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Lieberman Votes for Himself—Twice

By Brigitte Greenberg, AP, Tuesday 7 November 2000, 7:33 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Wearing his lucky tie, Joseph Lieberman (news - web sites) voted for himself twice Tuesday, once for re-election to the Senate and a second time in hopes of becoming the first Jewish vice president of the United States.

He emerged from the voting booth in New Haven, Conn., smiling broadly and giving a thumbs up. That felt good, he said.

When his wife, Hadassah, emerged, tears were running down her cheeks.

Lieberman later greeted supporters and said, Anything is possible in America.

Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, ran simultaneously for a third term to the Senate, a position he could not hold as vice president.

Lieberman was the first Jew to run for vice president on a major party ticket. Throughout the campaign, he drew on his religious background in speeches and called for a greater role for religious faith in politics.

An overwhelming majority of voters said Lieberman's religion would have no effect his job performance if elected. Nearly one in five voters thought it might help him do a better job; less than 10 percent thought it would make him less likely to do a good job. The voters were interviewed as they left the polls by Voter News Service, a consortium of The Associated Press and the television networks.

Lieberman and his family traveled to Connecticut, his home state, from Miami, where he and Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites), the Democratic presidential candidate, had greeted campaign volunteers at dawn and delivered Cuban pastries from a local bakery.

Lieberman, who has been operating on only a couple of hours sleep for the past two days, drank some strong Cuban coffee from the bakery to carry him through the day. After voting in Connecticut, Lieberman and his family flew to Tennessee to join Gore and await election returns.

He actually started his day after midnight in Pennsylvania, where he and his wife appeared before 1,500 people, mostly union loyalists working to get out the vote, inside the Warner Theatre, a 70-year-old institution in Erie.

This has been the greatest experience of my public life, he reflected. For those who are undecided or are thinking about not coming out to vote, you have tonight to open their hearts to Hadassah and me.

For Election Day, Lieberman wore a tie he bought in 1970 from a New Haven clothing shop. He said he had worn the mauve tie with cream polka dots for every election, except his congressional run in 1980. He lost that election - the only one he has lost.

When I first put it on, I didn't know it was a lucky tie. I just happened to have worn it a lot in my '70 state Senate run and then when I got elected, I thought, you know, maybe this is a lucky tie. And I wore it every election afterward except that dreadful '80 election, Lieberman said aboard his campaign plane. I've got to wear it all day.

He said Gore looked askance at his 30-year-old tie.

I said to him, 'You know this is my lucky tie,' and in classic Gore humor, he said, 'I've been admiring it.'

Lieberman, who readily admits to having superstitions, also carried an Irish coin given to him on Labor Day at a Toledo Mud Hens baseball game as he campaigned, several Hebrew prayers and a quarter given to him by a mascot at Logan High School in La Crosse, Wis.

This goes beyond the rational, Lieberman said with a smile.