November 17th, 2008
05:55 PM ET
6 years ago

Lieberman likely to keep top Democratic post, sources say

Sources tell CNN Sen. Lieberman will keep his committee chairmanship.
Sources tell CNN Sen. Lieberman will keep his committee chairmanship.

(CNN) - Senate Democrats appear willing to let Sen. Joe Lieberman keep his powerful Homeland Security Committee chairmanship, even though the Connecticut independent campaigned vigorously for John McCain's White House bid, two congressional sources told CNN Monday.

Instead, Senate Democrats will likely strip Lieberman of his chairmanship of an environmental subcommittee - a considerably less prominent position than his homeland security post.

That outcome would be at odds with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's initial intentions. Sources told CNN last week that Reid had informed Lieberman it was likely he would lose his chairmanship of the committee and instead assume a leadership post on a less prominent panel. Lieberman told
Reid that offer was "not acceptable," according to sources.

The Democratic caucus will formally meet Tuesday morning to hold a secret ballot vote on Lieberman's future, but the sources suggested the outcome of that vote may already be a foregone conclusion.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Ollie

    It does not surprise me that neocons and neoliberals are able to penetrate the new administration and maintain power in congress. They have powerfull sponsors, intent on pushing this country into conflicts with Iran, Russia, etc, anybody that would dare to oppose their goals. Our military is being used as a foreign legion and our country's resources are being depleted to finance their objectives.

    November 17, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. james

    If the Dems have any backbone, they will get rid of this idiot.

    November 17, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. GERRY

    HE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE IN THE SENATE AS A DEMOCRAT HOWEVER, HE DOESN'T NEED TO BE CHAIRMAN OF ANYTHING AND I MEAN ANYTHING. WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS ANYWAY?
    HE TRULY IS A TRAITOR NO QUESTION. I DON'T THINK IT IS FAIR THAT AN ELECTED OFFICIAL SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE PARTIES LIKE THIS AND COME BACK......

    November 17, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  4. Cynthia Jerman

    He should not be rewarded for any position.

    November 17, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Brian

    Lieberman actually resembles Emperor Palpatine of STAR WARS – seriously!

    I can't wait for the official vote to learn of his fate.

    May the force NOT be with him! :)

    November 17, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Edward

    Invisible hands one more time forced their agenda! We should ask why a Democrat president and a majority Democrat congress can’t remove someone whose ideas are in direct contradiction with president elect’s foreign and even domestic polices! The same invisible hands who brought Lieberman to senate after he lost the primary to his democrat opponent now want to make sure he will hold a powerful position and will serve them well. Do we really live in a democracy? Or just a few people with public exposure change and the core power remains in hands of the same people who use our country for their benfit. Great job AIPAC !

    November 17, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. Janice Illinois

    Friendship has lost it's meaning in the U.S. to a degree. A friend stands by you no matter what ,is the way I was raised. Joe says that he is a friend to Mccain and therefore he stands by him this doesn't mean that they agree on every issue. Powell stood by Obama, and he is republican, no scrutiny there? If your friends will not stand with you ,Who will, leave Joe alone, if being a good friend is all he's guilty of, he is a politician among politicians.

    November 17, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Mark

    Cali Girl, you're not quite right.

    Joe Lieberman doesn't care about anything but Joe Lieberman.

    He made a big bet that the US wouldn't elect a black man over John McCain, and he lost the bet. What he bet was the last shreds of his reputation and integrity. Which means the only remaining governor on his actions is he's got to be enough of a progressive saint over the next four years that we in Connecticut will forgive and forget.

    I won't forget. And I bloody well won't forgive either.

    November 17, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. Law Student

    Wow, this is ridiculous. This is a perfect example of how partisanship has gotten out of control in this country. You cannot even support the person over the party without being labeled a "traitor". Maybe it is about time that we all demonstrate some independent thinking like Lieberman, rather than merely following the group think, which is what ignorant people are so inclined to do. I am a registered Democrat and I thought that Obama's message was about changing the country and getting past the partisan divide, but I guess the Democrats are showing their true colors and I want nothing of it.

    November 17, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. New Day

    People never cease to amaze me. How can you guys back Obama and his message of unity and then, at the first opportunity, prove you are no better than republicans? I was just as irate seeing Lieberman at the Rep Convention and hearing the things he said on the campaign trail but, all that is over. We have a country to fix, people!!! We need every vote in the senate we can get. Enough of the petty foolishness!!!!

    November 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Eric

    This is truly a disappointment and the poorest representation the Democrats could possibly have in this position.

    November 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  12. Bryan

    Why are people being critical of this Independent? He is not a Democrat. He was not the Democratic nominee. He is an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T with no obligation to either party.

