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Joe Lieberman has his veep T-shirt, and doesn't want another

May 13, 2008 |  9:04 am

The vice president's job -- until the reign of Dick Cheney -- was largely a matter of holding a mirror under the nose of the president to see if he was still breathing.

But now, in the aftermath of the most powerful vice president in the history of the republic, the question arises: Who might like an invitation to be a running mate this year?

The Capitol Hill newspaper, appropriately called The Hill, asked a lot of sitting senators the question and got some responses, some serious, some not so.

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who was arrested in a Minneapolis airport bathroom sex sting and has since been ostracized by his party, replied: "I would say 'No, Hillary.'"

"Republican prospects John Thune of South Dakota and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina dismissed the possibility, while conservative Sam Brownback (Kan.) expressed concern about how independent voters would react to him,'' the Hill reports.

"On the Democratic side of the aisle, Sen. Jim Webb (Va.) also dismissed the idea -- but with a grin. Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), another Democrat whose name has surfaced in vice presidential speculation, was more candid: "I suspect that's not the sort of thing you say no to."

Others joined Craig in treating the question as the sort of thing ...

... one makes light of.

"Of course," Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) said. "Big house, big car, not much to do. Why not?"

"Absolutely," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). "I think I would be great. First of all, I know how to behave at weddings and funerals. And I know how to be commander in chief. I'd bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory."

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who ran on the 2000 Democratic presidential ticket with Al Gore and is supporting Republican John McCain this time around, said: "Once is enough.... I already have the T-shirt and I'm proud of it.''

-- Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.

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