November 6th, 2008
12:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Lieberman meeting with Reid this afternoon

Lieberman was a strong supporter of John McCain’s presidential bid.
Lieberman was a strong supporter of John McCain’s presidential bid.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned independent who backed Republican Sen. John McCain for president, will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss Lieberman’s future with the Democratic caucus, according to two congressional sources familiar with the matter.

At stake is Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and possibly his other committee assignments. Reid could also ask Lieberman to leave the Democratic caucus altogether.

Lieberman’s support of McCain – and harshly critical words of President-elect Barack Obama during the campaign - angered many Senate Democrats but Reid was reluctant to act against the Connecticut senator earlier because Democratic control of the Senate relied on Lieberman’s decision to organize with the Democrats.

But after picking up multiple Democratic seats on Election Day, Reid is politically empowered to strip Lieberman of the coveted chairmanship if he chooses. The full Democratic caucus would have to approve any action Reid takes when it meets on Capitol Hill in two weeks.

Democratic leadership aides would not say what Reid will do at the highly-anticipated meeting which is expected to take place in Reid’s leadership suite off the Senate floor. Reid has not been shy in the past about expressing his frustration with Lieberman who just eight years ago was the Democrats’ nominee for Vice President. But he’s also repeatedly said he values Lieberman’s membership in the caucus because on most issues Lieberman votes with the Democrats.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. country first

    i wouldn't trust him, but i guess time will tell. i love my country, God bless the USA.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. NCH

    Lieberman is a good person, whatever decision he is going to make let's just support him as long as it won't affect his job. If he wants to be independent so be it. Just avoid name calling it won't do any good.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Joe Perez

    Tom in Delaware,

    You twit! The only thing you know about unity is your pathetic clinging to the past. Poor loser and insecure jerk who has to throw the communist label, because you have nothing else to offer.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Gayle

    Kick hiim out and to the curb. He is no longer needed.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Ronald Reagan had a golden rule. Thou shalt never speak badly of a fellow republican. Good or bad who can say? I am afraid that Joe will have to be made an example of because if they let him get away with this who knows what can happen. It's the same reason they used to shoot deserters during the Civil War.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Maggie from Virginia

    He went too far with his comments about Obama. I forgive him though.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. TangoDancer

    This may seem odd to everyone that wants to get back at Lieberman for his actions this election cycle, but I think that Reid and other congressional democrats should bury the hatchet. Let Lieberman continue to hold his committee chairs. This is tough to swallow, but in victory – the democrats should be gracious to their opponents. Lieberman is still a democrat in his heart. He just happens to be a foreign policy hawk and a true friend of McCain. I respect his sound positions on foreign policy and his friendship with the opposition. Reprisals against Lieberman by Reid and other Dem senators would only be viewed with skepticism in this new "bipartisan" era and would give ammunition to the wounded GOP that continues to look for opportunities to attack the "left". So... let Lieberman stay put. He is up for election in 2010. If he gets the boot, then it's the foot of the people that does the booting. There is no need for Reid to rush this process. And such a merciful act by Reid would undoubtedly inspire a new loyalty by Lieberman toward the party that he loves and really is part of. His one vote in the senate will be very important in the coming months.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. palin + britney 2062!

    It's not his criticism that people have a problem with Geraldine.
    It's his lying.

    As for silencing dissent – where have you been for the last 8 years?? Must be great to have such a selective memory.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Ehab From Los Angeles

    Let's not act too surprised by Liberman's actions lately.
    He has always embraced the right wing extremist idealogy, and in particular Bush's falied foreign policy. When ever there been a discussion on a war in the middle east, Liberman has always been first in line to sign off on it.

    This guy has wlays been a republican in disguise, come on, who are we kidding. Just follow his voting record with Bush's policies.

    Kick him out Democrats, please, so he can finally be who he really is, another right wing nut job.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Dwyer

    As an Obama democrat, I sincerely hope that Lieberman is not booted from the Democratic caucus. Obama campaigned on a message of unity and overcoming partisan divide, this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that by allowing Lieberman to keep his place in the caucus.

    November 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Ehab

    Let's not act too surprised by Liberman's actions lately.
    He has always embraced the right wing extremist idealogy, and in particular Bush's falied foreign policy. When ever there been a discussion on a war in the middle east, Liberman has always been first in line to sign off on it.

    This guy has wlays been a republican in disguise, come on, who are we kidding. Just follow his voting record with Bush's policies.

    Kick him out Democrats, please, so he can finally be who he really is, another right wing nut job.

    November 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Robi

    Joe L. and Joe the Plumber can't pretend to be part of the cake. They were, are and will be eternally wrong. No place for Joe on the boat.

