Obama & Lieberman

Very short and not profound, but: with Obama resigning his Senate seat as of today, it occurs to me that aside from recusing himself from all the lame-duck deliberations about the economy, he is also stepping away from casting a vote for or against Joe Lieberman retaining his committee chair.

Probably appropriate, since Obama is no longer just a Senator.  

But in a subtle way, it allows him to wash his hands of Lieberman. "Hey, it's whatever you guys decide, I'm not a part of that."

I've also been mulling over whether the secret ballot helps or harms Lieberman:  are there more Senators who will vote to keep him knowing they can't be held accountable or are there more who, relieved of the burden of having to deal with a bitter Lieberman if they vote against him and he wins, will cheerfully vote to strip him of his committee.  

My answer:  I don't know.  I hate not being omniscient.

Tags: Lieberman, obama (all tags)



Re: Obama & Lieberman

I'm almost certain they'll vote to keep him when they aren't held accountable. They have a curse we don't: They know the guy. They've gone out drinking with him, had lunch with him, met his wife and kids. It's a lot harder to get angry about politics when that kind of thing happens, and when you don't have to worry about your constituents, you might give him the benefit of the doubt.

by vcalzone 2008-11-16 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Lieberman

Well, considering that it's Lieberman, a lot of them might not have gone out drinking with him. But the point remains valid.

by vcalzone 2008-11-16 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Lieberman

From what I understand, he wasn't going to be involved in the deliberations anyway, and neither was Biden... they were going to bring together the next Democratic caucus (excluding the yet-unnamed Senators from IL and DE, and possibly Franken/Begich since they haven't officially "won"), including newbies like Merkley and Hagan, and have them vote on it.

by mistersite 2008-11-16 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Lieberman

One angle I don't see being discussed (I'm not omniscient either) is whether the secret ballot is a play for time.  If they get more of a feeling for what is going on with Begich and Franken, maybe it will be easier to get a read on which way they are going.

Reid could feel things building to a crescendo, didn't have a clear feel for where things would be as far as the 60 votes goes so he did what he thought was right, play for time.

To some extent he needs all the information to figure out where to go next.  If it were me, I might try something similar though I probably would have more willingness to pull the trigger regardless.  I'd still wait to see where that would leave me though.

by AZphilosopher 2008-11-16 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Lieberman

I don't think it's relevant: each vote for cloture is a separate act, and it doesn't matter who you caucus with.

A deal with Lieberman, whereby he promises not to vote for cloture if they let him retain his committee assignments would be useful even if we only get to 58.  Or it wouldn't - the point is that I don't really see the final number of Democrats being a factor.

by Jess81 2008-11-16 11:17AM | 0 recs
I understand that...

...but the thing to worry about is that if Lieberman were to be the #60 guy on the 60 vote list,he would reflexively vote no on cloture out of personal pique.  This would mean that it would all come down to Collins and Snowe.

However, if you are at 57 or 58, you can risk antagonizing Lieberman.

by AZphilosopher 2008-11-16 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I understand that...

I meant "routinely" after "60 vote list".  Please insert that word there when reading my post.

by AZphilosopher 2008-11-16 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama & Lieberman

The reason he's resigning now, as it's been explained to me, is to give his replacement a leg up in terms of seniority ahead of the incoming class, and the fact that the rules of the Senate may prohibit him from voting in any case.

by Jess81 2008-11-16 11:15AM | 0 recs
the secret ballot helps Joe

I am convinced of that.

Also, holding the ballot before the incoming class is able to vote helps Joe.


by desmoinesdem 2008-11-16 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: the secret ballot helps Joe

I believe that the incoming class votes.  It's a caucus, not a formal part of the Senate, ergo they get to vote.  Now, Franken & Begich are kinda in limbo.

by InigoMontoya 2008-11-16 12:47PM | 0 recs
It is long past time

that the online community stop holding grudges against one the finest public servants in history, Joe Lieberman.  

I consider Lieberman the best Senator, and the one who aligns most with my views.  I'll quit the Democratic Party if he is booted out.

by ClintoniteNoLonger4McCain 2008-11-16 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: It is long past time

We'll get over the loss.

by Thaddeus 2008-11-16 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: It is long past time

If Lieberman leaves the Democratic caucus, it will be his choice.  

What's at stake is his continuing to serve as chairman of the Homeland Security committee.   If allowed to continue, it sends the message that there is is no standard of party loyalty required to attain or retain such a position.

I soured on Lieberman when he played pattycake with Dick Cheney in the 2000 veep debates.  At this point, I'd happily drop kick him over the field goal posts of life.

by InigoMontoya 2008-11-16 02:11PM | 0 recs


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