Joe Lieberman Retiring?

Joe Lieberman will not run for a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.

Joe Lieberman has announced a 12:30 news conference in Stamfort, Connecticut to announce whether he’ll run for a fifth term.  The betting is that he’s stepping aside.

John Lender of the Hartford Courant:

“You can bet the farm” that Lieberman won’t seek a fifth term in 2012, said a Democratic insider who is close to the 22-year Senate veteran.  But neither Lieberman nor his Senate office would confirm that.


Lieberman’s Senate press secretary, Erika Masonhall, wouldn’t elaborate Tuesday on the upcoming announcement except to say: “After many thoughtful conversations with family and friends over the last several months, Senator Lieberman made a decision about his future over the holidays which he plans to announce on Wednesday.”

The advisory that Lieberman will reveal his plans came on the same day as former secretary of the state Susan Bysiewicz’s sudden announcement that she is seeking the Democratic nomination for Lieberman’s seat.


Lieberman’s ratings in polls have sagged seriously in recent years as he alienated many Democrats by aligning himself with Republicans.  Polls also show, however, that Republican voters have not embraced him enough to give him strong prospects of winning re-election via a combination of unaffilated, Democatic and Republican voters.

While Lieberman’s office was mum about whether he’ll announce he’s not seeking re-election, at least a some longtime Lieberman allies have been asked to show up at Monday’s announcement in Stamford.

A couple of active Democrats said they think the timing of the event, and the tone of the behind-the-scenes conversations, indicate that Lieberman wants to announce that he’s not running while there’s still speculation that he could still win if he chose to run. In other words, they said, he can pull out of the 2012 race now — before being battered by continual announcements of polls that show him sinking ever farther in his prospects.

That strikes me as quite plausible.  This is as close as he can get to going out with dignity.

via Taegan Goddard

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Alex Knapp says:

    I think equally plausible is Lieberman announcing that he’ll be running in 2012 as a Democrat again.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Considering how he fared in the Democratic primaries last go-round, I can’t imagine that. Indeed, he’d be better off running as a Republican.

  3. He won’t make it as a Republican in this state, either. Linda McMahon should blow him away if he tries that.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    I moved to CT two years ago and was looking forward to voting against Lieberman. I have had a low opinion of him since watching him fawn all over Dick Cheney during the VP debate in 2000. And he has only reinforced that negative opinion since then – with one exception: his support for repeal of DADT.

  5. Herb says:

    “Indeed, he’d be better off running as a Republican.”

    Not so sure about that. Aside from his hawkish tendencies, Lieberman is and remains a pro-life, pro-gay, pro-labor liberal. I don’t see how a guy like that has a long shelf life in today’s Tea Party-having RINO-hating GOP.