    November 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Jake

    PUMA, get over it. This isn't silencing anyone in dissent. This is getting rid of someone who wants to cower in fear of the GOP, and live in negativity. We don't need that anymore, and won't tolerate it. Get on board, or get left behind.

    When Joe said America won't survive a Dem majority, that is negative absolutism. We've had enough of that for the last eight years to last a lifetime. Thanks, but no thanks. His time has past. He's no loner effective. He can't do anything toward making progress. He's obsolete.

    November 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Evan

    It strikes me that this is a great opportunity for the new president-elect. If Obama intervenes with Reid on Lieberman's behalf (possibly using Rahm Emanuel as a go-between), he bolsters his bipartisan cred and puts Congressional Democrats on notice that he won't tolerate a repeat of 1992-1994. At the same time, he puts Lieberman deeply in his debt. Finally, it would help him mend his fences with John McCain.

    November 6, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Mel

    Some of you people are ridiculous. Lieberman is an Independent. He has a voice of his own and personally if we had more people like him in DC, we might actually get things done as opposed to just going along with the "Party" right or wrong.

    Lieberman at least speaks his mind honestly and has a proven record of working with both Democrats and Republicans.

    Way to go Joe – we need more people like you!!

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Moody

    eh let him stay. He agrees with the Dems on everything except Iraq. We need his vote on social and domestic issues. Chuck Hagel cancels him out on th Iraq Issue anyways.

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Robi

    My heart goes to Lou Dobbs who tactically (by his words) did everything to de-campaign Obama and his policies during the presidential campaigns. He is, also secretly grieving Obama's triumph and he will continue to do everything to underrate the Obama cabinate in the fore years.

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Jan

    Let's apply the "It's a Duck" formula.
    If Lieberman walks like a Republican and he talks like a Republican, then he's a Republican.
    Quack! Quack!

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Chuck

    He betrayed his constituents who voted for a democrat. He would be considered a traitor in most instances. He needs to go join McCain and Palin, and their divisive ways.

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. rich

    Liberman is a disgrace and a big dissapointment. To think I voted for this man when he was the Vice Presidential pick to AlGore back in 2000 only to see him behave so unloyally later on to his party makes me want to see him gets whatever he has coming. It's would have been ok to endorce McCain due to his personal long-time friendship with him, but it was a totally different matter for him to campaign with him, standing next to him and whispering into his ears correcting his senior moments, dissing his once long time party at the Republican convention, and dissing his once long held party's nominee. This is unacceptable, and he should not be in a positon of chairing any democratic committees. He needs to be banned to the political wilderness without any semblence of power. At this moment, I dont have any love for Joe. The thrill is gone.

    November 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. LT

    Uh oh. Democratic control of the Senate is no longer dependant on Lieberman......Bye Bye Lieberman.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Jack in Tampa

    Judas Lieberman is a chameleon....................which ever way the wind blows, goes Judas. It is very pathetic and sad at how transparent he truly is.

    Kick em to the curb! Connecticut, wake up!!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  23. anonymous

    Yeah, Reid, you fool, use the man then discard him. Typical democRAT! I cannot wait until NOBAMA is discarded. My saving grace is the fact that I'm in Texas and Texas is a proud RED state!! All the idiots here that voted for the fool.... their votes didn't count and they had nothing to do with his election!!! I voted McCain and my vote counted.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Gary

    If Reid leaves well enough alone he signals "inclusion" by the Democratic Party. If he strips Lieberman of his chairmanship, but allows him to remain in the caucus he opens the way to reward someone who has shown more loyalty to the Democratic Party. If Lieberman is kicked out of the caucus he goes firmly into the Republican camp and can be counted on to give headaches to the Democrats for a long time. Remember that after he lost the Dem nomination for his Senate seat, he turned around and WON that seat as an independent. He's not going away. Probably the smartest thing for Reid to do would be to take away the chairmanship – which no one would fault him for doing but then extend the olive branch by continuing to invite him to be part of the Democratic caucus. My bet is on Reid to be heavily pressured to take a hard line and take maximum revenge against him for not following the party line (pretty funny since he is an INDEPENDENT not a DEMOCRAT senator so he doesn't officially have a party whose "line" he should be obliged to follow). I sense the Democratic party making a fatal mistake of overconfidence and engaging in payback which could lead to another swing back to the right during the mid-term elections which would stymie any reforms they might try to put in place in the next 2 years.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. A NATION OF WINERS.

    REID SHOULD BRING A CAN OF RAID

    TO THE MEETING WITH JOE LIEBERMAN.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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