Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who spent the weekend campaigning with Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has returned to Washington to face the music.
Lieberman, now an independent but for years a Democratic senator, still caucuses with Democrats and chairs the prestigious Homeland Security Committee.
That may change however. Democrats were not happy with Lieberman's support of his friend, McCain, and especially for his appearance at the Republican National Convention, where he questioned Barack Obama's fitness to be commander-in-chief. (See above.)
Lieberman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday. After the meeting, Reid released a statement: "Today Senator Lieberman and I had the first of what I expect to be several conversations. No decisions have been made. While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus," Reid said. "I expect there to be additional discussions in the days to come, and Senator Lieberman and I will speak to our caucus in two weeks to discuss further steps."
But do the Dems still need Lieberman? It appears that they will have 56 solid votes in the next Senate, so a majority isn't a problem. But Lieberman's assistance will be crucial to reach the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster, so Reid will have to play this carefully.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Where does Joe Goe? It's a tough situation for the Democrats - who want to punish Joe Lieberman for supporting McCain, but who will be able to use his help on some key votes down the road.