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. BM

    It's ironic how you could print someone's comments referring to Obama as "boy" withou awaing moderation , but would not print mine. You are full of it CNN.
    Obama is not president yet, yet he is being criticized already. It is apparent that there are those who want him to fail, but with God on his side, he will succeed beyond expectations.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Independant

    I'm an independant who is too conservative for any party. But I have to say that I thought the Dems were more "inclusive" than this. Most of the comments here lead me to beleive that a lot of "Dems" think that every one should just march lockstep with the rest of the party. WHEN WILL YOU UNDERSTAND THAT HAVING DIFFERENT OPINIONS IS HEALTHY FOR A PARTY AND FOR A COUNTRY. Do you really want a bunch of stupid "Yes Men" running our country who can't speak thier minds and have a differing oppinion? Hello Communism.

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. uglywart105

    It's ok to be a Republican and throw your support for your party, it is another to be the VP nominee 8 years ago for the Democratic ticket and be as enthusiastic as Lieberman was with the McCain side, he has lost all credibility and Reid knows that if he keeps him as a Chairman of the HomeLand Security, Reid will loose a lot of respect from his Democratic Senators. He needs to go to the other side and stay there....

    November 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. chelle

    Joe Lieberman needs to apologize, publicly, for allowing the Republicans to slander the Democratic nominee for president. For Joe Lieberman to support a Republican for President is silly and childish. Joe Lieberman's beliefs were put to the side, so he could thumb his nose at the party for real or imagined slights. Now that his Republican protector has lost, what choice does he have but to remain an independant, for who can believe now, that he follows the core beliefs of the DNC?

    November 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. bw

    Reid should strip Lieberman of his Committee Chairmanship; let Senator Lieberman caucus with which ever party he wants (after all he is a declared Independent and as such isn't committed to either party). Senator Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should then both resign their leadership positions and be replaced by people who truly represent the mainstream of America.

    November 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Tisha, ATL

    Get him out of there!!! I was living in CT when he turned on the Democratic party because he didn't win. His idea of democracy is pathetic. He felt that the voice of the people did not matter and he would do anything to please his own agenda. What's even sadder is the fact that they will let him stay. I think the outcome has already determined to keep him. Sad but true.

    November 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Reality

    Reid should dump Lieberman and target his seat for a new Senator in the next election. It's one thing to buck the part line - Democrats have been doing that since the part was founded. But Leiberman has stepped way over the line in that he has enjoyed the benefit of holding a chaimanship and the perks that come with being in the part in power and, at the same time, betraying them over and again. Were he a Republican (or if the Republicans didn't need him anymore) and he pulled this crap with them, an affair with an child would be leaked to the press.

    November 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. BeauMan

    Liberals...what happened to your philosophy of "we need to all pull together"? Sure not seeing it from your comments here! I would rather side with someone who stands by their beliefs than a shallow individual who only bases their support on political party...or who only votes based upon the color of someone's skin (*sound familiar to any of you?)

    November 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Trey M.

    Get rid of him. He's trying to play both sides. He chose his side the day he backed Sen. McCain.

    November 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Sandy

    "My view is Reid should take his chairmanship away, but leave him the choice to choose if he wants tp stay in the Dems caucus. The chairmanship will send the strong message that he messed up, while allowing him to stay says the Dems are willing to look forward and work with people with opposing views."

    I agree. Strip him of his chairmanship but let him decide where to caucus and hope that he goes to the republicans.

    November 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. BM

    As African Americans, we will support him to the fullest.Apparently, those that want him to fell are uneducated. Thank God for the white educated people!

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  12. sammy haygood

    All of the repugnicans spouting rubbish about the Democrats' lack of bipartisanship are more than just a little hypocritical considering the Bush administration's my-way-or-the-highway attitude for the last 8 years. Joe Lieberman did more than just support his long-time friend John McCain. He knowingly lied about the president-elect and stood by and supported the lower than dirt campaign tactics of the Repugnicans. We should allow Joe to continue to caucus with the Democrats if he so chooses but he should not be allowed to retain any of his committee chairs.

