Campaigning as a “Democrat who was re-elected as independent now here to support a Republican for president,” U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman told Jewish voters in southeastern Pennsylvania that he remains convinced that Republican John McCain is the best candidate to lead the country even as the focus of the election has shifted from national security to financial security.
“All days but particularly now country matters more than party, that’s the bottom line,” Lieberman told about 50 Jewish voters at Temple Beth Hillel in Wynnewood Friday morning.
He later spoke to about 70 retirees at B’rith Shalom House in Philadelphia and then about 120 mostly politically conservative Jews at Congregation Shaare Shamayim.
While mostly receptive audiences, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee faced skeptical and sometimes outwardly hostile questioning about McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Lieberman responded that the election is about deciding whether Barack Obama or McCain will be president. Based on his own interactions with Palin and others he’s spoken with, Lieberman described her as a pragmatic and realistic leader who understands everybody does not share all of her ideological views. Lieberman, for one, said he disagrees with many of her social views.
Republicans hope that the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul may put the state in play for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The state is considered a toss-up that leans Democratic. Democrats have won the state the last eight elections, including 1984, when Minnesotans stuck with hometown favorite Walter F. Mondale.
The convention may give a boost to another hometown favorite, Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican seeking a second term who is opposed by comedian Al Franken, a Democrat.
The Senate seat has been held by Jewish lawmakers since 1978.
A recent University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute/Minnesota Public Radio poll shows Franken with a 1 percent advantage.
Coleman, a former St. Paul mayor, certainly found plenty of support and people wanting to shake his hand Sunday night as he walked around a reception for delegates and guests at the Minneapolis Convention Center.