Lieberman Rejects White House Overtures
Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman has twice in recent days said “no” when approached about the possibility of a major job in the second Bush administration, CNN has learned. The Cabinet vacancy at the Department of Homeland Security was the subject of the latest overture, according to congressional and other government sources. Those sources said the earlier overture was to see whether Lieberman might be interested in becoming the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
White House officials declined comment, saying they do not discuss personnel matters.
The Connecticut senator was traveling and not immediately available for comment. His spokesman said the senator had not received a formal job offer and was not seeking a new job, but the spokesman said he could not comment on whether the senator has spoken to administration officials or emissaries about the possibility of joining the Republican administration.
Unlike Michelle Malkin, I’m glad to see the president making these overtures. It makes sense to reach out to the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, especially on the national security front. It’s understandable that Lieberman would turn down the offer, though, given that it would create a vacancy to be filled by Jodi Rell, Connecticut’s Republican governor. Presumably, Lieberman still harbors presidential ambitions and such a move would not win him any friends in his party.
Update (1221): Michelle responds in the comments below. Her point on Lieberman re: immigration law is well taken. The obvious rejoinder, though, is that Lieberman’s views on the issue are in synch with the president’s. Appointing an immigration hawk to the post would only matter if he’d be backed by the boss; that would not be the case.