- probably Dean and just one or two credible others. (And Al Sharpton.)