JERUSALEM (CNN) – The Western Wall is the most sacred structure of the Jewish people. And, for a few minutes anyway, a welcome stop on the U.S. presidential campaign trail.
"The next President of the United States," was a cheer from one of the American tourists crowding a corner of the Western Wall plaza to see Senator John McCain during his visit Wednesday.
After slipping the traditional private note into the sacred wall which once supported the western side of the Second Temple, McCain received a tour of the tunnels of 0ld City Jerusalem.
Later, as he approached a railing to wave to the gathered Americans and a smattering of mostly less-interested Israelis, Eli Ezer of New York took a photo, but kept on a running debate with another tourist about McCain's choice of a running mate.
"Do you think he should pick Lieberman?" the woman asked, referring to Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the Democrat-turned-Independent who is a McCain supporter, and was at his side Wednesday.
"I hope not, " said Ezer. "McCain is conservative, but only on about 70 percent of the issues. He needs to go for a conservative - [Mitt] Romney would be ok, but I am hoping for Thompson."
Ezer said former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson was his first choice in the Republican field this year, but that he had voted for McCain in the New York GOP primary because Thompson was gone from the race at that point.
Related: Watch McCain pay tribute in Jerusalem
–CNN Chief National Correspondent John King