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November 09, 2006

Lieberman Issues Soft Threat: Give Me The Fruits of My Seniority, Or Maybe We'll Have Problems

Don't get all hopeful. The Democrats will certainly bow to his demands.

Still, it's kind of fun:

Sen. Joe Lieberman's press conference Wednes-day at the Goodwin Hotel had been billed as a chance for the senator to elaborate on what he'd proclaimed the night before — that his re-election as an independent would send him back to Washington shorn of his obligations to parties and political concerns.

But if the press conference was any indication, the nature of Lieberman's new role is a work in progress.

On the one hand, the senator, repeating a line from his victory speech Tuesday night, pronounced his win a “declaration of independence from partisanship.”

Moments later, however, he was assuring reporters that he was still a member in good standing of the Senate Democrats, still in line to retain the perks that partisan affiliation provide, such as his position as ranking member and potential chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

...

But on the morning after a decisive Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, with the potential for the party to seize the Senate, Lieberman was declaring a new “mandate” from independent and Republican Connecticut voters even as he continued to seem out of step with some in the GOP on whose fortunes he has depended.

...

And while he has said he will continue to caucus with Democrats, he did not offer a reason, other than retaining his seniority, for remaining aligned with the party.

Pressed on whether that was the only reason he will remain in the party, Lieberman replied, “Well, I've been a Democrat.” He later added, again, that his seniority was “an important factor” in the decision.

What Joe Lieberman wants, Joe Lieberman gets.

Which is, I guess, a good thing. He'll side with the liberals 90% of the time, but 10% of the time, he won't. And then Democrats will have to worry about just how much they can push Lieberman and his "new mandate."


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