(CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, is planning to announce Wednesday that he will not seek re-election, according to two knowledgeable Democratic sources.
The move by the former Democratic vice presidential candidate could add even more murkiness to the party's hopes of hanging on to its slim majority in the Senate in the 2012 election, especially coming on the heels of Sen. Kent Conrad's, D-North Dakota, that he will not seek re-election at the end of this term.
North Dakota's other Senate seat fell into Republican hands in the midterm election after Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan announced his retirement. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Democrat-North Dakota, meanwhile, lost the state's only at-large House seat in November, so Conrad's seat will be in major jeopardy.
While Lieberman is an independent he has aligned himself with the Democratic leadership for organizational purposes, helping to boost the Democratic majority on issues like health reform. But he has also frustrated party leaders on other big issues, leading one Democratic source to say privately that it's a "sigh of relief" for Democrats if Lieberman does step aside because the party would have a chance to elect someone who sides with them more often.
The race for his seat is wide open. Earlier on Tuesday former Connecticut secretary of state Susan Bysiewicz announced that she is planning to get into the 2012 Democratic primary for Lieberman's seat regardless of what the incumbent does. Reps. Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney are also considering Senate bids, while various Republicans are mulling their options.
A Lieberman aide stressed that the Senator made his own decision some time ago and it was not influenced by Bysiewicz's announcement Tuesday or any other maneuvering.
Lieberman, whose poll numbers have dipped mightily in Connecticut, is scheduled to officially announce his decision on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Conn.
"After many thoughtful conversations with family and friends over the last several months, Sen. Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays which he plans to announce on Wednesday," said Lieberman spokeswoman Erika Masonhall.
Lieberman won a fourth term in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont. After his re-election he still caucused with Democrats in the Senate, helping to boost their majority.
–CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash contributed to this report.
Good. Connecticut will most likely elect another liberal idiot but at least we can blame the right party for the insane spending policies that follow in their wake.
There is a place in Dante's inferno for people like lieberman. I believe its way down on the 8th level, 2nd ring. This spot is for souls who pretend to work for the public good when in actuallity are in it only for themselves.
Gee,I'm just crushed. Goodbye Joe, you won't be missed
Good bye,and you will not be missed.he bailout wall street to help his greenwich losers that work in wall street.voted for iraq war to help war corrupted companies.
One less Israeli Citizen in Senate
Don't let the door hit ya on the way out, Droopy...
Good riddance Joe, when you turned away from the Democratic party you turned away from America.
And this is a breaking news? 300 million Americans are not running in 2012 either.
He's a turn coat anyway..... Lets hope we get a real committed person next time.
The Dems could not trust this man. He campaigned for McCain. He took pleasure in holding the Dems hostage on health care. I for one am glad to see him go.
Thank goodness this traitor to the Dems will not need to be purged and won't bog down the process for a real contender. Now if we can just find someone with integrity and a strong work ethic.
i suppose this is for the best. i've always respected lieberman for being a true independent voice in the senate but ever since he backed Mccain in 2008 and other GOPers in 2010 I have soured on him quite a bit. Now that he is stepping down, Connecitcut can do what it did in 2010, send someone to the senate that will back Obama's plan to get the nation back on its feet again. You did it before, you can do it again. Go Connecticut!
That is too bad. One of very few Democrats that I respected. I don't agree with him on everything, but think he is a good person (unlike Pelosi who is the devil).
HURRAY!!!!!! He got to serve this term in a sleezy way. Good riddance sir.
As a CT resident, all I have to say is: YES! ALRIGHT! HOOWAH! YAY! HURRAY! YIPPEE!
The three-faced, self-serving Senator is history!
Maybe now we can vote for someone who actually knows what they stand for!
thank goodness! this man does NOT know who he is anymore. A blubbering, meandering turncoat who has only looked to benefit himself and his ego.
Delighted Joe is seeing the light.
Here is what is wrong with politics: Joe Lieberman's office told the news outlets that he's retiring. Great news, Joe! I hope you take your fishing as seriously as I do! But why would you incur a few thousand dollars in expenses to rent a hall at The Marriot in order to make an announcement we already heard about? You politicians need to learn frugality, most especially when it's someone elses money you're spending, whether it's the taxpayers or political donors. That's a lesson all of Congress, and the White House, needs to learn.
At least Joe has integrity and tried to bring the parties together. Without him things can only get worse.
WOOHOO! YAY! HURRAY! YIPPEE!
Maybe us CT voters will now get a candidate who actually knows what they stand for!
This was entirely people saying how happy they were about him not seeking reelection. Then they deleted dozens of entries. Thanks CNN!! Good job there!
But if he retires, who will train the next Sith lord...
This is a very great day for all in the state of CT. Thank GOD,I won't hear that voice through the NOSE any more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
don't let the door hit ya, joe..
Have fun with your new job as a lobbyist, Lieberman!