Lieberman: Yes, I'm Leaving; My Politics Never Changed

John McCain hopes he becomes defense secretary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2011 12:35 PM CST
Lieberman: Yes, I'm Leaving; My Politics Never Changed
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in November.   (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Joe Lieberman today confirmed what everybody knew: He's not running for Senate re-election in 2012. Some quotes from the Connecticut independent's news conference, as collected by the Washington Post:

  • "Along the way, I have not always fit comfortably into conventional political boxes—maybe you've noticed that—Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. I have always thought that my first responsibility is not to serve a political party but to serve my constituents, my state, and my country, and then to work across party lines to make sure good things get done for them."
  • "The politics of President Kennedy—patriotic service to country, support of civil rights and social justice, pro-growth economic and tax policies, and a strong national defense—are still my politics. So maybe that means that JFK wouldn't fit into any of today's partisan political boxes neatly."

Some first reactions:

  • Steve Kornacki, Salon: "He could run as a Democrat, he could run as Republican, he could run as an independent, but each path led to the same glum place. So he's hanging it up instead." It's fitting that it ends this way, given that he perfected the role of "Every Republican's favorite Democrat" when he first ran in 1988, then settled into that role in the Senate. Click for full analysis.
  • Emily Bazelon, Slate: Echoing a familiar sentiment on the left, she explains why she "loathes" Lieberman, including his ardent support for the Iraq war and his holding the "health care bill hostage." His pivotal support of repealing "Don't Ask" didn't come close to making up for the rest. Click for full column.
  • John McCain: He tells CNN that he hopes President Obama will make Lieberman defense secretary if Robert Gates leaves. He's "one of the most informed members of the Senate on national security issues and homeland security issues."
(More Joe Lieberman stories.)

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