Joe Lieberman's Return to N.H. -- for McCain
By Juliet Eilperin
DERRY, N.H. -- While Arizona Sen. John McCain is leaving the Granite State this afternoon to do some last-minute campaigning in Iowa, he joked to reporters here he was better off letting his wife Cindy and Senate colleague Joseph I. Lieberman deliver his message to voters.
"I'm leaving the campaign in the hands of Cindy and Joe, and I know our numbers will stay up the longer I stay away," he quipped.
Lieberman, who will be stumping on McCain's behalf across New Hampshire today and tomorrow, said he decided to cross the aisle and endorse the GOP senator because he has "the strength, the experience and the character to keep this country safe, and to bring it together." But the fact that Lieberman lost his party's nomination during his 2006 Senate bid, he acknowledged, made the decision easier.
"The Connecticut Democrats, in rejecting my renomination, have certainly liberated me to go for the best qualified candidate for president, John McCain," he said. "He is ready to become president the day he's sworn in."
Lieberman declined to answer, however, whether he's ready to sign onto McCain's ticket as a vice presidential nominee should the Arizona senator win the GOP nod.
Cindy McCain, who gave no sign she was still recovering from a recent knee replacement as she sported a black skirt and matching boots along with a red leather jacket, delivered the same kind of blunt comments her husband is known for during a voters forum in nearby Londonderry this morning. Speaking to a crowd at Insight Technology Inc., a military equipment supplier, she recalled that when McCain first told her he was considering running for president in 2008, "I gulped and said, 'No, I can't do it again.'"
She ultimately decided there were "two reasons" she needed to support McCain's presidential bid: their two sons, Jimmy and Jack, who are now serving in the military, along with the many "men and women who are serving gallantly across the globe."
"I did not want my two sons to be led by anyone who did not understand what it means to serve in battle," she said.
Kerry McCoole, who lives in Bedford, N.H. and attended the forum at Insight Technology, said he was impressed with Cindy McCain's performance. But it wasn't her words that appealed to him.
"My real impression is she's pretty hot," he said.
Apparently, wearing fashionable leather boots in the snow really pays off in early voting states.
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