According to yesterday's New York Times, Senator John McCain has already decided on his running mate, and he's expected to reveal his choice on Friday in Dayton, Ohio. (Though I should point out that in an interview aired today, McCain claims that he still hasn't made up his mind.)

The Times further alleges that McCain's decision is known only to his small inner circle of advisers, no more than three or four people, who have refused all public discussion on the matter. But sources close to the campaign said that the top contenders are former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.

(Incidentally, on's political column, NBC's Deputy Political Director Mark Murray writes today: "NBC/NJ's Matthew E. Berger yesterday wondered if McCain's three-day VP swing (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) actually rules out Lieberman since he famously doesn't campaign on the Sabbath. Yet Berger notes that the McCain schedule has the campaign leaving Dayton en route to Pittsburgh by bus on Friday beginning at 2:00 p.m. It is a four-and-a-half hour drive, so they would be able to arrive in Pittsburgh before Shabbat begins at 7:38 p.m., according to, if they leave close to on time."

It's comforting to see that NBC's staff knows the right place to find Shabbat start and end times... Maybe I should let them know that we also offer SMS notifications and we've recently added the option to download the times in iCal format.)

Two aberrations converge in the person of Joe Lieberman: a) He is an Orthodox Jew who serves as a US senator and was nominated by a major party to be the presidential running mate. Not very many Orthodox Jews are in US politics, and none have reached the level of national prominence that he has—not even close. c) I have not properly researched this, but I highly doubt that there was ever a person who ran for such a high office, and was then seriously considered for the same position on the opposing party's ticket.

And, as an Orthodox Jew, I must say that I am downright proud of Senator Lieberman. In a political culture where for the most part votes are cast based on party policy rather than personal conviction, where routinely politicians formulate their "beliefs" based on their party's interests, where more often than not an opinion is based simply on the fact that the opposing party holds otherwise—one person stands out as an impartial beacon of light.

In this week's chapter of Ethics of the Fathers (5:7) we read: "Seven qualities characterize a boor, and seven characterize a wise man. A wise man ... concedes to the truth. With the boor, the reverse of all these is the case."

Is conceding to the truth a trait of a wise person? It would follow that a person who won't admit to the truth is a liar, not a boor! In Maimonides' commentary on this passage he explains: "When [the wise man] hears the truth he will concede to it. Even if it is a matter which he can negate, argue and supply a misleading answer—he will not wish to do so." Rare is the "wise" politician who will admit to a truth irrespective of the political affiliation of the one who espoused it. That would only happen after all chances of "negating, arguing and supplying misleading answers" have been exhausted.

And ultimately, as Senator Lieberman has demonstrated, this wise path advocated by our Sages earns a person respect from all spectrums of society.

And while I can't say I agree with all of his opinions and positions, I definitely take pride in "our guy" in Washington. His honesty and integrity are a sanctification of G‑d's Name.