- The Washington Times - Monday, November 10, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In 2000, Sen. Joe Lieberman ran as Democrat Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee. In 2006, he lost the Democratic primary for Senate re-election and ran (and won) as an independent in Connecticut’s general election. Mr. Lieberman has caucused with Democrats but this year campaigned for Republican John McCain. As a result, it’s not clear what caucus Mr. Lieberman will end up in.

Mr. Lieberman, who heartily supports the war in Iraq, pledged last week to put partisanship aside. Before and after meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, some Democrats said it would be foolish to bring Mr. Lieberman back into their fold of closed-door meetings. Mr. Lieberman also met with Senate leader Mitch McConnell, whose Republican colleagues could benefit from Mr. Lieberman’s presence in their ranks.

Mr. Lieberman is a solid liberal on virtually every social issue that matters to liberals - taxes and spending, judicial appointments, abortion. On political issues related to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the war on terror and Israel’s sovereignty, Mr. Lieberman is a hawk.

It is easy to appreciate the conundrum. Mr. Lieberman didn’t just support Mr. McCain with his endorsement. The Obama campaign said Mr. Lieberman failed to rebuke assertions that Mr. Obama was a Muslim.

Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, said the incoming White House would not play a role in what happens to Mr. Lieberman. Republicans should look favorably upon Mr. Lieberman if he is left out in the cold.

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