I’ve been anxious to read more stories about how religious voters are being courted or which camp they’re ending up in. The Washington Post had an article titled “My Son, the Senator” that discusses how Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, is helping the campaign of Sen. John McCain. After alluding to Joe the Plumber, the article says another Joe is on the scene:
Otherwise known as Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), Joe the Senator is wooing the small but possibly crucial Jewish voting bloc in Ohio, which McCain campaign aides hope will help them capture the battleground state.
Lieberman’s face is plastered all over a glossy eight-page mailer, funded by the Ohio Republican Party, that began arriving in mailboxes in primarily Jewish neighborhoods yesterday afternoon. The cover features a large photo of Lieberman with his pal and Senate colleague McCain (R-Ariz.) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, both wearing yarmulkes.
“A proven record, a friend of the Jewish community, 25 years of rock-solid support for strong U.S.-Israel relations, ready to lead on Day One,” the cover blares.
I’m kind of amused by the fact that the article never explicitly identifies Lieberman as Jewish. It’s implied or assumed that readers know already, I guess. Anyway, the article goes on to note the mailer’s heavy emphasis on national security issues and includes this tidbit:
Not surprisingly, the McCain campaign and its surrogates have shied away from highlighting running mate Sarah Palin, an evangelical Christian, to Jewish voters. She is not seen in the Ohio GOP flier. Instead, another Republican governor of an outlying state is working Ohio this week: Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, who, like Joe, is Jewish.
I can speculate as to why an evangelical Christian isn’t highlighted in the mailer, but I’m not sure if it’s so obvious as to describe it as unsurprising. Aren’t evangelical Christians sort of known for being very pro-Israel and concerned with national security issues? The Los Angeles Times ran a story last week about the National Council of Churches’ effort to combat their efforts with planned sermons and brochure distribution at mainline Protestant churches.
For readers interested in media coverage of how the religious vote is breaking down, you may want to read this editorial from the Los Angeles Times‘ Tim Rutten. He looks at the Catholic vote and finds some interesting angles.