Connecticut Paper Hits Joe Lieberman — Sorry for Endorsement?

By: E&P Staff

When he ran for re-election in 2006, Sen. Joe Lieberman on Connecticut was defeated in the Democratic primary by a little-known antiwar candidate, Ned Lamont. So he ran as an independent, and won in a three-way race.

Since then he has embraced President Bush’s stand on Iraq and seems intent on being John McCain’s running mate, or at least chief adviser.

This was too much for The Day newspaper, which carried an apologetic editorial today noting that it had backed Lieberman then but thought “it was supporting a candidate who demonstrated a history of pragmatic leadership and a willingness to seek bipartisan solutions.
We wonder what happened to that senator.

“Sen. Lieberman’s open-ended commitment to military involvement in Iraq comes as no surprise. The senator made it clear when running for re-election that was his position. Sen. Lieberman wants the United States military to remain in Iraq until the war is won, whatever that means. It conflicts with this newspaper’s position that the time has come for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces.

“Despite that difference of opinion, The Day editorially backed the senator because of his experience, his willingness to put principle above politics, as demonstrated by his condemnation of former President Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his even-handed political approach.

“But while Sen. Lieberman remains experienced, he is no longer even-handedly principled.”

More from the editorial follows.

He seems to be taking delight in poking the leadership of the Democratic Party in the eye….

Last August when some Democrats in Congress criticized the slow progress of the Iraq government on issues of reform and military readiness, Sen. Lieberman criticized them for ?retreating from the real enemies who threaten our vital national interests.? Like the attack advertisements aimed at the congressmen, the criticism unfairly labeled legitimate policy questions raised by Democrats as evidence of weakness on national security.

Meanwhile, the junior Connecticut senator is not only backing the Republican nominee for the presidency, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, but appears to be making a contest of trying to get into every photo and TV news video with him. Perhaps Sen. Lieberman is taking delight in needling the chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, his 2004 opponent for the presidency, whose leadership he once dismissed as a ?ticket to nowhere.?

Rather than building the bridges The Day expected when it endorsed Sen. Lieberman, he appears busy burning bridges with the party of which he is allegedly still a member. Perhaps the senator is positioning himself for a top cabinet post in a McCain presidency. But if the Democrats prevail, and enlarge their control of the Senate, it is hard to imagine this Connecticut senator being welcomed back with open arms.

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