ST. PAUL --- The speeches, highlights paraphrased:
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN: Referring to Hurricane Gustav, says the last thing we think about when helping people is whether they are Republicans or Democrats. Calls partisanship in Washington "senseless," adding that the "spirit of party" could be one of the biggest enemies of democracies. "I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party . . . John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead America forward . . ." Warns people not to be fooled . . . "God only made one John McCain and he is, his own man. . . . The real ticket for change this year is the McCain-Palin ticket . . . What we need more right now is not party unity, but more national unity."
FRED THOMPSON: "The selection of Gov. Palin has put our friends in the media in a state of panic . . . When she and Sen. McCain get to Washington, they aren't going to care how much those alligators get irritated, they're going to drain the swamp . . ." On McCain's demerits: "John wasn't just a troublemaker, he was the leader of the troublemakers" Points out he's been to Iraq 8 times since 2003, not seeking publicity, and notes he took a political risk advocating the surge, "and now we're winning."
PRESIDENT BUSH (via satellite): McCain's life has prepared him to be president. "He's not afraid to tell you when he disagrees with you. Believe me, I know . . . No matter what the issue, the man is honest and speaks straight from the heart . . . I am optimistic, when the debates have ended, and all the ads have run, and it is time to vote, Americans will look closely at the judgment, the experience and the policies of the candidates -- and they will cast their ballots for the McCain-Palin ticket."
LAURA BUSH: Says she's proud that the first female vice-president will be a Republican woman. On her husband, "George remains a man with strong values, and enduring love for the United States of America."