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. Big John

    Goodbye Joe. Adios, so long and sayonara.

    January 18, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Zip

    Good riddance to the biggest American turncoat since Benedict Arnold.

    January 18, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Lets have all the "Blue Dogs" and turncoats quit. Better to have less real Democrats than these Taliban sympathisers waiting to vote with the Republicans.

    January 18, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. sara

    It's time, I wish him well.

    January 18, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Perplexed

    Good riddance. You've done enough damage traitor.

    January 18, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. Clark Nova

    So he's just going to have his income as a lobbyist for Health Insurance companies and Big Pharma? Gee, hope he can live on that, he and his wife are only taking what, about 5 million a year from them now.

    January 18, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. RobRoy

    Every now and then a bit of good news comes along and this is GREAT NEWS. He is a sneaky, lying creep who will not be missed by me and most of the people in America. I hope he goes back under the rock rom which he crawled and the sooner the better. Good fiddance to bad rubbish as my Mother would say.

    January 18, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. Dan

    He might as well retire. He could never get elected from CT again.

    January 18, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. JM

    Sen. Joe Lieberman led the charge of repression by going to Visa, Paypal, Amazon, and Mastercard, and manipulating how Wikileaks was getting funding. Disgusting. I'm glad he is gone.

    January 18, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Nolove Forjoe

    Na Na Na Na
    Na Na Na Na
    Hey Hey Hey
    Good Bye !!!!

    Man. I really despise you Joe Lieberman.

    Lieberman: for waterboarding, for an illegal war based on lies, against healthcare for all Americans, for kickbacks for your wife, for rightwing Christian nutjobs who only support Isreal so their god can come back and burn all the non-Christians in he'll (yeah that means most of the population of isreal dummy) .....I can go on & on. For everything wrong, against everything right. All with your self-righteous smug smile. Oh how I despise you Joe Lieberman. Go away already.

    January 18, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  11. saywaaat

    good riddence to bad rubbish.

    January 18, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Shekels

    No doubt he's already got a much more lucrative job set up lobbying the US government for Israel.

    January 18, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. moribundman

    May the Force be with, you Senator Palpatine! 😉

    January 18, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. James B

    This is a loss for republicans. Lieberman hasn't been a democrat for at least 10 years.

    January 18, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Michelle

    We will NOT miss Lieberman. He was not a democrat.

    January 18, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. ED FL

    What a Blessing for America.Now he can go to Israel and collect a ton of money for all the money he took away from American citizens and sent it to his REAL country. I imagine he will qualify for the 33,000 dollars each Israel citizen gets from US aid.One thing for sure he will not join any Israel armed fporces they do not take COWARDs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  17. Richard Klein, Ph.D.

    Dear Senator Lieberman:
    Thank you for your service to your country! You have done a terrific job over the years. You have been extremely conscientious and honest!

    January 18, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. Eric Dodd

    Yeah! 1 less banking/insurance shill in the Senate. So long, DINO! Good news.

    January 18, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    Kent Conrad and Joe Lieberman aren't Democrats anyway. They're conservatives in disguise. The Democratic party is better off without them. Good riddance.

    January 18, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    This should have happened in 2006. The man walked away from his party years ago. Good luck, sir.

    January 18, 2011 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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