Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

Joe for John: Lieberman Endorses McCain

Joseph Lieberman has crossed the aisle to endorse the presidential candidacy of his good friend — and fellow Senate Iraq war hawk — John McCain.

The two have plenty in common — including a willingness to buck their parties on occasion: Lieberman on Iraq, and other issues; McCain on global warming, campaign finance reform and more. In his endorsement speech in New Hampshire, Lieberman stressed the importance of putting the national interest ahead of party politics

One question is whether an endorsement from the self-proclaimed “independent Democrat” will help or hurt McCain with his party’s faithful. The Associated Press’s Jennifer Loven writes, “the endorsement carries the risk of alienating conservatives who have been critical of his support for immigration and campaign finance reforms.”

In New Hampshire though, as the AP notes, independents are allowed to vote in the party primaries. Lieberman and the emphasis on bridging the partisan divide could help McCain with this key constituency. (And, in any case, it would be hard for McCain’s GOP opponents to nail him over an endorsement from a Democrat who is well regarded by many Republicans.)

The decision, however, of the Democrats’ 2000 vice-presidential nominee to endorse a Republican — while hardly surprising — is certainly striking (as, of course, was Democratic primary voters’ rebuke of Lieberman in his Senate reelection bid). Democrats, it goes without saying, are not pleased with Lieberman’s latest move — even dyed-in-the-wool centrists “I am very saddened by Senator Lieberman’s choice and profoundly disagree with it,” said Al From, founder and CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council. “We need to elect a Democratic president in 2008.”

But, it seems, Lieberman’s endorsement may have been of more use to McCain than it would have been to any of the Democratic hopefuls, who are currently competing over who has the strongest anti-Bush bona fides. The AP reports:

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Democrat Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, said he had intended to wait until after the primaries to make a choice for the 2008 presidential race. But McCain asked for his support and no Democrat did.

Emphasis added.

UPDATE: Lieberman detractors are pointing to this remark, made by the Connecticut senator during a debate with his 2006 Senate race opponent Ned Lamont:

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.