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Joe Lieberman, Stealth Democrat?

The Washington Post's campaign blog reports on a pretty humiliating gaffe committed by John McCain:

Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."

Now, Lieberman was presumably just trying to help McCain out, but the image of McCain having to be corrected by a supporter on such a basic point (Al Qaeda is, after all, a Sunni group, and Iran, a Shiite nation) probably hurts him more than if he'd just had to issue a clarification later. Perhaps, in supporting McCain, Joe Lieberman can do some good for the Democratic party after all.

--Christopher Orr