US Senate Independent Joe Lieberman from Connecticut is certainly making his ex-fellow US Senate Democrats sweat these days. First he says he will caucus with Senate Democrats, then he says, “call him a Democrat”, now he states on NBC;s “Meet the Press” he is not ruling out switching parties to become a Republican. Joe an “Elephant”?
It is hard to imagine that Joe Lieberman would switch parties, but he certainly is sticking it to the Democratic Party for abandoning him after all his years of loyalty. Lieberman is now making the Democrats sweat and pretty much leveraging his win in the midterms as an Independent. Nothing like a nice shot across Harry Reid’s, Kerry’s and Dodd’s bow for their lack of support and a friendly “do not screw with me anymore.” to make your point. Smart political move for Lieberman and CT. If Lieberman did switch to a Republican he would get any chair position of his choice and swing power back across the aisle. Talk about being in the cat bird’s seat.
Sen. Joe Lieberman on Sunday repeated his pledge to caucus with Senate Democrats when the 110th Congress convenes in January, but refused to slam the door on possibly moving to the Republican side of the aisle.
“I’m not ruling it out but I hope I don’t get to that point,” he said. “And I must say — and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut — nobody ever said, ‘We’re doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,’ and I appreciate that.” (Boston Globe)
UPDATE (11/13/06): Call me an Independent Democrat … So how did Lieberman win by 10% points over Lamont? It wasn’t due to any help of Democrats, that is for sure. We might be calling him and Independent Republican if the Democrats give him much more grief.
In a state where Democrats, Republicans and Independents are pretty much equally split, 38–29–39, respectively … its was not the Democrats who overwhelmingly voted for Joe Lieberman in his 2006 win over Democrat Ned Lamont, 50–40%.
70% of registered republicans and 54% of Independents voted for Lieberman, while only 33% of Democrats voted for Joe in the 2006 midterms. It is obvious, if it were not for Republicans in CT, Lieberman may not be heading back to the Senate in January. Republicans overwhelmingly votes for Lieberman as well as Independents.
Remember following the Democratic primaries when Joe Lieberman was referred to as “Sore Loserman”? We begin to see a major flaw in heavily partisan primaries. Imagine if Joe Lieberman did not decide to run as an independent. All of the voters of the Nutmeg State would not have had an opportunity to vote in a general election who the majority of the State of Connecticut really thought was the best person for the job and for them.
The dirty little secret that the Democratic leadership does not want to tell America is that Joe Lieberman’s re-election in CT is more what “independent” minded people really want. Lieberman obviously votes with the Democratic party a majority of the time, one would have expected him to in the past … he was a Democrat. However, Joe Lieberman does realize how his bread is buttered and who elected him. He is a pro-war Democrat and in fact is an American first and a politician second. I thought that is what Democrats have been whining about; the Republican rubber stamp Republican Congress?
So why does the Democratic leadership have such a problem with a fellow Democrat who will not be a “rubber stamp” for Democrats?
Why was Joe Lieberman re-elected by such a wide margin? Maybe because of rational comments like this. They refer to him as a “wild card”. How about just a sensible thinking American who want to win the war on terror and protect his country more than he does winning elections. If Joe Lieberman is a “wild card” than they Senate and House needs more wild cards voted in.
“We’re not going to fix this and succeed in Iraq without working across party lines,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” (Washington Post)