NOTE: I’m scheduled to be on the Glenn Beck Show tonight on CNN Headline News at 7pm, 9pm and midnight eastern to discuss Sen. Obama and foreign policy. Check back for updates.
ORIGINAL POST: What a remarkable sight. We’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t know that we ever will again. But there was Sen. Joe Lieberman — a lifelong Democrat, the Democrats’ Vice Presidential nominee in 2000, a man who with Al Gore earned some 51 million votes running against George Bush and Dick Cheney — at a Republican convention to say without hesitation that Sen. John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin have more experience, better judgment and more qualifications to lead America than Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Wow. In such a high stakes election, such a full throated endorsement for the full ticket — Governor Palin notably included — by a man t of Lieberman’s character and stature might make all the difference. Everytime an Obama advocate attacks Governor Palin’s “readiness,” all Republicans have to say now is, “Lieberman thinks she’s ready, and Obama isn’t. Case closed.”
It’s not really “case-closed,” of course. Governor Palin has to prove she’s ready. And tonight, she has a huge opportunity to make that case and reassure her party and her country. I hope she talks about what it’s like to manage the largest state in the country, a state bigger than California, Texas and Montana combined. I hope she talks about what it is like to run the second-largest oil producing state in the nation. And how she passed a bill to build a $26 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline that will carry natural gas from the North Slope through Canada to the Lower 48 States to make us more energy independent (after all, Alaska has some 35 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves). She should tell us what it’s like to oversee a $40 billion economy, and create jobs, and cut taxes, and attack government waste and corruption. I want to hear some of the decisions she has had to make as commander of Alaska’s National Guard, what it was like to visit our troops in the Middle East, and what it is like to prepare to send your own son into battle to fight for our country. And i want to hear what it’s like do all that while being a happily married woman and mother of five. I think this could be an amazing speech tonight. I certainly hope so.
But for the moment, I’m still savoring the Lieberman speech, and marveling at McCain’s life story which was presented so powerfully by Sen. Fred Thompson (whom I suspect has a very bright future in national leadership).
“I’ve had the privilege of serving with John for almost 20 years and the honor of becoming a dear friend of his. I’ve personally seen him over and over again bringing people together from both parties to tackle our toughest problems, for example, to reform our campaign finance laws, our lobbying and ethics laws, to create the independent 9/11 Commission after that great…unnatural disaster caused by the terrorists, and then to work to pass the national security reforms that have made every American safer since then. And then he worked together to end the partisan paralysis over nominations to the Supreme Court and other federal courts. This is the record….
“Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think can do great things for our country in the years ahead, but, my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough times for America. In the Senate, during the three-and-a-half years that Senator Obama has been a member, he has not reached across party lines to get accomplish anything significant, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party to get something done.
“And I’d just ask you to contrast that with John McCain’s record of independence and bipartisanship, but let me go one further. And this may make history here at this Republican convention. Let me contrast Barack Obama’s record to the record of the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups, worked with Republicans, and got some important things done, like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.
“Now, I’m honored to say just a word about the great lady that John McCain has selected as his running mate. Governor Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer. She’s taken on the special interests and the political power-brokers in Alaska and reached across party lines to get things done. The truth is, she is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington….that’s why I sincerely believe that the real ticket for change this year is the McCain-Palin ticket….
“We are a nation at war. We need a president we can count on to fight for what’s right for our country, not only when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. And I was there, so I can tell you, when others were silent about the war in Iraq, John McCain had the guts and the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. You know, when others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, which would have been a disaster for the USA, when colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield…John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion, advocate the surge, support the surge, and, because of that today, America’s troops are coming home, thousands of them, and they’re coming home in honor….”