Lieberman not seeking re-election
January 18th, 2011
05:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Lieberman not seeking re-election

(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.

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. ThankGod

    Thank God this useless piece of driftwood is exiting. Hope returns. That is my opinion.

    January 18, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. vicgal

    great! we'll finally be rid of him

    January 18, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. mike

    thank the Lord we will be spared another term of this ego-maniac.

    January 18, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Arto

    Great. Now he can openly go do what he does best. Lobby for and look after the interests of the Israeli government.

    January 18, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. diridi

    stash all the junk underneath mattress... o.k, we need young blood...not old junk with crooked this idiot...nation will never lose any thing nor a dime...o.k...good for the nation...we need to ban all earmarks, senate term limits, and congress term limits....pass and talk...

    January 18, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. twiddly

    good riddance, benedict arnold – this idiot actually tried to get sarah palin a heartbeat away from the presidency; that's total lunacy!

    January 18, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. franniemae

    Any knowledge on the republicans that might run?

    January 18, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Mark Michigan

    whether republican or democrat, no one likes this kind of turn coat.

    January 18, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. Trythefacts

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship.

    January 18, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. annie s

    Conrad is no loss for the Dems as he's one in name only anyway. Lieberman is no loss for anybody. These two Senators are also directly responsible for the watering down of the Healthcare bill, blocking both the public option and Medicare for 55 or over – they cared more about the insurance industry than about American lives – so good riddance to both!

    January 18, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Jason Friddle

    I dont think he will be missed to much. He lost my support when he said he would vote against the public option.

    January 18, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  12. John Steel

    In other words he knows Connecticut voters will remember that he lied to them about the Iraq war. They are also sick of sponsoring the Senator from Israel, while Connecticut goes down the tubes.

    January 18, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Brandon

    Time for this guy to get a real job.

    January 18, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. CL Pipps

    What about Michael Bloomberg running as an Independent taking Senator Lieberman's place (Connecticut)? We know the Presendential race is out, but Mr. Bloomberg is very interested in continuing his legacy and this might be in his vision. Senator Clinton ran in New York and there is no reason Mr. Bloomberg couldn't run in Connecticut.

    January 18, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. rob

    We should fire all DEMS & PUBS and have a independent congress that takes all views in consideration for the best of what AMERICA NEEDS. We have too much bickering between the two and then we all lose.

    January 18, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. Raghu Bala

    Lieberman is a sellout...only cares about 1 thing - himself

    January 18, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. Nurse Lisa

    anyone in CT need a job?

    January 18, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Naco

    Best news I have heard today. Purple is such a dire color. Blue and red are not murky.

    January 18, 2011 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Steve

    Maybe he'll run for President of Israel. After all, he's been serving Israel his entire career.

    January 18, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. Monster Zero

    What? Another Democrat (aka In depend ent) out in the upcoming election. Do you think they have realized that the Liberal Progressives have subverted their party to Socialism lite and they can't stomach the thought of such political subterfuge? Or maybe they just don't want anymore of Obama's Chicago style politics....take your pick, they both suck. Don't worry CNN, you guys can spin it till your heads fall off, I know of at least 25 million Americans that will not be voting for this clown.

    January 18, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Larry

    Joe – I know you're not staying in Washington but must you come to ct?

    An independent ct voter and one of your avid supporters when you were a rational man.

    January 18, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    So long, Prince of the Turncoats!

    January 18, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Tom

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You can't leave soon enough!

    January 18, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. I am a voter

    He's not running again because he knows he will be defeated. His support of the patriot act and his war on Wikileaks is nothing short of Nazism.

    January 18, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. cassie

    He's too young to resign. This is an exceedingly intelligent and reasonable man. Furthermore I have never seen him be anything but civil. In these times of unreasonable and strident bickering, we need him. It's a loss.

    January 18, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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