Lieberman addresses his first GOP convention
ST. PAUL - Country first. That was the theme of day two of the Republican National Convention. First lady Laura Bush, Pres. Bush, former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson and current U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman stressed that theme as they gave keynote addresses.
Lieberman's speech was particularly interesting. This was the former Democratic vice-presidential candidate-turned independent's first Republican convention.
"What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this?" Lieberman asked.
"I'm here," he said, answering his own question, "to support John McCain. Because country matters more than party."
Referring to McCain's decision to run an abbreviated first day of the convention on Monday because the gulf coast was getting pounded by a hurricane, Lieberman said, "What you can expect from John McCain is exactly what you have seen this week -- putting country first."
In other words, if circumstances preclude you from opening the convention with the flair that you've been planning, at least position yourself as putting the nation ahead of partisan politics. That should, and probably did, gain McCain some favor with voters.
Of course, it was also the right thing to do.
The point being raised is an important one. The president is president of all the people. Not just members of his own party.
Addressing Democrats and independents specifically, Lieberman concluded with this admonition:
"This year," he said, "...vote for the person you believe is best for your country, not for the party you happen to belong to."
Wednesday will see McCain's name being put into nomination. And, in all likelihood, his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will speak.
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