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

Lieberman likely to keep top Democratic post, sources say

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Dixie AZ

    Hate to say it, but I told you so. All Lieberman had to do was play his trump card - a threat to caucus with Republicans. The Dems caved in because they want a majority vote. BUT, sorry Joe. We won't forget your campaign speeches for McCain.

    November 17, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. pam Eugene OR

    I never agree with Harry but I do on this one. I guess there is always a first time.
    Lie(berman) really needs to go. He has lied about Obama and shamed all Democrats. Out with Lieberman!

    November 17, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. PL

    I cannot believe that theirs a dem who would be willing to work with this idiot. Joe should be shipped off to Alaska to pall around with the head village idiot. When McCain and Palin lost the election, Joe should have lost his senate seat...

    November 17, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Lieberman can thank Obama once again for saving his hide!

    November 17, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. mohamed

    liberman is done in ct.
    don't worry he won't be in the senate no more.

    November 17, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. That Other Jerry

    Politics at its finest– The Dems need Lieberman for the crunch votes, because they're oh-so-close-but-not-quite-there for that supermajority. So they slap his wrist; he says "ouch," but they let him keep Homeland Security. And he votes with the Democrats when it matters and with the Republicans when it doesn't. He gets to look like an "independent"; the Dems get the votes when they need them; they don't have to replace him with some wimp at HomeSec, because they know in their heart of hearts that the country really needs a hawk with a little backbone in that position, but they don't have one. Everybody wins!

    November 17, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. big daddy

    All this guy cares about is the war in Iraq..He must protect his intrests
    in the mid-east.Thats what he is all about !!! Take a hike Joe.We
    DO NOT want you in our party !

    November 17, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  8. Pete Collins

    Loserman gave his word he wouldn't be part of the Republicans' attack machine against Obama, then he joined in like he was one of their leaders. Joe Lieberman's gave his word to his colleagues in the Senate and broke it in the worst, most inexcusable way imaginable. He's a worthless, lying snake, and nobody likes a snake. The least Democrats must do is remove him from his committee chairmanship. The next President, in fact, should revoke his security clearance entirely. If he wants to make it official and join the Republicans outright - but they don't like snakes either. He will be cut off from Democrats' fundraising and there is a very deep-pocketed opponent eager to run against him again - in 2012.

    November 17, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Texas Trail Kitty

    Lieberman should be sent packing. If he did not agree with the Democratic party, why didn't he just cross over? Independent my foot! His constituents should send him home permanently. He is not what they thought he was.

    November 17, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. Kevin Novotny

    It would really be to bad if Leiberman keeps his chairmanship. Not that he cannot vote and campagin for whomever he wishes. That is his right. Why he should lose it is his threat that if he loses it he will vote with the Republican caucus. Leiberman has proven that he is in it for himself, not for the country, not for his state, but for Joe Leiberman!!! and for that he needs to go.

    November 17, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. CAROLE



    November 17, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  12. Tom

    He reminds me of a cockroach. I am disappointed he did not get stepped on.

    November 17, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  13. Beverly in NC

    Liebernan made himself an Independent when he could not get the Democratic Party's nomination. He then went further off course by campaigning with McCain and participating in the nasty Republican campaign of Obama bashing.

    If I were a Senator I would not allow him to keep his prime chairmanship. Lieberman betrayed his Party. He betrayed the President-elect out of pettiness. Lieberman can no longer be trusted and especially not trusted to lead an important Senate committee. Homeland Security needs a steady hand and sharp mind – both of which Lieberman no longer possesses.

    November 17, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Ron

    WHY? WHY? WHY? Kick him out! This is not change I can believe in! Cowardly democrats.

    November 17, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. Texas Teacher

    Leaving a back-stabber in your midsts is pretty dangerous just to have his vote for the lame duck congress! I think I would risk his ire to have him out! The man will turn coat again... if he thinks his bread is better buttered on the other side! 🙁

    November 17, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. bella

    the guy is a "wanna-be".....a real jack-! dems would be better without him even though the vote would count. let's not patronize the guy....he's a spoiled man.

    November 17, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    One more thing...
    Can the Democrats ever stop being wimps? I am a Dem tuned Independent because of this very thing! Kiss and make up is not always the right answer. I don't want to see Obama start as getting kicked in the teeth.
    Fire the bum if you ever want people to rejoin the party!

