As we discuss his new book, The Gift of Rest, in his Capitol Hill office, Sen. Joe Lieberman mentions his longtime friendship with National Review’s late founder, William F. Buckley Jr. Over 20 years ago, in 1988, Buckley famously endorsed Lieberman, who was challenging moderate Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker. The pair, both with ties to Stamford, Conn. — Lieberman a native, Buckley a resident — remained close following Lieberman’s surprise victory. They exchanged letters and phone calls, and mused about politics and family.
“He teased me that year, to please not indulge in the fantasy that he would ever again vote for me,” Lieberman chuckles. Nonetheless, Buckley, he says, became a “major force in my life.” The political gap between Lieberman, a devout Orthodox Jew and Democrat, and Buckley, a devout Catholic and conservative, may have been steep, but the respect for each other’s intellectual and spiritual pursuits was constant. “It is my view, and I think Bill’s view as well, that faith precedes everything else,” Lieberman says.
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