When McCain made a foreign policy gaffe in Jordan on Tuesday, it was Sen. Joe Lieberman who quietly pointed out the mistake, giving McCain an opportunity to correct himself in front of the international press corps. In Israel yesterday, NBC’s Lauren Appelbaum reports, Lieberman once again intervened when McCain made an incorrect reference about the Jewish holiday Purim — by calling the holiday “their version of Halloween here.”
Purim is not the equivalent of an Israeli Halloween, Appelbaum notes. The holiday — although a joyous one — commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from mass execution. When Sen. Lieberman had a chance to speak at the press conference, he placed the blame of the mistake on himself.
McCain’s mistake wasn’t a big deal. But what is interesting, Appelbaum points out, is Lieberman’s role during this trip. In two days, Lieberman has intervened twice in front of the press — once helping McCain with a correction on Sunnis/Shiites and once putting the blame on himself regarding the description of Purim.
From Mother Jones January 3, 2008, about a Derry, New Hampshire, Captain Underpants campaign stop (famous for Captain Underpants’s remark about staying in Iraq for 100 years) :
Well, it was straight talk. And McCain’s combativeness livened up a session during which he alternated between the old McCain (as in punchy, feisty, humorous) and the old McCain (as in just plain old). He moved a bit stiffly on the stage set up in the middle of the Adams Memorial Opera House. And he–somewhat oddly–shared the spotlight with Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has endorsed him. Lieberman did not merely introduce McCain; he stood by McCain during the entire event, helping McCain to answer questions about education, climate change, and the Iraq war. Several times, Lieberman gave more coherent and animated replies than did McCain.
It’s official, Joe Lieberman’s hand has been surgically implanted in Captain Underpants’s ass.