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If Joe Lieberman ran for President, I would give strong consideration to voting for him....


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....one of the few true statesmen left in politics, and he's being pilloried for the one thing that makes him a statesman -- he's a true non-partisan.

Senator Joe Lieberman Helps Obama but Still Fights Dems


By MASSIMO CALABRESI Massimo Calabresi – Mon Mar 1, 2:45 pm ET

Late last year, the White House swallowed its pride and quietly asked Joe Lieberman for a favor. Obama was getting ready to deliver on his campaign promise to repeal the 1993 law barring openly gay members from serving in the military when aides asked the man who turned his back on the Democratic Party to take the lead on pushing for the new policy. In reply, Lieberman told Obamas chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, "Let us know what you want us to do." Emanuel replied with a laundry list: work up polling on the issue; start sounding out moderate Democrats and Republicans to see if they would sign on for the bill; most important, find a GOP co-sponsor.

It has been a long time since liberals have treated Lieberman with anything but scorn; however on an issue dear to many of them, he came through. He announced on Feb. 22 that he would soon unveil his bill repealing the "Don't ask, don't tell" ban, and aides say he is in final negotiations with an unnamed Republican Senator to become a co-sponsor. It is the latest bit of cooperation between the President and the man the party nominated to be its Vice President a decade ago. Over the past year, Lieberman has rounded up votes and searched for compromise on issues ranging from the stimulus bill to energy legislation and has worked behind the scenes to grease the wheels for a few of the Administration's most controversial nominees. (See "Judging Obama's First Year, Issue by Issue.")

For all the public rancor, Lieberman has emerged as one of Obama's more unexpected, if not always reliable, wingmen. "There's a certain irony to this," Lieberman says as he considers the situation in his Senate office. "I have been called in to help the Obama Administration for the very reason that has made some Democrats unhappy with me, which is that I have ongoing, trusting relationships with some of the Republicans."

To call the Lieberman-Obama relationship ironic is an understatement. As chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Lieberman has launched investigations of the Army's handling of the Fort Hood massacre and what he calls the White House's "unsettling" failure to prevent the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Lieberman opposed Attorney General Eric Holder's decision last November to try 9/11 co-conspirators in civilian courts, and earlier this year he rallied Republicans and Democrats to sign a letter to Holder urging him to abandon the trials in favor of military tribunals. In February, Lieberman threatened to cut off funds for civilian trials if Holder didn't relent. (See 10 elections that changed America.)

Not all is sweetness and light. Some Democrats will never forgive Lieberman for endorsing his friend Arizona Senator John McCain in 2008, counseling Sarah Palin in the final days of the campaign and attacking Obama from the podium at the Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minn. "Joe Lieberman ought to be ashamed of himself," then campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs said the next day. "It's pathetic what [he] did here last night." But Obama opted to let those bygones pass when his party won a near filibuster-proof margin in the Senate. Obama personally asked the Democratic caucus to maintain Lieberman's seniority and preserve his committee chairmanship. That proved to be wise - mostly. In early 2009, Lieberman helped rescue Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill. Maine Republican Susan Collins had walked out of talks with Senate majority leader Harry Reid over the bill's price tag. Worried that Reid was trying to trick her into agreeing to a costlier bill, she agreed to return to the talks only after Lieberman was brought in to act as an honest broker.

In October, Lieberman played bipartisan handmaiden again, this time with South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who had made it clear that he'd engage with White House officials about a possible energy bill only if Lieberman was part of the conversation. Lieberman built a bridge to Republicans by backing expanded funding for nuclear energy. And though the prospects for a cap-and-trade bill this year are dim, representatives from the energy industry and environmentalists remain at the table for what Lieberman aides say are near daily talks hosted by the Senator or his staffers. If any energy or climate legislation is passed, says a White House aide, it will be thanks to Lieberman's "prominent" role.

And then there were some random acts of kindness. Lieberman widely credits the President for forging a more realistic foreign policy after years of what he derides as Democratic "pacifism" during the Bush era. And Lieberman shepherded Erroll Southers, Obama's pick to head the Transportation Security Administration, through a contentious committee vote, though Southers was eventually forced to withdraw for allegedly misleading Lieberman's committee about his personal history. Lieberman is doing all of this with an eye to his own political survival. With 25% approval ratings in Connecticut, he needs to woo moderate Democrats and independents if he's going to have a chance at re-election in 2012. (See pictures of 60 years of election-night drama.)

But that doesn't mean the West Wing thinks of Lieberman as a sure thing. For months, he has pressured the White House to impose punitive sanctions on Iran. And in October, he threatened to filibuster the President's centerpiece health care measure if it included a public option. Though Obama had not favored that provision for months, Lieberman's move sent the left running for its pitchforks and cast him in the public eye as disloyal, despite his efforts for the President.

Most of the tension may never abate. While fellow Democrats in the Senate treat him much as they always have, he is a pariah to the fundraisers, liberal activists and netroots bloggers who have largely engineered the party's comeback since 2006. For his part, Lieberman accuses many of those same actors of "political tribalism" and calls their tactics "vituperative." But he admits that his defeat in a 2006 primary fight scarred him deeply and remains a source of pain. He has had virtually no contact with his state Democratic Party in nearly four years, and it's easy to see that the episode gnaws at him. "The loss in the 2006 primary was as difficult a moment personally as I've had," he says. (Lieberman entered the race as an independent that fall and won a three-way contest.) (See the top 10 unfortunate political one-liners.)

Friends say Lieberman is partly to blame for his isolation and that his fury about 2006 can still get the best of him. "He has a blind spot to his own continuing or lingering anger toward the left," says someone who knows him well. That makes him more confrontational than he needs to be, as in his strident threat to filibuster health care. "The old Clinton-era Joe would've said he really wanted to get health care done and was hopeful for a compromise," says one former adviser.

Now that Obama's margin in the Senate is narrower, the White House can't afford to take offense. Besides, on gays in the military, Lieberman is true blue: he has opposed the 1993 ban since its inception and sees lifting it as part of the next act in his 50-year role in the civil rights movement. It is also a way to bring people on the outside in, something Lieberman knows more about now than ever before.

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Wow, partisan Democrats don't like Joe Lieberman.

Stunner :rolleyes:

No, I'm an independent, just like you. ;)

FTR, I don't dislike Lieberman because he used to break stride with his party. I dislike him because when he breaks stride, he tends to do it on issues that are important to me, and I simply disagree with his position on them.

I can respect the act of not voting down the party line.

And seriously, I have voted independent as much as anything else. Lieberman being in corporate pockets (if true) wouldn't affect my judgment of him as I believe almost all politicians from the major parties are in corporate pockets one way or the other.

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And no at this point I'm not a big fan of any politician....

So your source is "ctblogger" and "quicksite," 2 anonymous youtube accounts? Both left-wing?

Okay. Awesome. I'm sure I could peruse the Drudge report and get you some "sources" that "prove" the President is a communist. I'll decline, though.

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Thanks for your overtly baiting thread.

My dislike has little to do with his policy.

Not baiting at all. I was very serious about voting for him for President. We need more people on both sides of the aisle like him. Entrenchment into partisan camps is ruining the country. We have a small handful of people in Congress that reach across the aisle regularly, and they are treated like pariahs by their own parties.

It's killing the country. I'm very serious about that.

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