Al Gore Chooses Lieberman as VP
August 7, 2000 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Al Gore has decided on Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) as his VP nominee, sez someone who ratted to the AP. I suppose there's a small chance they're just leaking this now to test public and media reaction before making a final fianl decision, but I doubt it.
posted by aaron (11 comments total)
Man, there's nothing more annoying than hitting the "post" button and noticing a typo 1/2 a second later.

A lot of people are questioning how Lieberman would deal with a crisis that happened on the Sabbath. Being Catholic, I'm not that much up on Jewish law, but doesn't it say that Sabbath rules can be temporarily waived in emergencies? I mean, if your pacemaker battery suddenly gives out at 2 am on a Saturday morning, you don't have to walk to the hospital and ask for a manual heart massage.
posted by aaron at 5:41 AM on August 7, 2000

From CNN:

Because he and his wife Hadassah observe the Jewish Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, Lieberman is ostensibly prohibited from working.

The senator has interpreted this to mean he may still work during that time, but only to promote "the respect and protection of human life and well-being." He has said he will vote on legislation and participate in important meetings on the Sabbath -- but won't campaign. He skipped one of his state nominating conventions because it was held on the Sabbath.

See, he's giving you a day off politics every week. Be gladdened.
posted by holgate at 6:11 AM on August 7, 2000

btw, he's the first jewish vp nominee ever.
posted by tiaka at 7:09 AM on August 7, 2000

Thinly veiled anti-semitism perhaps?

Kennedy faced similar questions because he was Catholic - it was argued that he's be taking orders from the Pope rather than making decisions on his own.

Anyhow, regardless of all of this, I was really hoping that one of the candidates would choose a woman as a running mate. Libby Dole or Barbara Feinstein would have been a welcome change.

It's unfortunate that we still live in an age wherein a woman on the ticket is considered a political liability.
posted by aladfar at 7:26 AM on August 7, 2000

I think a better analysis is that those two particular women would have been liabiities - Dole for her complete lack of ideology, and Feinstein... I'll just let that one lie.
posted by mikewas at 8:04 AM on August 7, 2000

It's unfortunate that we still live in an age where a vp nominee being jewish (oh my gawd hide the children!) is front page headline fodder. Have we not come far at all from Shakespeare's Shylock? This is embarrassing. I hope no alien races out there are listening to our humanity's insipid stupidity.

It is also disturbing that he is historically the first jewish person ever to be nominated. Had they all been protestant up until JFK? Not a single catholic before him? This is so weird!

We're supposed to live in a society where any child can dream of growing up with the equal possible chance if they worked hard and did their best they could grow up to become president someday. It's never been an equal chance though, has it? Since day one it's been restricted. Like a country club.

I wish I was never born a WASP. I wanna change my skin color and my religion. Where do I sign up?
posted by ZachsMind at 1:50 PM on August 7, 2000

There has never been a Jewish person on a U.S. presidential ticket. Of course it's front page headline fodder. How could you possibly expect it to be any different?
posted by rcade at 2:40 PM on August 7, 2000

I'm not jewish, but my understanding is that you can do what is necessary on the sabbath (like cook) but nothing else. I knew a couple, the husband of which was orthodox, and he could watch tv on the sabbath, but only if someone else (his wife, in this case) turned it on.

I don't imagine this would be an issue; if a crisis happened on the sabbath, that would fall under the heading of "what must be done."

as for who gets to be president, it operates stictly on the principle of "who has been president before." the first one of anything is always a big deal. after that, it's no longer an issue.

I sincerely doubt that any future presidential campaign featuring a jewish candidate will even touch his religious beliefs; it's too volatile a subject, and will alienate voters of all religious persuasions.

it's more of a glass ceiling at this point: if you haven't seen one of that type before now, they simply may not *look* "presidential" to you....


posted by rebeccablood at 2:54 PM on August 7, 2000

The irony of it is that even if it isn't an issue and even if the media knows it doesn't matter. The groupthought that there are people out there in American society who would think having an Orthodox Jew as Vice President would be a liability to the administration makes it automatic news.

So since we all think there might be someone who would worry about it, we all worry about it.

Not that I worry about it.
posted by daveadams at 8:41 AM on August 8, 2000

Part of the Jewish law says that you can disobey the rules about the Sabbath if you are doing something for a higher cause, i.e. important political stuff. I don't think the fact that he's Jewish is a problem. I think the fact that he campaigns a lot about sex and violence in the media could be a liability (could the Republicans actually be the party of free speech? Or is it just an issue no one wants?)

On another note, I'd like to see another Catholic voted into office... maybe one that doesn't have sex with Marilyn Monroe in the White House? I should hope JFK isn't the model figure for Catholocism.

posted by dagnyscott at 2:01 PM on August 8, 2000

Actually, JFK was not the first Catholic to be nominated by a major party: that would be four-term New York governor Al Smith for the Democrats in 1928. JFK was the first Catholic to be elected. Many media outlets have gotten this wrong.
posted by dhartung at 3:02 AM on August 9, 2000

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