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Joe Lieberman for VP?

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  • edward s beck
    Lieberman s Faith a Concern - Democratic Head Reuters Aug 5 2000 9:35PM ET EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (Reuters) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman would almost be a slam dunk
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2000
      Lieberman's Faith a Concern - Democratic Head

      Reuters
      Aug 5 2000 9:35PM ET


      EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (Reuters) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman would ''almost be a
      slam dunk'' as Al Gore's choice for vice-presidential running mate if he
      were Episcopalian rather than Jewish, Ed Rendell, chairman of the
      National Democratic Committee, said on Saturday.

      ``Joe Lieberman would be a bold and courageous choice,'' Rendell said,
      calling the Connecticut Democrat ``maybe the finest person in politics''
      but also acknowledging concerns about a possible backlash against his
      faith.

      ``I don't think anyone can calculate the effect of having a Jew on the
      ticket,'' Rendell told reporters as Gore attended a fund-raiser in East
      Hampton, New York. ``If Joe Lieberman was Episcopalian, I think he'd
      almost be a slam dunk,'' Rendell added.

      Gore intends to name his choice on Tuesday. Lieberman is on the
      short-list, along with Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, John Edwards of
      North Carolina and Evan Bayh of Indiana, House Democratic Leader Dick
      Gephardt of Missouri, and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.

      Shaheen and Gephardt have said they are not interested. But only Shaheen
      has said she would not accept the No. 2 slot if it was offered.

      Gore has also said there is a seventh possible contender, identified only
      as a ``wild card.''

      WILL STAY NEUTRAL

      Rendell joked that he was for the ``wild card,'' though he added he did
      not know the identity of the person. He said that each of the six known
      candidates would be a boost but that he was remaining publicly neutral
      and would not endorse anyone.

      At the same time, he threw out a couple of other names as potential
      contenders: Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a veteran of Vietnam, where he
      won the Medal of Honor, and former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, whom
      Gore defeated for the Democratic presidential nomination earlier this
      year.

      Rendell said Kerrey's war-hero status could be a boost to Gore, who also
      served in Vietnam as an Army journalist. Rendell said that if Gore picked
      Bradley, a former Rhodes Scholar and professional basketball player, that
      would also trigger excitement.

      Asked what Bradley would bring to the ticket, Rendell said,
      ''Intelligence, integrity and stature and (the states of) Pennsylvania,
      New Jersey and Delaware.''

      Rendell said Gore might have picked Defense Secretary Bill Cohen as his
      running mate -- if Cohen had not said he intended to vote for fellow
      Republican George W. Bush for president.

      ``He'd be dynamite,'' Rendell said of the former Republican senator from
      Maine.

      Of Lieberman, Rendell said, ``Maybe that is what we ought to do is pick
      the finest person in politics -- I think it would be great.''

      Asked if Lieberman's faith was enough of a concern to rule him out,
      Rendell shrugged and said, ``I'm not sure that the people who would vote
      against us because Joe is Jewish aren't going to vote against us
      anyway.''

      RTR/POLITICS-GORE-VEEP-DC/
      Copyright � 2000 Reuters Limited.
      ~~~~~
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