While much of Washington kept rapt attention on the health of Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota, an article in Salon today speculated that President George W. Bush could tip the Senate to a Republican majority via other means -- namely, appointing Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut to be America's next Ambassador to the UN.
Conason acknowledges that Lieberman, having fought so hard to keep his seat, is unlikely to give it up. But he points out that Lieberman was a candidate for the job of UN Ambassador at an earlier time. And, he also suggests that the move could be used to put Lieberman on course to be the Vice Presidential candidate on a ticket with John McCain in 2008.
I don't put much stock in this story, but it would make sense. It would be a rare win-win for Bush. Lieberman is a popular political figure, and probably wouldn't have much trouble being confirmed. Republicans could then retake control of the Senate, at least for the next year.
But I agree with Conason that Lieberman isn't likely to sacrifice the seat that he just fought so hard to win back. Bolton's old job doesn't have nearly as much power or influence as Joe's current gig. There's little to nothing for Lieberman to gain as UN Ambassador.