Posted: Aug. 28, 2003
LIEBERMAN IS SECOND-CHOICE JOE
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is bringing his
Democratic presidential campaign Friday to Delaware, where he is
expected to receive three coveted endorsements from U.S. Sen. Thomas
R. Carper, Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr. and Treasurer Jack A. Markell.
Lieberman, who ran for vice president in 2000,
is the first candidate to make a play for support here since U.S.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a natural favorite son for Delaware
Democrats, announced on Aug. 11 he would not enter the race.
Lieberman, a Connecticut senator since 1988,
is fighting for air in a crowded, nine-candidate field in which
former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry
are regarded as the head of the pack wanting to run against
President George W. Bush, the Republican who will be seeking a
second term in 2004.
As small as Delaware is, it is in position to
provide some measure of traction in the presidential selection
calendar. After the voting opens with the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 19
and the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 27, Delaware will hold its
primary on Feb. 3 along with a cluster of states including South
Carolina, Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Lieberman is scheduled to arrive at the
Wilmington train station at 1:15 p.m. and walk to the Riverfront
Market for a tour that is open to the public until it concludes at
1:45 p.m. After a private meeting with some local officials, he is
scheduled to hold a press conference at 2:10 p.m. at the Christina
It is an open question how much attention
Lieberman can attract, coming to Delaware on what is traditionally a
huge getaway day for the Labor Day weekend.
The endorsements Lieberman is expected to pick
up come from three of the state's most prominent Democrats, all of
whom are involved, as Lieberman is, with the Democratic Leadership
Council, a national organization of centrist Democrats.
Carper and Carney are scheduled to deliver
their endorsements personally, but Markell, who is traveling, is
scheduled to endorse by letter.
The visit is Lieberman's second to Delaware in
this election cycle. He appeared here in December as the draw for a
fund-raiser for Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. At that time, local Democrats
firmly were holding back on their presidential choices, waiting for
Biden to decide.
Still, Carper was up front then that Lieberman
was his fallback choice. "I'm for Joe. If it's not Joe, I'm still for
Joe," he quipped.
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