Lieberman faces uncertain future in Democratic Senate

October 30, 2008

WASHINGTON – When the new Congress convenes in January, Sen. Joe Lieberman may no longer be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. In fact, Lieberman may no longer be a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

A growing number of Democrats are fed up with Lieberman, their 2000 vice presidential nominee who normally votes with them on such basics as education, health care and the environment. 

But Lieberman, a former Democrat turned independent, is campaigning for Republican presidential nominee John McCain largely because of McCain’s support for the Iraq war. 

Lieberman has also been supportive of two Senate Republicans up for reelection next week — Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Susan Collins of Maine. 

Democrats, who are expected to increase their majority in Tuesday’s election, may punish Lieberman by stripping him of his commmittee chairmanship or even booting him out of their caucus. 

If Lieberman loses his chairmanship, as widely expected, he may drop out of the caucus. Some senior aides say he’s unlikely to be thrown out, but others say no decision has been made. 

“We are not going to discuss that until after the election,” Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, told reporters this week when asked about Lieberman’s fate. 

When a reporter suggested that Lieberman may be in trouble, Schumer said, “You can draw your own conclusions.” 

If Lieberman is worried, he isn’t showing it. 

“Senator Lieberman is focused on doing all he can to elect John McCain as president rather than post-election Washington punditry and politics,” said Marshall Wittman, Lieberman’s communications director. 

Polls show Democrat Barack Obama leading in the White House race. But if McCain pulls it out, Lieberman could end up in a McCain administration, perhaps as defense secretary.

Photo credit: Reuters/ Carlos Barria (McCain and Lieberman)   

10 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

This is so ironic that they’re saying his name now. However, when he went against the left-wing illuminati, you heard nothing about it. Powell sure made headlines with the biased media.

Posted by ms.k7225 | Report as abusive

Whether a Democrat or Republican Joe Lieberman has shown great courage and intelligence. He is one of the few politicans from either party that I admire for standing up for what he believes in no matter the results may be to him personally.

Posted by Ed W | Report as abusive

“…standing up for what he believes in no matter the results may be to him personally.”

This man changed his ideology when Ned Lamont beat him in the Democratic Primary! He is ALL ABOUT personal survival. Try to move past your partisan beliefs. This man has no character; none. His support of the war has nothing to do with America. His support of McCain was an egotistical grab for the VP nomination and a hope that a McCain victory would offer him a haven in the Republican Party. He knew if a Democrat won, his career in the Democratic Caucus was over.

He belongs in the Republican Party though. He’s another un-patriot who puts his faith before his country.

Good Riddance Joe

Posted by Thomas Dinklehoch | Report as abusive

I don’t know what to make of Lieberman.

Posted by Jeff Auxier | Report as abusive

I live in Connecticut and have watched Lieberman up close. After quitting the Democratic Party to run for the Senate as the only member of the Lieberman Party, he ran a campaign that was anti-war; that is, anit-Iraq war. It wasn’t a week afte his re-election that he came clean and showed his continuing duplicity. When asked why he didn’t represent the views of his state, his answer was that he “answered to a higher authority.” The man is a weasel; he cannot be trusted. He places his own interests, and those of that other authority, above those of his constituents. He has forsaken representative government.
The common wisdom is that Lieberman represents Israel and Tel Aviv. I will not dispute that, it’s a theory that holds up under investigation and under time. If Israel is not his “higher authority” then the man is merely serving himself. Neither is acceptable.

Posted by Paul Deuth | Report as abusive

Senator Lieberman did not serve in Vietnam due to deferments. And yet, he can insist that American women give uup their daughters, sons, brothers, husbands,friends in Arab wars in order to further stabilize Israel. He did not fight in order not to die, but he wants us to fight and die. Why isn’t this brought out in the media more often? It is outrageous.

Once elected to the senate, he is bound only by his conscience, so that’s that. However when running for the senate he could have stood up for his beliefs – he chose not to.

Posted by Stefan | Report as abusive

Senator Lieberman put country first.

Unfortunately, the country he put first was Israel. How else to explain his arbitrary and capricious behavior in presidential elections over the past eight years?

He should do the only right and honorable option left to him: resign the office of junior senator from Connecticut.

I’m sure he can find a position more suited to his principal loyalties: member of the Knesset; or, perhaps, houseboy for Cindy McCain.

Posted by cfxk | Report as abusive

When Lieberman said that he was supporting McCain out of principle and friendship, although I disagreed, I respected his stand.

But, when he strongly endorsed Palin with world like “She’s so strong, she’s so capable, she’s so competent”, he lost all my respect. He’s not stupid enough to believe that! He just showed himself to be just another political hack.

Posted by rekky | Report as abusive

he put himself in this situation and I agree with view “He is all about personal survival” and he deserves to be out

Posted by kkhalidabed | Report as abusive