Campaign Confidential

Eric Cantor to Run for House Whip

By Brett Lieberman

Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House, is said to be running for House GOP whip position.

Politico reports that Cantor is making calls to line up support from colleagues for the position, which is the second highest Republican leadership


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'Independent' Lieberman on the Synagogue Tour for McCain

By Brett Lieberman

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.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Democrat, Independent, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Philadelphia, Republican, Presidential Election, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama

'Bagels With Joe' in Pennsylvania

By Brett Lieberman

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Connecticut, returns to Pennsylvania Friday to plug Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin in the Jewish community.

Here’s his itinerary:

Temple Beth Hillel at 10 a.m. 1001 Remington Rd. Wynnewood, PA 19096

B’rith Shalom House at 11:15 a.m. 3939 Conshohocken Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131

Congregation Shaare Shamayim at 1:45 p.m. 9768 Verree Road Philadelphia, PA 19096


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sarah Palin, Philadelphia, Joseph Lieberman, John McCain, Republican, Presidential Election

Lieberman Predicts Record Jewish Vote for Republicans

By Brett Lieberman

Republicans will garner more support from the Jewish community than at any time since the Great Depression – surpassing the 39 percent of the Jewish vote that Ronald Reagan won in 1980, U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., is predicting.

The 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee who was on Republican John McCain’s shortlist for this year’s GOP ticket, made the prediction during a recent rally with Republican candidates in suburban Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent reports.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Presidential Election, Republican, Philadelphia, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman

Report: Lieberman Not Welcome to Break Bread With Democrats

By Brett Lieberman

Retribution was swift for U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman after the Connecticut Indepedent/Democrat’s speech supporting John McCain and criticizing Barack Obama at last week’s Republican National Convention.

Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call [Registration required] reports that he’s no longer welcome at the Democrats’ weekly lunches and biweekly lunches of committee chairman.

Speculation remains on what will happen to Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

At least for now, Democrats need his vote now to remain in the majority. But with Democrats expected to pick up seats in the November elections that may not be the case for long.

UPDATE: Lieberman tells The Hill: “I think it’s probably wise for me and for my colleagues in the Democratic caucus to dine somewhere else for the next few weeks.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Democrats, Lieberman, Congress, Senate, Elections, President, Republican, Obama, McCain

The Buchanan-Palin Connection

By Brett Lieberman

Was Sarah Palin, Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, a Buchananite?

There’s been a lot of speculation that the former mayor of Wasilla supported Patrick Buchanan after The Nation dug up an old Associated Press story that reported she welcomed the controversial conservative to a reception in Wasilla and wore a Buchanan button.

The McCain campaign denies Palin ever backed Buchanan.

We caught up with Buchanan this morning at Key’s Cafe (“Minnesota’s most awarded family restaurant”), where MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” programming is broadcasting during the Republican National Convention week to get his take on the whole episode.

“This is odd because I wasn’t even on the ballot in 2000,” Buchanan told the Forward. “I dropped out and went for the reform party. I dropped out in 1999 and the caucuses were in 2000, so I wasn’t even on the ballot in 2000.”

This may not clarify things since the AP story was from 1999, when Buchanan acknowledges he was still running as a Republican.

As for Palin, he says, “I think she’s a terrific pick. I think she’s terrific.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: convention, Palin, Buchanan, president, Republican, vice president, election

GOP Convention May Give Coleman a Boost

By Brett Lieberman

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.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Convention, Election, Coleman, Republican, Democrat, Minnesota, Senate

RJC Fashion Show Goes On Amid Scaled Back GOP Convention

By Brett Lieberman

With Hurricane/Tropical Storm Gustav barreling down on the Gulf Coast, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain said that convention-goers should take off their Republican hats and put on their American hats in an effort to avoid the perception that the GOP is having a party at the same time of a potential national disaster.

Much of today’s formal Twin Cities schedule at the Republican National Convention has been scrapped, but that doesn’t mean there’s no fun and games.

Parties and receptions will go on. The same goes for a planned Republican Jewish Coalition fashion show featuring guest of honor Hadassah Lieberman, who was scheduled to give remarks and not walk down the runway.

Her husband, Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, was scheduled to speak Monday night at the convention. But his speech as well as those of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were scrubbed because of the scaled back convention. Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, said the campaign hoped to give all the speakers an opportunity to speak, but it was unclear when or if that will happen.

Even though the fashion show, including a silent auction and luncheon, organized by the RJC’s National Women’s Committee Event was to benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, perceptions of a fashion show/fund-raiser going on was a bit too much for the sober image McCain and convention organizers were trying.

Perception and image being the most important thing these days in politics, the fashion show is going on. Yet we received notice Sunday night that it’s now closed to the media – meaning no photos or news reports.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Republican, McCain, president, RJC, convention, Lieberman




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  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
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