Via CNN streaming video, I watched Sarah Palin's event in Clearwater, Florida, this morning. She was heartily introduced there by John McCain's pal Joe Lieberman. The former Democrat is a very strange figure these days, far from his moorings in the Democratic Party. But you can see how his personal friendship with McCain, and his genuine support for the Iraq war, might cause him to help out his buddy on the stump.
It was jarring, however, to hear Lieberman's full-throated endorsement of Sarah Palin, a woman with whom he has no prior relationship, and whose policy credentials you have to think the wonky 20-year Senator would find suspect in any other context.
"She's so strong, she's so capable, she's so competent," Lieberman told the cheering crowd. Emphasizing her "faith," he added that she is someone who "with your help--and God's help--will be the next vice president of the United States." More big cheers.
The religiousity continued when Palin bounded onstage. She commented right away on the number of American flags in the crowd, declaring: "God bless America--you guys get it!"
And then it was on with the attacks on Obama: "There are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are some candidates, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change," Palin said. She went on to reiterate charges that Obama is friendly with terrorists (Bill Ayers), wants America to lose in Iraq, and smears US troops in Afghanistan.
More: For this heavily churchgoing GOP crowd, Palin is showing a side we haven't seen in her TV interviews and at the debate. Mentioning the potential for wind and solar power in Florida she exclaims: "God has so richly blessed you here!" Between her and Lieberman, that makes four references to faith and God in about five minutes.
P.S. Now playing after her speech: Shania Twain's "She's Not Just a Pretty Face."