John McCaslin

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can thank Washington lobbyist and political consultant Rick Davis, chief executive officer of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, for being the ultimate pick to become the Republican vice presidential candidate.

"It was all his doing. He was completely snowed by Palin," a source close to Mr. McCain confided to Inside the Beltway over the weekend. "He was totally taken by her."

Otherwise, according to the source, Mr. McCain "wanted Lieberman all along" - referring to Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent - until such time it was agreed by powers-to-be that adding a woman to the GOP ticket would improve whatever chances the GOP had of defeating Democrat Barack Obama.


Men's Journal, one of the more popular magazines available at newsstands, recently featured a glowing cover story on Barack Obama the in-shape athletic jock.

Now the magazine's editors have published a pair of letters, sent in by readers Jim Koepke of Minneapolis and Skip Schmidt of Columbus, Ohio, neither of whom, suffice to say, were impressed with the reporting.

Mr. Koepke: "I'm sad that you seem to have joined the media lovefest for Barack Obama. With each issue, you slide toward left-wing, politically correct eco-nonsense. I don't recall a cover of George W. Bush biking. And Dubya could probably kick Obama's [expletive] in a footrace."

Mr. Schmidt: "You might see a jock when you look at Obama, but I see a scrawny cigarette-smoker who plays basketball."


Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman's most recent, much-publicized re-election campaign has been fined $50,000 by the Federal Election Commission.

A complaint filed with the FEC had charged that Mr. Lieberman's campaign, Friends of Joe Lieberman, spent more than $387,000 in cash payments, each of which exceeded a $100 limit allowed for petty-cash disbursements. It was also alleged that Mr. Lieberman's campaign treasurer, Lynn Fusco, failed to disclose and maintain written records of the disbursements in question.

Mr. Lieberman lost his Democratic Party primary election in 2006, but won re-election after filing as a third-party independent candidate. While mostly voting today with Democrats in the Senate, Mr. Lieberman endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president over Barack Obama in November.


John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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