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by Jules Witcover
After 24 years in the
To break the impasse that has paralyzed the body in recent years, Lieberman preached: "It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party. That is what is desperately needed in Washington now."
In the last years of his long
He did so after losing the Democratic nomination for his seat to a more liberal challenger named Ned Lamont, but he managed to survive in a three-way general election. Thereupon he agreed to vote with the Democrats to organize the
While continuing to vote with the Democrats on most issues, Lieberman demonstrated his own brand of bipartisanship in 2008 by supporting the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, a fellow supporter of former President George W. Bush's war of choice in Iraq, against Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
To emphasize his commitment to bipartisanship, Lieberman took the unusual step of addressing the
As a Democrat, Lieberman was a leading figure in the
In 2000, Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore raised Lieberman's political visibility by choosing him as his running mate. If one of the purposes was to boost the Democratic Jewish vote, however, the gesture failed in critical Florida, which famously or infamously went for the Bush-Cheney ticket and eventually decided the election.
Democrats could only sadly speculate what the outcome might have been had Gore instead chosen Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, also a former governor and one of the state's strongest vote-getters of the time, as his vice-presidential nominee.
In an interview with The
But at a 2001 DLC meeting in New York, Lieberman blamed Gore for having campaigned on a liberal, populist slogan of "They're for the powerful, we're for the people," which smacked of earlier New Deal days.
In 2004, Lieberman mistakenly judged that his presence on the 2000 national ticket gave him shot at the Democratic presidential nomination. But his candidacy never got off the ground in New Hampshire, and he bowed out. His
In that same
So his departure from the
Goodbye, Senator Joe Lieberman | Politics
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