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

    Lieberman should be booted out! He is a traitor and cannot be trusted, not in this administration.He is a snake!

    November 6, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Jake

    It's not just about him supporting McCain...that's an honest difference of opinion, and what America is about.

    It's that he has been in constant support of the most Nazi-like president in our history, based on the mere thought of terrorism. It's "leaders" like that...those that live in fear...that shred the Constitution. When we do that, and when we condone leaders who act this way, people like bin Laden WIN. No more of that. I believe reversing this collective notion is what Tuesday was all about.: Taking back the country from the party that says, "Be afraid...trust me..."

    November 6, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Milhouse van Houten

    I would think it is in Joe Liebermans'best interest to sit as an independant thus allowing him to vote on matters as he sees fit and not having to worry about party affliation.I can't really see him sitting as a committed Democrat anymore,I think his support for McCain was
    borne more out of friendship than policy.

    November 6, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Nathan,

    If you don't already have 59 votes you don't need Lieberman to make 60.. He should be kicked out and given to the Republicans. This man is an opportunist who can't be trusted. If the Democrats get rid of him altogether then prehaps Conn will get rid of him in 4 years.

    November 6, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Doug

    If senator Lieberman wants to support the Republicans, bad mouth the Democrats, then let him caucus with them and let him have chairmanships on there comittees. We need unity and partisanship and those that can't deliver leave them behind. the people will soon rid congress of all those who are not for the people, all of the people.

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

    Joe, now you can wonder off into the sunset with McCain.

    November 6, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Tim

    So he loses with Gore and turns his back on the Democratic party, then expects that he's going to be welcomed back when his gambit for power with McCain doesn't work out. He's always been more of a Republican than a Democrat and he proved it, so why doesn't he just go join them? Oh yeah, he doesn't want to give his power.

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. levy

    Let's go a step further. Any Amercan who supported McCain in this election should be forced to step down from any leadership position they hold. There is simply no room for dissent in this country. Support Obama or else!

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Post-election

    Stripping him the chairman position is not a partisan, but a policy move. If President Obama and the great majority of American want us to move out of Iraq, then why would you have someone in the senate leadership position doesn't have the right judgment to do so??

    He should go. This is not a partisan issue!!

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. California Gold

    A reminder that the "majority" the Democrats have had is a thin "majority" of one. And that lone Democrat is Lieberman. So before criticizing Democrats for having a "majority" recognize that Lieberman was that majority and yes, there ought to be dialogue with Lieberman about his position in Congress. If you had a Lieberman in your organization you certainly would want a sit down with him to clear the air and open dialogue.

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Kristy in Georgia

    Hey fellow Obama fans: lets not be hypocrits! Republicans got our country into a fine mess by ignoring half the country. Lets not make the same mistake. Hopefully Joe will do what all public servants should do: listen to their constituents and vote accordingly. In the mean time, lets continue our tone of reconciliation and solidarity–one United State of America–remember?

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Gerald

    I hope they throw him out. He was such a disgrace. Ridiculous...

    November 6, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. suzanne, western NY

    I as an lifelong independent find it hard to understand how Lieberman could have crossed over from being a firm VP candidate Democrat to the position he held and the words he said at the RNC and than to be able to remain in the Democratic Caucus.

    Did he just "switch" change his mind or was it more of a time for "opportunity" to be regained after his and Al Gore's loss in 2000.

    At best he might hope to remain within the Democratic caucus but give up the chairmanship as he still in my eyes is an indpendent at best leaning toward the republicans by his actions. However, he should be allowed to represent the people whom voted him into office from Connecticut. I belive though he will no longer have the trust of the Democratic party.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Lynne Kieper

    As much as the Dems might want to keep the seat, after watching Lieberman grin through the nasty lies and misleading statements made about Obama, I think he should be asked to leave the caucus. He was only to give a speech at the convention, but as it turns out, he appeared standing right behind McCain with a big smile on his face. Disgusting.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. REZ

    WOw, this is a tough crowd.
    I'm actually agreeing with everyone, but I have to say that as a resident of CT–we don't need rogue senators or represenatives for that matter trying to change the country, so I would say I hope that Joe does feel the consequences of his actions and as should all others who do the same. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Bob, Rhode Island

    If President elect Obama can look to Republicans to help bring this country together,why not a man who took a lot of heat to do what he thought was best for the country? Obama will prove to be the best man at the right time , Joe Lieberman will see this and join with him gladly.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Vratar

    "I guess freedom of speech is only a protected right for Democrats who supported Obama. This is nonsense."

    Nobody is trying to put him in jail for what he said, or even tell him that he isn't allowed to say it - that's what freedom of speech is all about. But just because he has the right to speak his mind, doesn't mean others have to like it. We all have a similar right to act based upon the words spoken. Each each party's caucus is like a "club" with conditions for membership. The members of the club have the right to decide who can be a member.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Mike - Cleveland, OH

    Kick him to the CURB!

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. SD

    No don't fire him yet. Do at a time that he would least expect it. Treat him like the slime he is.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. DJ in Colorado

    be gone joe! you're not a dem pure and simple.

    November 6, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Sam Benegal

    This man is a filthy crook; back stabber and a lier. He should be thrown out of Democratic Caucus. Reid will make a big mistake in his political life if he keep this traitor in Caucus. Because the moment
    LIE BERMAN got another chance, he will backstab... YOU BETCHA....

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

    WOW – such words from you peaceful Democrats! I have to laugh as true colors are showing. Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you do get rid of Joe Lieberman the rest of us will see exactly what you are doing. Throwing anyone aside who doesnt believe in the exact way you dems think and feel. What happened to Obamas speech – when he said this country has to come together – and be bi-partisan? If McCain won he is one of the most moderate Reps there were and would have def worked across party lines.

    Remember – those who you wish evil on have only two years to wait. Not long at all... perhaps the reps can get some of that same foreign money that Obama received in small donations to win some seats back.

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

    Bye Bye Joe

    They might need help in Alaska building a bridge or something

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. forrest kimbrough

    he looks like that kinda guy that reaches across the ailse to joe six pack for a cold one

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Diane from Cincinnati

    With democrats like Joe Lieberman, who needs Republicans?

    November 6, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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