Skip to comments.Senators: Welcome back, Joe (Lieberman)
Posted on 09/08/2006 3:10:27 PM PDT by Jean S
If Sen. Joe Liebermans Democratic colleagues are anxious to get rid of him, they gave no indication of it in their first gathering since Lieberman lost a Connecticut primary to Ned Lamont last month and launched an independent bid.
I dont think theres any of us out there saying Goddamn, I hope Joe doesnt win, said Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who has endorsed Lamont in the general election.
Indeed, Democratic senators applauded Lieberman at their weekly policy luncheon, when Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asked him to brief the caucus on upcoming port-security legislation.
Welcome back, said Reid, who was scheduled to meet with Lamont later in the day.
After Reids introduction, Lieberman got a warm ovation, according to Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).
As much as liberal scrawlers on the Internet are calling for his scalp, Liebermans courtly colleagues seem to be patting him on the shoulder.
Id always like to work with Joe Lieberman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is backing Lamont, said of a possible Lieberman win in the general election.
Others were a little more forward.
Im not going to settle for a handshake. I want a big hug, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) told Lieberman. Lincoln has not endorsed either candidate.
A smiling Lieberman emerged from the caucus shortly after 2 p.m. to chat with about 40 members of the news media who had gathered in the hallway outside of the meeting room.
I appreciated it immensely, he said of the ovation he received, noting that it had been some time since his mere presence at a caucus meeting sparked applause.
He easily brushed off Reids meeting with Lamont.
Thats politics, he said.
Lieberman gamely handled a few more questions Republican colleagues are not asking him to join their side and he has no interest in becoming secretary of defense before moving toward the sanctuary of a senators-only elevator.
Earlier in the day, Lieberman said several senators approached him on the floor during a vote on an amendment to the pending fiscal year 2007 defense appropriations bill. He said he got kind words from a bipartisan set of members, including Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
Liebermans centrism was once a source of strength in Democratic circles, helping land him the vice presidential slot in 2000. But his 2004 presidential bid fell flat in the Democratic primary, and his support for American involvement in the Iraq war has made him a target for critics of the war. Lamont edged Lieberman in the primary, but Lieberman leads in polling in a three-way general-election race including Republican Alan Schlesinger.
Lamonts challenge put Democratic leaders in a bind, and several of them said before the primary that they would support whomever Connecticut Democrats chose.
But some of Liebermans colleagues hope party support for Lamont will be restrained.
The DSCCs resources are not unlimited and I hope we would focus on states where an incumbent Democrat is not running for re-election, said Carper, who could be in line to replace Lieberman atop the Democratic roster on the governmental affairs panel.
Joe Lieberman is one of my closest personal friends, he said. Carper has endorsed Lieberman in the primary.
But not everyone in the Democratic Caucus was as charitable.
Everyone knows where I stand, Im a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and I want to see the Democrat win, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said.
Biden may have been the most circumspect.
I dont have a relationship with, nor do I even know, Joes opponent. Ive endorsed him because hes the Democratic nominee, Biden said. If Lamont wins, hell be embraced, and if Joe wins, hell be embraced.
At least for one day, Democrats wrapped their arms around Lieberman.
They've seen the polls.
I wonder if Joe felt it when the knife went in.
2 faced B@$tards!!
Yeah, look him in the eye and smile while stabbing him in the back. Hopefully this will influences more of his votes to be 'independent' minded when he wins reelection.
This is all good, I like to see Dims split.
Looks like they want to avoid having a Jim Jeffords 2.0.
Assuming Lieberman wins I give this whole 'Independent' nonsense about 3 or 4 months before Lieberman announces he's a Democrat again.
I bet Dem Senators genuinely like the guy. But they are not above staging a public show of affection designed purely to offset the negatives of their political anti-Joe-ness.
Classy quote from Joe Biden.
Where is the outrage about that profanity?????
How can anybody take this clown seriously? And to think, he's one of the handful of people up there making decisions for the rest of us.
Funny thing is they just tossed Lamont to the wolves. Wonder if he knows it yet?
Well, Hillary has taken care of Lieberman and Kerry as potential candidates. Daschle's down the hole. I'd guess Gore will be her next hatchet job.
"'Independent' nonsense about 3 or 4 months "
On another thread it was stated that Connecticut law sez you have to wait 6 months after an election to switch parties. No big deal.
Democrat traitors are in a tough spot. If Lieberman loses, they are stuck with LaMont, a veritable fool. If Lieberman wins, they will have to mend their fences at a humiliating pace. lol Hey, it just doesn't get any better than this!
Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) He's like a talking rock and just as bright.
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