Amid party concern that John McCain's sputtering campaign had lost all chance of triumphing in November by his selection of former beauty queen, Alaskan governor and 'Troopergate' star Sarah Palin, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who caucuses with the Democrats, used his speech the the convention tonight to insist that it showed McCain's judgment in a good light.
"John McCain has backed a war that -- justified and necessary as it may be -- is deeply unpopular with voters. He has undercut his own POW story with his support of torture, and frankly, while he is my friend, I think you'll have to agree that every public appearance of John McCain is a potent argument against John McCain. He simply can not hope to win a presidential election. If I were hoping for a Republican President some time in the future, I would be thankful God only made one John McCain.
"If you're going to make a bizarre, erratic choice for a Vice Presidential candidate, this is the time to do it. And that's what John McCain did," Senator Lieberman orated to a cheering audience of GOP party faithful in Minneapolis XCel Center.
"Look at my story," the Connecticut Independent said. "Like John McCain, I've also flirted with changing sides of the aisle, but this is before that. In 2000, Al Gore was the respected Vice President of a phenomenally popular President, in a time when the budget deficit could be hidden in the Social Security Trust Fund, Terrorism was a priority, and Americans were safe in their homes. I was best known for attacking the president from within his own party on a ginned up scandal. I know you think my age has stripped my Charisma from me, but I was really no more prepossessing then.
"I was undoubtedly one of the most head-scratching Vice Presidential choices Al Gore could have made. And he made it. I don't flatter myself that this was the only badly damaging thing Al did to his own -- to our -- campaign, but even with all of his efforts if he had done one of those things right, the race was close enough that it would probably have not gone to the Supreme Court.
"2000 Presidential Candidate Al Gore came in not being able to lose, and he lost. And part of the reason was his disastrous Vice Presidential pick, me. I would point out that I'm this year's Zell Miller! C'mon, what was Al thinking?
"The right time to make a totally opaque, seemingly random selection for a running partner is when you are going to lose no matter what you do. And this is the position John McCain finds himself in. John McCain is doing the right thing at the right time, and illustrating yet again that he has the judgment to be the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.
"John McCain has my support, and he should have yours. Thank you for your time, thank you for your attention, and thank you for voting for John McCain."