Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe Keeps Chair; Reid Still Opposes
by Josh Orton, Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 10:41:59 AM EST
Let's be clear: the question on the table is not whether Dems will boot Joe from their caucus.
The question is whether Lieberman will remain chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
We've heard rumors that the decision would be made by a caucus vote, but now, a Senate aide tells Sargent, it's official:
...this is a decision that will be made by the caucus next week. Absent a stunning series of events there will be a vote next week in the caucus on whether to strip Senator Lieberman of the chairmanship.
That's the endgame.
We also have confirmation that Harry Reid still favors Lieberman losing his chairmanship.
Lieberman really has one lifeline left: convince enough Senators in the Dem caucus that stripping him of his chair would be vindictive, mean, and partisan. We all know how nervous politicians get when someone accuses them of <gasp> being partisan...
But there's no reason to give Lieberman an inch. Removing him as chair is a perfectly appropriate remedy for how he's politicized national security to attack his own party. Joe walked into this all on his own.
Update [2008-11-11 16:6:11 by Todd Beeton]:Chris Bowers's whip count, if accurate, does not bode well for Joe. Particularly interesting is that our 6 newly elected Senators will be able to vote even though they will not have been sworn in yet. Chris suspects that the fact that Schumer opposes Lieberman's remaining in his chairmanship position probably means those 6 in addition to the additional Dem Senators from last cycle when Schumer also chaired the DSCC, are likely to lean against Joe as well. Keep in mind also that Sens. Obama and Biden will not be voting, nor will Sens. Lieberman or Sanders (Independents do not vote on chairmanships.) All in all, Chris counts the total number of Senators voting at 53 with 27 to win. Call your Senator today.