October 15, 2006


Joe Lieberman In No Man's Land: A Longtime Democrat, Now In Opposition, Is In Strange Company (MARK PAZNIOKAS, October 15 2006, Hartford Courant)

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, a lifelong Democrat and student of politics, blanked when asked if America would be better off with his party regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A Democratic victory would immeasurably boost the influence of two Connecticut friends, U.S. Reps. Rosa L. DeLauro and John B. Larson, and provide a counterbalance to the Republican Senate and White House.

"Uh, I haven't thought about that enough to give an answer," Lieberman said, as though Democrats' strong prospects for recapturing the House hadn't been the fall's top political story.

He was similarly elusive about the race for governor. Is he voting for John DeStefano Jr., a Democrat and mayor of the city where Lieberman has lived since the 1960s?

"I'm, uh, I'm having," he stammered, then laughed and said his decision would remain private.

These are not hard questions. [...]

On the campaign trail, Lieberman's message has changed since the primary, when he stressed his party credentials as a vice presidential nominee and presidential candidate who opposed Bush. His target then was Democratic voters antagonistic to the war and disdainful of Bush.

Democrats now are the smallest segment of his support. A recent poll shows his support comes from 67 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of unaffiliated voters and 35 percent of Democrats.

Lieberman relies on talking points more often sounded by the Bush White House than Democratic congressional candidates, invoking patriotism and America's need to be vigilant in a dangerous world.

If the split were to end up 49 (D)-49 (R)-2 (1), with Bernie Sanders caucusing with the Dems, Mr. Lieberman could play the two parties and end up with any chairmanship he wants, plus president pro tempore.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2006 5:57 PM

"...when asked if America would be better off with his party regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives." His party? The party that has purged him a month ago?

Posted by: ic at October 15, 2006 9:56 PM

Joe is a Dem at heart. Even after this he will side with the Dems much more quickly than with the GOP. The GOP would have to make him Majority leader while the Dems just have come up with a committee and some nice words.

Posted by: AWW at October 15, 2006 10:03 PM

Dems just have come up with a committee and some nice words.

They don't even have to do that, he'll rejoin voluntarily on 08 November, even if the Dems are still in the minority. Like Moynihan, who would never cast a vote that didn't follow the party line, St.Joe is a Dem first, with principled a distant second.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 15, 2006 10:14 PM

It shows how lost Republicans are to see them giddy about the prospect of a Lieberman victory.

Posted by: curt at October 16, 2006 8:59 AM

Why Curt? Lieberman was an WFB project. It's seemed to work so far. A rare example of the Republicans keeping the bone.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at October 16, 2006 11:08 AM


For the reasons mentioned by Raoul.

Posted by: curt at October 16, 2006 11:18 AM

You just have to change his party to own his vote.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2006 11:38 AM