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Joe Lieberman Gets A Little Frank

Joe rides the Shabbat elevator with McCain, tells a bad joke

Adam Chandler
November 05, 2012
Senator Joseph Lieberman(Getty)
Senator Joseph Lieberman(Getty)

Last we heard from Senator Joe Lieberman, actually, I have absolutely no idea when we last heard from Joe Lieberman…

Well, anyway, he was the subject of a hilarious interview in the Times Magazine over the weekend, in which he discussed his impending retirement and why people who focused on vice presidential aspirant Paul Ryan’s physique missed out on Lieberman’s buffness during the 2000 campaign. The best parts may have been his retelling of a story involving Senator John McCain and the Shabbat elevator in Israel and a joke.

I’m told you recently enjoyed a Shabbat dinner with Senator McCain in Israel.
He said that traveling with me compelled him to put up with all this Shabbat stuff — well, he actually used another term, but it’s not appropriate. The first time he got into a Shabbat elevator with me in Jerusalem, he pressed Button 9, and it went to Floor 2. He pressed it again and it went to Floor 3. These Shabbat elevators, they’re preset because you can’t use them on Shabbat. McCain has many virtues, but one is not patience. He said, “What the hell is going on with this elevator?”

Is there anything that I did not ask you that you’d want to touch on?
There are many things you did ask me that I shouldn’t have touched on. Here is a parting gift. There’s an older guy on the park bench, crying — tell me if you’ve heard this one. Finally a jogger stops, sees the guy sobbing. ‘‘What’s wrong?’’ ‘‘My wife of 48 years died, and I was very lonely. I went on JDate and met a younger Russian woman. We liked each other. So she’s moved in with me, and she’s wonderful. She’s attractive, she cooks well, she takes care of me and almost every night we have fabulous sex.’’ So the jogger says: ‘‘Well that’s a wonderful story. Why are you crying?’’ The old guy says, ‘‘I’m crying because I can’t remember where I live.’’

At last! Democrats, Republicans, and Independents can all unite in groaning.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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