A Pair Of Aces

When Al Gore picked Joe Lieberman as his running mate, a friend from North Carolina said: "I think both parties have got their tickets upside down."

I wouldn't go that far - and in truth, neither Bush nor Gore settled on the most exciting choices.

If Bush had taken Colin Powell, it could have realigned American politics, but Powell didn't want the job.

John McCain would have energized independents, but Bush was never comfortable with him.

So he settled on Dick Cheney, a lackluster campaigner from a small state whose only real qualification is his integrity and experience that make him totally qualified to be president. Not bad.

And then there's Lieberman. Like Cheney, no rock star. But he brings the weight of experience, values and character that has been shaped over a lifetime.

If Al Gore has had trouble deciding what persona he wants to present to the public, Lieberman seems a man comfortable in his own skin. He is what he is. He won't be changing. That Gore picked him speaks well of Gore.

Some of the Jewish faith seem skittish that the pick might set off a wave of anti-Semitism. It won't. The first anything always attracts attention but it has to happen to make the second anything no big deal.

In an era when so much of our politics has been so awful, these picks are refreshing at the least.

Who knows? If the candidates keep it at this level, we may see something we haven't seen in a long time: a campaign of which we can all be proud.