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

    Seems to me when he declared himself to become an independent he ceased to belong to the Democratic party. Why should he then continue to use the party when it is to his advantage and abandon it when it isnt. Strikes me that so long as there are party affiliations as we have them now, he needs to pick one, not three. That carries bipartison to the extreme – and is also just a bit self serving – dont you think?

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Ehab

    Wait a minute, Joe has been trashing Obama and the democrats during this whole election cycle.
    And you mean to ask me if he still should remain with them??

    Out you go Joe, you traitor.

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Sean

    I think Obama should offer him a cabinet post, DHS secretary maybe. That way the new prez appears to be the bigger person while Joe is put in a place where he can't do any damage to the agenda. Also, he leaves the caucus on his own and the CT gov can his seat to a real Dem like Ned Lamont.

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Jim

    Only took one day for mindless Lemmings to rally the Democratic party back to separatism; I'm impressed. Let's behead a fellow for having a broader perspective on some issues.

    Does anyone remember how quickly Democrats tossed Senator Lieberman under the bus, during his last Senatorial campaigne?

    How about a few doubts being cast on Reid, Dodd and Franks for their wonderful oversite of the banking community (a real issue), especially if you want to show someone the door.

    Maybe just give pause for a while regarding the CT Senator. Or is personal integrity no longer a virtue?

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

    Traitor Joe!looser! Boot him off our winning team

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Tom

    I'd love to be a fly on that wall...

    November 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Dem to the End

    You can't say that you're a FORMER Dem and be part of the Caucus. Joe chose a side. No one forced him...now it's time to go. Bye-bye Joe- you turncoat

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Christopher

    Goodbye Sell-OUT Liberman... he is a piece of crap that shouldnt be trusted by either party

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Ted Cahill

    I read all the posts before mine, and I have only one comment.

    While Lieberman surely deserves to be thrown out of the caucus, many of the Democrats, at least in this comment section, who have left their remarks seem to have the same affliction they hate most in Republicans, personal attacks.

    Personal attacks are destroying political discourse in this country. We have become an increasingly uncivil society; hopefully, Obama can help that to. WE need to talk about issues, not people's personalities.

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Elle

    Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. Let him stay, but watch him like a hawk.

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Joe the Butt Plumber

    Put the boots to him, medium style.

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Obama Mama Napa, Califronia

    This is not Obama's decision...

    November 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Jason

    I'm a conservative, who voted for neither McCain nor Obama in this election. I disagree with a lot of what I heard from Obama, but I didn't like how far to the right McCain moved in the last couple of months leading up to Tuesday.

    That being said, I wonder how many people who post on these boards are actually of voting age. Lieberman is a grown man, who chose to do what he felt was the right thing for his country. G-d forbid he doesn't fall in lockstep with everything Harry Reid commands! He disagrees with the leadership of his party on one issue, and you'd think he turned into the devil himself.

    Real adults are allowed to disagree with one another on some issues, even if they agree on most. Look at Jim Jeffords, who decided to switch to Independent, when he knew that doing so would give control of the Senate to the Democrats in 2000. Or Robert Byrd, who stated unequivocally that he felt that Clinton had committed high crimes and misdemeanors while in office warranting impeachment, but not conviction. Going against the prevailing ideas and voting for what you think is right, even when it's not politically expedient is called 'leadership' and the country would do better to have more men and women like him in every legislative body.

    Just remember, anyone that agrees with everything you say is probably trying to sell you something–and if you agree with everything someone else says, you've stopped thinking for yourself. It's time to grow up, and start working together. That applies to each and every one of the 133 million+ who voted. Continued vitriol and name calling from both sides does nothing but provoke further division, and guarantee that nothing of substance will happen over the next 2 years, or until one party gains "super-majorities" in both houses of Congress.

    November 6, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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