November 13, 2006
|Lieberman: "I'm Not Ruling It Out"||Politics|
Joe Lieberman says he won't rule out switching to the GOP, but for now he wants to be known as an "Independent Democrat." Boston Globe:
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut said yesterday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats in the new Congress, but he would not rule out switching to the Republican caucus if he starts to feel uncomfortable among Democrats.
Lieberman, a Democrat who won reelection as an independent, also said he wants to be called an Independent Democrat.
A strong backer of the Iraq war, Lieberman was returned to office on Election Day with strong GOP support. He ran as an independent after he lost the Democratic primary in August to Ned Lamont.
He said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he will begin his new term as a Democrat because it would make him part of the congressional leadership. The senator is in line to become chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. [...]
Democrats will hold a 51-49 edge in the Senate, so Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, could find himself courted by Republicans.
He was asked about the possibility that he might switch caucuses if he became uncomfortable as Democrats sought to enforce party discipline, particularly if the GOP offered to keep him as a committee chairman and respect his seniority.
"I'm not ruling it out, but I hope I don't get to that point. And, and I must say, and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut, nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we, we want you to switch over,'" he said. [...]
"I am going to Washington beholden to no political group except the people of Connecticut and, of course, my conscience," he said. [Emphasis added]
His conscience. Uh-huh. His ego, more like it. With the Senate split 51-49, any Democrat could threaten to switch parties. But to actually make that threat? That takes a Lieberman.