With Lieberman comes PR issues

NASHVILLE: Diversity, inclusion and tolerance were all the rage at the GOP convention earlier this month. But Al Gore just might have beat the Republicans at their own game when he named Sen. Joseph Lieberman - a modern Orthodox Jew - as his running mate.

NASHVILLE: Diversity, inclusion and tolerance were all the rage at the GOP convention earlier this month. But Al Gore just might have beat the Republicans at their own game when he named Sen. Joseph Lieberman - a modern Orthodox Jew - as his running mate.

NASHVILLE: Diversity, inclusion and tolerance were all the rage at

the GOP convention earlier this month. But Al Gore just might have beat

the Republicans at their own game when he named Sen. Joseph Lieberman -

a modern Orthodox Jew - as his running mate.



The announcement, which arrived before most Republicans had a chance to

digest their cheesesteaks, brought some interesting PR challenges:

namely, how to address the fact that the man who could be president

won’t use electric transportation or conduct business on Saturdays, or

the fact that his religious beliefs run contrary to all but 4% of

voters. To this end, the tactics employed by the Gore campaign were

anything but orthodox.



Rather than bury the issue or shift attention to Lieberman’s oft-noted

moral fiber (which most initially cited as the reason for his

appointment), Gore’s team pushed Lieberman’s faith to the forefront. The

announcement speech mentioned God more times than an undergraduate

theology paper, while aides eagerly spread the word that Gore and

Lieberman had shared a kosher meal the night before.



When asked about conflicts stemming from his observance of the Sabbath,

Lieberman told Larry King, ’If there is an emergency ... I will take a

ride to get there.’ He also made it clear that he would not campaign on

Saturdays or on Jewish holidays.



’Most people in this country think already there is too much campaigning

going on,’ said Gore press secretary Chris Lehane. ’A day off is

probably a good thing for all of us.’



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