    As an Independent, he supported the presidential candidate of his choice. The fact that he caucuses with the Democrats, who rejected him, is to their benefit. They could use every vote they can get right now.

    Turning your back on a senator who's willing to caucus with you is a very dumb thing. Just ask Bush, who did it to Jim Jeffers in '00 and forever regretted it.

    November 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Jon Davis

    As much as I dislike Joe Lieberman primarily for his radical, extremist political views regarding Israel and Palestine, views which HURT our country, politics shouldn't be about awarding friends or punishing opponents, it should be about making the necessary compromises to move forward. In fact, since Lieberman is a de facto Republican (even if a moderate Republican), keeping him at Homeland Security is actually a bipartisan move on the part of Democrats.

    November 17, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Larry

    Are Democrat voters more interested in the Democratic Party or our what is best for our country ?Should be country first,shouldn't it?

    November 17, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Darrell Feagin

    And the beat goes on....that is the same ole' playbook which has kept many of these useless and thoughtless politicians in office.

    These career politicians tend to forgive and forget each other for their mis-deeds and often ignore the will of the people.

    Shame on those whose vote will allow Lieberman to maintain his Chairmanship on any committee, just know we're watching and taking names.

    November 17, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Jeff Brown

    This man makes me want to vomit!

    November 17, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Wow, folks!
    Pres-Elect states he harbors no ill will toward Sen Lieberman. He requests everyone stop the partisan political rhetoric. Yet the comments from so many of you are quite hateful. Why?

    He may have made some good contacts among the Republican party and will be able to use those contacts to sway some votes on critical bills. Lieberman may yet prove to be useful to the Dems – Don't throw him under the bus just yet.

    November 17, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Meanwhile, senators who were good soldiers, who supported their party and their party's candidate, are stuck where they are because there's no public relations value in giving them increased opportunity.

    Lieberman deserves to be booted. If he isn't, it just goes to show the ugly dirty underbelly of politics, where appearance and symbol is more valued than integrity and honesty.

    November 17, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. James

    A neo-con heading up Homeland Security? This is egregious and incredibly disappointing.

    November 17, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. drew

    good for them. i respect senator lieberman, and i think if democrats are serious about unifying and causing change, it's time to put aside the election's bitterness and embrace people who can see from both sides of the aisle.

    November 17, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. twiddly

    Unbelievable! He doesn't deserve any chairmanship post.

    That he actively campaigned for McCain, knowing that a McCain presidency would further push the supreme court to the right, is really unforgiveable.

    It's one thing to disagree over how Iraq is handled; it's another to put the supreme court in a position to overturn roe v wade. Not to mention the absolutely frightening possibility of Palin as prez.

    Lieberman has shown that he's either a) just stupid or b) carrying a grudge over the primary, or maybe c) both.

    November 17, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. debchuck

    Why are we having this discussion? Lieberman is a fanatic. He's not a Democrat. He's whatever gives hi the most for the least effort. I have no problem with his Israeli stances. Not at all.

    My problems with him stem from the fact that he cannot be trusted.

    He's a Democrat when it suits him. He's a Republican when it suits him the other direction. He is for whatever is momentarily best or old Joe, and it's time the Democrats got some backbone and booted his butt.

    I thought Democrats elected a Demo Congress a couple of years ago to get rid of Bush's stupid actions, but look what Reid and Pelosi did - ate lunch after lunch with Bush and never proceeded to do the first thing to turn things around. Now, the Demos have a chance to lay the wood to the fire - get rid of Lieberman. If - big IF - he should come back as a Demo, then deal with him at that time.

    As an independent (closet Republican), he's worthless.

    November 17, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  23. Andy

    It's unfair to say that Lieberman betrayed the democratic party, it was the other way around. Lieberman lost his primary because certain democrats hate him because of his losing Gore the election in 2000 (remember the VP debate). I'm a proud liberal who supported McCain, Lieberman should not be punished for voting his conscience, I wish more Senators would. Everyone says they want bi-partisanism, yet when somone actually does it, people want to sack them. Good on senate democrats for remembering this.

    November 17, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. David

    The best thing that could happen for the Democrats is to lose in either Georgia or Minnesota so that they can deal with Lieberman appropriately.

    Otherwise, they'll need Lieberman to get to 60 and he will be coddled accordingly.

    November 17, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. David, Silver Spring, MD

    If Lieberman is able to treat Obama like dirt and get away with it, what signal does that send to other "on the fence" Democrats?

    More importantly, what signal does it send to countries like North Korea, Russia, or Iran? Seems to me what it tells them is that we don't protect our president or strike back at those who provoke us.

    Not good.

    November 17, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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