The McCain camp has been struggling to explain why Hamas’ endorsement of Barack Obama is relevant and why it is not a “smear” for John McCain to have raised it. Joe Lieberman explained it succinctly on Late Edition on Sunday:
But the fact that the spokesperson for Hamas would say they would welcome the election of Senator Obama really does raise the question, “Why?” And it suggests the difference between these two candidates. And I think Hamas and Hezbollah, which is now control of Beirut, apparently, are proxies, are wards of Iran, which is the very same country that constantly shouts “Death to America, death to Israel.”So I think one of John’s strengths, John McCain’s strength as president, frankly, is that our allies and friends around the world will trust him. And our enemies like Hamas and Iran will fear him. And I think they need to fear him. . . Senator Obama has said he would sit down, without condition, with Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. That not only gives prestige to a terrible America and Israel- hater but it also threatens our allies in the region. Look, I’ll give you another example. This is an indirect step that could undermine our position in the Middle East. Earlier this year, Senator Kyl and I introduced the resolution in the Senate which called on the administration to impose economic sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that is training and equipping Iraqis that are going back into Iraq and killing American soldiers, hundreds of them. Senator McCain and Senator Clinton voted for that resolution. About three quarters of the Senate did. Senator Obama did not.
Perhaps Lieberman should head the rapid response team on this issue. This point is, after all, central to McCain’s argument that Americans should trust him, rather than Barack Obama, to be commander-in-chief. McCain’s team has to make sure voters understand why.