Joe Lieberman May Back Republican in ’08

Joe Lieberman continues to tweak Democrats at every opportunity.

Joe Lieberman May Back Republican in U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, an independent who supports Democrats in Congress despite his backing of the Iraq war, said on Thursday he was not ruling out endorsing a Republican in the White House race.

The 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate said he also wants to see if an independent enters the crowded field of 2008 presidential hopefuls. “I’m going to chose whichever candidate that I think will do the best job for our country, regardless of the party affiliation of that candidate,” the Connecticut senator told reporters in the state capital Hartford. “I’m not going to get involved until after both parties have their presumptive nominees and, frankly, to see if there is a strong independent candidate,” he said.

Lieberman recently held a fundraiser to help Republican Susan Collins get re-elected and has hinted numerous times that he might leave the Democratic caucus, so this isn’t a big surprise.

Still, it’s time for Lieberman to fish or cut bait. He’s either caucusing with the Democrats or he isn’t. His continually trying to have it both ways is just annoying. He’s in the same position where John McCain was after the 2000 election, enjoying the media attention that comes from going against his party. Of course, Lieberman at least is nominally an “Independent,” having lost his bid for re-nomination as a Democrat.

Lieberman’s endorsement won’t do much to help a Democratic nominee; indeed, it might hurt. It really won’t do much to bolster a Republican, either, unless he gives a Zell Miller type speech at the Convention.

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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. legion says:

    “May”? “May”?
    Dude, this has got to fall under the heading of ‘least shocking revelation of the day’. There is exactly zero chance Lieberman will be the Democratic candidate for anything, ever again. He’s already hitched his wagon to the GOP in all but official party affiliation, and I can only hope that the Bush backlash in 08 sends him to well-deserved obscurity for the remainder of his career.

  2. Bandit says:

    Uhhh…he just won reelection in ’06 so doesn’t run until ’12

  3. just me says:

    He is going to keep cutting bait, because that is what will net him the most publicity and power.

    As long as he is just mildly threatening to bolt the dem caucus, they will try to keep him placated.

    After the ’08 election, it will maybe be time to start fishing (I can easily see him flipping to either the GOP or at least to caucus with them if the GOP were to retake the senate).

    But Lieberman’s power lies more in his threats than in his actions.

    Nope, he is going to keep cutting bait-not a real reason for him to fish at this point.

  4. fester says:

    I had a piece on this up at the Newshog , and this to me just seems like Sen. Droopy being Sen. Droopy, and trying to extract political rent. Not a problem as that is what he does and why he was primaried.

    However he knows that his arbitage point is soon ending, as the threat to defect is empty due to the Senate organizing resolution that keeps the Senate agenda and committee in Democratic hands even if he did defect, and the highly probable outcome of the 2008 Senate contests will remove him from being a marginal member of any majority coalition.

  5. Len says:

    Lieberman is an ass. Who’s Zell Miller?

  6. legion says:

    My bad; I got my Reps and Sens confused. Although if there’s enough of a swing in the 08 elections to make his one-vote margin unimportant, the Dems might just hand him his hat. It’s not like he’d ever be trusted to come back ‘into the fold’ and pretend to be a Democrat for the last 4 years of his term…

  7. SavageView says:

    When the Democrats pick up another two/three seats in the Senate in ’08, Joe will be shown the door. If he doesn’t step down before ’12, he be gone then.

  8. Michael says:

    Uhhh…he just won reelection in ’06 so doesn’t run until ’12

    True, but doesn’t that campaign start in early ’09? Or has it been moved back into late ’08 now? I can’t keep up with these early schedules.

  9. DL says:

    As a conservative Connecticut candidate, I find old Joe Lieberman to have been a “look at me agonize over a difficult decision” fence straddler on most controversial issues (partial birth abortion etc.)He mostly tries to play the middle of the road game, but always comes out at voting time as a far left liberal. (His VP-performance was humiliating for principled people)I want nothing of him in the already RINO bloated GOP. I am fully aware that he is a devoted traditional Jew and as such recognizes the Islamist treat to his beloved Israel. His conservative politics pretty well stop there.