30-ft.-high rat may greet Lieberman at GOP Convention
Diane Sweet
Published: Wednesday July 30, 2008

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If some Connecticut Democrats get their way, Sen. Joe Lieberman will be greeted at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota by a gigantic inflatable rat.

Stamford's The Advocate reports:

Joseph Lieberman might want to pack some rodenticide if he decides to stump for John McCain at the upcoming Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Some of the same Connecticut Democrats who stalked the senator on the re-election trail two years ago with the famous "kiss" float - a papier mache likeness of President Bush kissing Lieberman after the 2005 State of the Union address - are hoping to make a similar splash at the GOP fete Sept. 1-4.

If Lieberman's detractors get their way, their prop would be a 30-foot inflatable rat, the kind unions typically use when construction workers cross picket lines.

"The 30-foot rat is a big rat. A 12-foot rat you can kind of put in the back of a pickup truck A 30-foot rat you have to put on the back of a flatbed," said Ed Anderson, a New Haven Democrat who helped start the Web site DumpJoe.com.

A spokeswoman for Lieberman, who has broken party ranks to endorse McCain, said the self-described independent Democrat hasn't been invited to the GOP convention.

"At this time, there are no plans (to attend)," said Erika Masonhall, Lieberman's press secretary.

Lieberman outraged many Nutmeg State Democrats when he came out in support of his longtime friend McCain for president. To many of them, the move was the latest insult to the party by the man they call a "Democrat in name only."

Raw Story's Michael Roston reported in February of this year that aides to the Connecticut senator said it was "quite possible" that Lieberman would attend the GOP convention in the Twin Cities amid rumors he might seek to join McCain's ticket as VP:

Speculation emerged in some news reports that Lieberman might seek to join McCain's ticket. But the Connecticut senator quashed those rumors at the end of January when he suggested that if McCain asked him to run as vice president, he'd say, "Thanks, John, I've been there, I've done that. You can find much better," according to the AP.

At the same time, Lieberman began hinting that he'd "be more welcome" at the Republican National Convention than at the Democrats' August nominating confab. And moves this past week might have pushed him over the edge.

Last week, Lieberman was stripped of his "superdelegate" status, which granted him a guaranteed vote for a Democratic candidate in Denver. Under the so-called "Zell Miller" rule, named for the Georgia senator who spoke out against John Kerry and his fellow Democrats at the 2004 RNC, Lieberman's endorsement of a Republican candidate makes him ineligible to vote at the DNC.

Anderson warns Lieberman not to show up at the convention, as he's ready to apply for permits to put the inflatable rat outside the Xcel Energy Center, the convention site.

The following video is from "The Kiss" float at the Fourth of July's Boom Box Parade in 2006 in Sen. Lieberman's home state, built by supporters of Lieberman's then-opponent Ned Lamont: