September 3rd, 2008
04:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Dems could pull Lieberman chairmanship

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman’s speech before the Republican National Convention Tuesday night could cost Lieberman the chairmanship of a key Senate committee, a top Senate Democratic aide told CNN.

During the speech, the Connecticut senator praised GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and criticizing Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.

"The Democratic Caucus will reassess the situation with Sen. Lieberman after the election,” Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Wednesday.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, now calls himself an “independent Democrat,” but he remains a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus which allows him to head the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Democrats have grumbled for months about Lieberman’s outspoken support of McCain and both Reid and Obama have warned Lieberman to curb his public criticism of Obama.

“What we saw last night was a culmination of provocative efforts in recent months,” said a Democratic leadership aide.

Democrats, who with Lieberman’s support control the chamber by a narrow 51-49 margin, are unlikely to go a step further and boot Lieberman from their caucus although the Democratic leadership aide didn’t rule out that punitive step if Democrats pick up several seats in November.

soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Michael O'Brien

    I was asked today.., is Senator Joe Lieberman a "traitor' to the Democratic Party or "what political party does he belong to ?". What political party will he join next ? I don't believe his comments about Senator Barack Obama were absolutely right or correct. What are you doing Joe ?

    September 3, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Joe E.

    I think that the party and Mr. Lieberman will part ways after the election, whatever the result. No amount of appology or explanation from Lieberman will suffice if McCain wins, and no amount of bygones being bygones will salve the rift that Mr. Lieberman has created. He may not agree, but this Dem sees him as a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). Bye Bye Joe!

    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. John in Ohio

    Why was he still in charge of anything? Not like we can get anything done anyway with a 50/50 gridlock in the Senate and an uncooperative president.

    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Maggie VT

    Why would you want to keep Lieberman in his current position when he can't support him? When Lieberman asked Obama to support him and campaign for him Obama did and this is the thanks he gets???

    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Jeronimo!


    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Truth

    Pull em now!

    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Randy Smythe

    Of course they will pull his Chairmanship! Is that a real question?

    He was fully aware that would happen and still was willing to speak at the RNC. Shows guts and character to me.

    Of course if they need his vote to maintain control of the Senate, they will just say let by-gones be by-gones

    September 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. eugene

    this guy is in a lost world because the democrats dont want him in the republicans is just using him for political gain,but when this election ends this guy will have no where to turn

    September 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Fred Pevow

    This one actually is straight forward to me. Leiberman wins senate reelection running against Democratic party. He and Democrats caucus together after election because Leiberman provides party a majority and party provides Leiberman a chairmanship. The Dem party wins outright majority this time around. No way they give Leiberman another chairmanship. McCain is longtime personal friend. He offers the possiblity of a cabinet seat. Would anyone on this board do anything different if they were in his and the Dem party's shoes?

    September 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Kevin, IN

    I think Lieberman has every right to endorse who ever he wants. The idea of punishing people for disagreeing is exactly the kind of politics that needs to be dismantled. Good for him, if he can say something that is unpopular.

    That said, however, I didn't find his speech to be particularly persuasive. Clearly he and McCain are good friends, and I suspect he's putting friendship first.

    I'm voting for Obama.

    September 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. randy

    He switched sides...Whether or not he keeps his chairmanship, he will still support 90 percent of the democratic platform.

    September 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Stacy

    Dems are pitiful. Liberman is one of the few Senators worth having and the Dems want to punish him. How anyone can vote for such a party is beyond me. Regarding Gov. Palin....if Obama wanted the attacks to stop.....they would stop. He's about as truthful as Ted Kennedy.

    September 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Manuel TX

    What's numbered are the days where the far left controls the Democratic party.

    You knuckleheads really need to start your own party. I want my party back.


    September 3, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Chris

    Lieberman is just a loser Democrat. He was tricked into thinking he was going to get the VP spot. He gave his acceptance speech last night. Problem is McCain was "strongarmed" into picking someone from the extreme right.

    Just wait for Chuck Hagel and Colin Powell to come out with who they support!

    September 3, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. george

    this is how the demotards "unify" their party – they insult, deride, and exile anyone who doesn't tow their party line and praise their messiah candidate.
    what a bunch of crybabies.

    and remember, nobama claims he'll "work across party lines". haha, what a joke. he has no record of doing so, and they try to shame anyone that shrugs off partisan politics for REAL direction.

    nothing to see here. pay no attention to the reid behind the curtain. he'll pull all the strings for his empty suit puppet obama

    September 3, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. JM from SC

    That will serve the joker just right. He is just trying to secure him a position in the republican party. How can he be for McCain when he has run for VP along with Gore. I didn't find his speech becominig at all. I never did like him. There are many republicans who knows, not think, McCain is not the best candidate for president. However, you don't see them speaking out against him.

    Please give him the boot and see if McCain and the republicans will have a place for him. Furthermore, when he run for reelection, he should run on the republican ticket. I can't wait to see him in retirement.

    They all keep talking about Obama's speaking ability. What are the others doing, mumbling? They all are speaking.
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 3, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Bayou Joe

    Good luck with that one,,,, ha ha ha, Lieberman hit you right in the mouth and tookyour fake candidate to task. Something we already knew, but you still cling to your socialist ways. America has had enough of the Democratic Socialist Party.

    America First... last and always. Semper Fi.

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. rich vengroff

    The Connecticut Democrats dumped Liberman, its time that the national party and the senate did the same.

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Jim in Atlanta

    Joe Lieberman is a role model for American politics. He puts country over party unlike so many other lackeys who are just trying to win reelection and work their way up the political ladder. Lieberman put his committee chairmanship on the line last night, knowing well it may cost him, but he spoke from the heart and did what he thought was right.

    God Bless you Joe from another Independent Democrat who will be voting for John McCain.

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Sheeple for Obah-h-h-h-hma

    Cross the party line, get your hand slapped. Nice. Party politics as usual. No Change. No Hope.

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Israel

    Lieberman doesn't help anyone except . . . Israel. He's got nothing in common with Republicans, except a desire to wage war against Arab countries. He's that way, because that's what's wanted by Israel. It goes like this . . . Israeli leaders think so long as America has antagonistic relations with Arab countries . . . America will use its military to guarantee Israel's security.

    Meanwhile . . . 1.3 million Palestinians spend their 41st year in refugee camps spread across several middle eastern countries. These are people whose land was taken by Israel for Jews-only settlements.

    Lieberman doesn't represent the U.S. He only represents Israel.

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Silence Dogood

    Obama is reaching across the aisle –
    – to slap those not in line in the New Order!

    Does anyone still believe the "across the aisle" line?

    September 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. longhairs for obama

    they better or we throw them out,too!

    September 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Chip

    At least he had the courage to state his opinion. Dim (yes, d i m), leaders, can't whip him into line because he is an Independent.

    Pity more members of congress can't be brave enough to put the country before their personal gain.

    Let them take his Chairmanship, as President McCains Homeland Security Secretary, he'll more than make up for any loss.

    McCain/Palin '08!!!

    September 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Andrea

    He should lose his chairmanship. What Lieberman did last night was a disgrace. Shame on you Joe Lieberman , I'm sorry I ever voted for you. James Carville said it best TRAITOR!!!

    September 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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