Lieberman Helping Palin On Foreign Policy
(Washingtonpost.com) This story was written by Michael Abramowitz and Juliet Eilperin.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is among several national security experts helping brief Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on foreign policy issues as she prepares to hit the campaign trail while cramming for a debate with her Democratic opponent, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), in less than a month, according to officials from Sen. John McCain's campaign.
Lieberman, who was the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee but is now an independent, has helped introduce Palin to officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel lobby. In a meeting Tuesday, the day before she delivered her prime-time address at the Republican National Convention here, Palin assured the group of her strong support for Israel, of her desire to see the United States move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and of her opposition to Iran's aspirations to become a nuclear power, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
The exchange offered a brief glimpse into the views of the one-term governor of Alaska, who has virtually no record on foreign policy and has not traveled extensively outside the United States. As governor, she made two foreign trips last summer, one of which was to Canada. On the second, sponsored by the Pentagon, she traveled to Kuwait and Germany -- and made a short stop at a "military outpost" in Iraq -- to visit members of the Alaska National Guard deployed there, according to Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella. Comella added that Palin may have visited Mexico on a personal trip.
Campaign officials and McCain foreign policy advisers called Palin a quick study who has sound judgment that will serve her in good stead on national security issues. But privately, some in the GOP foreign policy establishment voiced concern that McCain has turned to a relative neophyte on national security matters at a time when the United States is facing challenges ranging from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea.
"Her speech wowed the pro-family and anti-tax groups, but can she handle complex foreign and defense policy decision-making?" asked one leading conservative foreign policy thinker who is concerned. He spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to be publicly critical of the pick...
One of Palin's few meetings this week with outside groups was with AIPAC, a sign of how politically important it is for the GOP ticket to demonstrate its support of Israel. "We had a good, productive discussion on the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and we were pleased that Governor Palin expressed her deep, personal commitment to the safety and well-being of Israel," AIPAC spokesman Josh Block said. "She also expressed her support for the special friendship between the two democracies and said she would work to strengthen the ties between the United States and Israel."
By Michael Abramowitz and Juliet Eilperin
Â© 2008 The Washington Post Company
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