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

Lieberman meeting with Reid this afternoon

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. cb

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

    November 6, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  2. Unite

    First of all none of us know what is going to happen in the meeting. It's unlikely Reid will act contrary to the principles of unity by giving Joe the boot. More likely the meeting will be about mending fences.

    November 6, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Hugh ~ California

    Connecticut should vote senator Lieberman OUT, whether he chooses to run as a democrat, independent, or the party of Benedict Arnold!

    November 6, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Omar

    Lieberman is allowed to have his opinion. However, he can't expect to retain a Democratic appointment if he's been actively campaigning against the Democratic presidential candidate, in addition to defeating a popularly elected Democratic candidate in the CT senatorial race. Without DNC money, he'll lose his reelection bid in 2010 anyway.

    November 6, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Ernest C. of San Diego

    I feel Leiberman should leave the Democratic caucus altogether on his own, but if he doesn't, he should be removed. He left the party and became an independent, he is not a Democrat.

    November 6, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Dee

    I actually think they should leave him as he is...there is nothing more satisfying than making someone "uncomfortable" and having them KNOW that they are not really "liked" by others...

    McCain will be back there working so he'll have at least ONE friend...unless McCain gets a position in Obama's administration....

    November 6, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. Lisa in Mission Viejo

    He's not a democrat, anyway, get rid of him. There's something about his wishy-washy, whiny and weak manner that I've never liked.

    November 6, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. chris s

    Let him live his life according to his own values and principles. If his constituents want him fired, they'll do it. Strip him of any chairmanships IF he does not bring serious value to the task. If he gets things done for America in a way no others could, let him keep doing his job. We need to BE the change we seek! I agree with someone above who wrote that kicking him to the curb would be a small minded & spiteful GOP / Tom Delay sort of characteristic. We ARE bigger that that.

    November 6, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Theredman

    Lieberman, come to the Republicans, you're welcome here!!!!!

    November 6, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. justus1

    Let Leberman and McCain share a seat

    November 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. John

    are you listening to yourselves. this is not change, this is asking for more of the same. Lieberman should be embrased not kick. you people are not for change. your like immature little school kids going nah nah nah nah.... grow the hell up

    November 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. Ehab From Los Angeles

    Why are people acting so surprised.

    Ever since I've gotten to know Liberman, he has always embraced the right wing idealogy, and in particular that Moron Bush and his falie policies. HE has always had one mission in mind, and that is to turn the middle east into tormoil.

    This guy has always been a right wing nut job in disguise.

    Throw him out Democrats, so he can finally be what he is. Another right wing extremist.

    November 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. JL

    I doubt it is a pleasant meeting for Lieberman after his behavior in the this election. It's one thing to support the guy on the other side, but a completely other thing to trash your own side in the process.

    November 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. jeff in MA

    Joe's a pure bread opportunist, but we knew this 8+ years ago when Gore had him sign on, what else is new?

    November 6, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. buster

    I disagree with Joe Leiberman's stand on the war, and his military hawkishness, but I believe it's a principled stand. On the other hand, he's a social moderate and votes with the Dems more often than some of the so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats. I admire someone who's loyalty to what he sees as the the country's best interests outweigh his loyalty to party, and indeed to his personal best interests. He's not dumb, and surely he could see what all of us predicted: a sweep for Obama and the rest of the Dems nationwide. So going against them was not exactly a career-building personal-interests-ahead-of-country move. We're better than that, and we Dems need to govern from the center in order to build a party legacy that will last longer than a single election cycle. The election is over; time to be inclusive, and besides–it's in our best interest to have him on our side when we want to cut off a filibuster attempt. IF HE WANTS TO STAY WITH US–and that's his choice–then we should be as gracious as McCain and Obama have been. We have enemies in the Palin wing of the Republican Party, and we'll need allies to fight them. Let's not burn bridges.

    November 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Ken

    Dave, Central Illinois: You exhibit even more of that special delusion from the pathetic rightwing. First of all, I don't know where you get your fantasy numbers from, but the FACT of the election told us that [R] members of congress had the lower approval rating. Second, the [D]s in Congress don't owe [R]s any "signal" of bi-partisanship after the [R]s ran from 2001-2007 the most uni-partisan government in recent history. [D]s certainly don't need to be lectured on how to handle dissenting voices from neo-tards like YOU who elected the likes of Bush, Cheney, Frist, Delay, into national office to run the government like a dictatorship. After 8 years of abject [R] failure, the [D]s deserve to leverage all the power they can to solve the problems YOU caused this country.

    November 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. C A

    Lieberman should be removed from the Democratic caucus. Not because he backed and supported McCain, but because of the manner in which he backed and supported McCain. He trashed Obama in his speech at the republican convention and he used the McCain/Palin attack tactics aganist Obama. Send him packing.

    November 6, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Unreadable

    Lieberman is a traitor to the party that nominated him for Vice President once and, in general, a political prostitute. I bet Joe will try to cozy up to Obama now he's elected.

    That's because Joe knows he's got no future with the Republicans either. they don't like him, and he'll lose his seat in 2 years.

    Serves him right.

    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Nick

    I voted against Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic Primary in CT - which he lost. I knew he was no good back then. The only reason he returned to the senate is because CT Republicans voted for him.

    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. Alexander

    ALL of you need to STOP attacking Lieberman. The guy went with his gut feeling, and he was wrong about McCain. Obama won, so stop being so petty. If you REALLY believe in Obama's inclusiveness you need to allow Joe Lieberman to do what he does best, speak his mind.

    You people who hate on everything that is not Obama are not true Democrats, but Pelosi wannabes who are so far left you are almost Communist. Now grow up and move on. NEXT!

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

    So much for your "Unity" campaign.
    Once again its the them v. us mentality in Washington.
    We just traded in one bunch of partisan bafoons for another bunch.

    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Salt

    Joe Lieberman just wants to fit in anywhere he can depending on what is convenient at the time.

    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. love child of god

    To the administration getting rid of Liberman, without letting the obama know is not sending a good message he will be the one getting the bad rap.


    November 6, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Tom In Millstadt

    Chris is right. I am not happy with Lieberman either, however the election is over and his help will be needed by the Democrats. Stripping him of his positions would be acting like that mental midget Tom Delay. Democrats do need to take the high road and show the country they are above the Cheney tactics.

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. steve

    The harsh vitriol of the vast majority of you reminds me yet again why I became an independent during the Clinton years.

    Would your president elect voice your thoughts – – or these – – –

    "With Malice toward none, with charity for all – – – to bind up the nation's wounds" – (Lincoln – dirty Republican that he was).

    November 6, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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