    November 17, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. Nikki, Houston

    I think that he should be reprimanded for what he did. Maybe they should put him in charge of a lesser committee.

    November 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. Stan

    Either Lieberman goes, or Reid needs to go.

    Lierberman might vote with the Democrats on, say, labor issues, but he's a Republican on Homeland Security – the committee he's chairman of.

    If he has to have a chairmanship, give him something that he's, you know, actually WITH the Dems on.

    As for the Government Accountability chair, he should lose that for incompetence. No investigations of the most corrupt administration in modern history? Huh?

    Lying about Obama at the RNC, questioning the patriotism of the Democratic nominee on FOX, insulting the Democratic party in general and campaigning for Republicans Shays and Coleman is just icing on the cake.

    Lieberman must go. He actively works against the Democratic party. He has no leverage; if he wants to vote with the GOP on labor, social and economic issues then he can explain that to the voters of CT when he runs for re-election.

    Let's see how that goes over in a state that went for Obama 61-38.

    November 17, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. Benz

    Liberman is bad luck. Bad luck to Al Gole. Will he be coming back to Dem. if Macain won?
    Democrats should not be very careful being too nice. How can you give office to someone who cannot defend his group when they needed him more. He did not only campagn for Macain but he said bad things against his party's nominee. He wanted them to loose.
    I believe that Bush had nothing against Obama but he did the right thing standing by his party.
    They should treat him like Judas.

    November 17, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. Jack Jodell

    Let's just hope the good voters of Connecticut throw him out on his tail in 2010 like he deserves!

    November 17, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. Willy Brown

    Joe you are a good man. The last true democrat for America. Too bad you have to hang out with those bed wetting liberals who took your party hostage 20 years ago.

    November 17, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |

    Only question that I have is WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??????????

    November 17, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. Angela

    It is even inappropriate to strip senator Lieberman of his chairmanship of an environmental subcommittee. Senator J.L. stands up for what he believes in. One should therefore hold him and his decisions in great respect.

    He happened to work across party lines and to back the candidate he thought best for the country at the time. He did it in the conviction that a senator has to be free in his decisions and obliged only to his conscience, his judgement, the care for public good and the benefit of the whole country. That is exactly his obligation as an elected representative according to the constitution . He behaved just as he ought to have. There is nothing improper, nothing to blame.

    The decision of the democratic caucus to put one of his chairmanships of committees to the vote is inappropriate to the occasion.

    It proves a misjudgment of the purpose of a party.
    Parties are a think-tank to solve problems. They should promote informed opinion. Their purpose is not the establishment of a belief-system. Otherwise they become ideological. If a party majority is calling a party-memeber a „traitor“ and wants to punish him because of his opinions and his standing up for what he believes, it reveals that the party has become ideological and inimical to free discussion.

    The claim for party loyality at all costs reveals a misjudgment of the mandate and the intrinsic value of the parliament or senate which is representation of the whole country and governing owing to free public discussion of independant individuals.
    An elected representative who toes the party line is not any more a participant of a true discussion whose result is not basic to the whole subject but generated in the dispute as an outcome from the conflicting opinions and counteropinions, arguments and counterarguments. According to the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, in a free discussion the points made in a dispute emit sparks and lead to get clear about how to solve a problem.
    In order to promote free discussion parties should not dogmatize party-line, program and solutions and should be open to constant vetting and transformation to escape the opartisan gridlock which guarantees infertile pseud discussion and division of society.

    Let me remind on this occasion of Edmund Burke`s political speech to his voters November 3, 1774 in Bristol, England:
    An elected representative should derive his honour and his happyness from his sense of community with his voters. (...) But he should never sacrifice his impartial opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience to voters or persons or to a group. Your representative owes you not only his industry but also his judgement. If he sacrifies his judgement he betrays you instead of serving you. (...) Authoritarian directives, mandates which oblige blind obedience, to stand for and to vote for even if it runs counter to the conviction, judgement and conscience of the representatives: these things are unknown to the laws of this country. They derive from a fundamental misjudgement of the whole order and spirit of the constitution.

    November 17, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  25. J.C.

    Senator Lieberman is a great bridge between the two major parties.
    Both parties will need him.

    November 17, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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