Campaign Confidential

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.”


Report: 'Rove Tried To Kill Lieberman VP Pick'

By Brett Lieberman

Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman rejected a request by former presidential aide Karl Rove to withdraw his name from consideration as John McCain’s vice presidential pick, according to a report by Politico.

Three sources confirmed the effort by the controversial architect of President Bush’s election and one person told the news organization that Lieberman refused to make the call.

There’s strong support for choosing Lieberman within the McCain campaign, according to columnist Robert Novak, who warns picking Lieberman would be disastrous.

The Democrat-turned-Independent senator has campaigned for McCain, the Republican presidential candidate and a good friend, because Lieberman supports his stances on Iraq and foreign policy. His support for McCain, and sharp criticism for Democrat Barack Obama and Democrats, has widened a rift between Lieberman and his Democratic friends.

Reports say that McCain has selected his running mate and will notify that individual on Thursday. The pair will make their first joint appearance at a large campaign rally in Ohio on Friday.

While Lieberman appeals to many moderates and Independent voters, Jewish voters and the move would bolster McCain’s reputation as a maverick, conservatives such as talk show host Rush Limbaugh have warned such a move would blow-up the Republican Party. Lieberman and McCain agree on foreign policy matters, but Lieberman’s support for abortion rights and many other social and domestic issue positions run counter to conservative and Republican agendas.

Selecting Lieberman would certainly shake up the presidential race and be seen as unconventional – two things that analysts say McCain need to do.



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