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Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is a United States Senator from Connecticut. Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, and was elected to his fourth term on November 7, 2006. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. He and his running mate won the popular vote, but failed to gain the electoral votes needed to win the heavily controversial election. Lieberman ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate while he was also Gore's running-mate, and he was re-elected by the voters of Connecticut. He attempted to become the Democratic nominee in the 2004 Presidential election, but was unsuccessful.

During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election, but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label "Connecticut for Lieberman." Lieberman is now officially listed in Senate records for the 110th Congress as an "Independent Democrat",[2] and sits as part of the Democratic Senate caucus in the 110th Congress.

Lieberman has been one of the Senate's strongest advocates for continued prosecution of the war in Iraq. He is also a consistent supporter of Israel. On domestic issues, he strongly supports free trade economics. He has also opposed fillibustering Republican judicial appointments. With Lynne Cheney and others, Lieberman co-founded American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an educational association with ties to Campus Watch. Lieberman has also voted with Republicans on some ethical issues, and is one of the Senate's leading opponents of violence in video games and on television. Lieberman describes himself as being "genuinely an Independent," saying "I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."[3]

Lieberman was elected as a "reform Democrat" to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, where he served for 10 years, including the last six as Majority Leader. He suffered his first defeat in Connecticut elections in the Reagan landslide year of 1980, losing the race for the Third District Congressional seat to Republican Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, a state senator from suburban Hamden with whom he had worked closely on bipartisan legislative efforts. From 1982 to 1988, he served as Connecticut Attorney General and emphasized consumer protection and environmental enforcement.


Personal life
Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Marcia (née Manger) and Henry Lieberman.[4] He received his BA in Politics and Economics from Yale University in 1964; he was the first member of his family to graduate from college. At Yale he was editor of the Yale Daily News and a member of the Elihu Club. He then attended Yale Law School, receiving his LLB law degree in 1967. After graduation from law school, Lieberman worked for a New Haven-based law firm, Wiggin & Dana LLP.

Lieberman met his first wife, Betty Haas, at the congressional office of Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), where they worked as summer student interns. They married in 1965 while Joe Lieberman was in law school. They had two children – Matt and Rebecca. Betty, who is also Jewish, later worked as a psychiatric social worker. In 1981, the couple divorced. When asked about the divorce in an interview with New York Magazine, Lieberman said, "one of the differences we had was in levels of religious observance," adding, "I'm convinced if that was the only difference, we wouldn't have gotten divorced."[5]

In 1982, he met his second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker while he was running for attorney general of Connecticut. Hadassah Lieberman is the child of a Holocaust survivor. According to Washington Jewish Week, Lieberman called her for a date because he thought it would be interesting to go out with someone named Hadassah. (Hadassah is the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America).[6] Since March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm based in New York City, as a senior counselor in its health and pharmaceuticals practice. She has held senior positions at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), Pfizer, National Research Council, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Lehman Brothers.

Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a daughter, Hani. Lieberman also has a stepson from Hadassah's previous marriage, Ethan Tucker. Matt Lieberman graduated from Yale University in 1989, and from Yale Law School in 1994. He is the Head of School of Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca Lieberman graduated from Barnard College in 1991, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997. She is married to Jacob Wisse. Ethan Tucker graduated from Harvard College in 1997 and was a rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Lieberman is also related to Disney Channel star Raviv Ullman of Phil of the Future.[7]

Lieberman never served in the military. A spokesperson told The Hartford Courant in 1994 that Lieberman received an educational deferment from the Vietnam War draft when he was an undergraduate and law student from 1960-67. Upon graduating from law school at 25, Lieberman qualified for a family deferment as he was already married and had one child, Matt.[8]


Religion
Lieberman is an Orthodox Jew, though he was less observant in 1965 when he married Betty Haas, a Reform Jew. Since the death in 1967 of Lieberman's grandmother, a deeply religious immigrant, he found renewed interest in religious observance. His second wife, Hadassah, is also an observant Orthodox Jew. "Hadassah calls herself my right wing," says Lieberman.[5] In Lieberman's 1988 upset of GOP incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker, his religious observance was mostly viewed in terms of inability to campaign on Shabbat. This changed when Gore chose Lieberman as the running mate; a Lieberman press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:

“ He refers to himself as observant, as opposed to Orthodox, because he doesn't follow the strict Orthodox code and doesn't want to offend the Orthodox, and his wife feels the same way.[5] ”

The Liebermans keep a kosher home and observe Shabbat. Nonetheless, some Orthodox Jews have voiced concerns about the Liebermans' omissions, such as Hadassah's infrequent covering of her head.[9]

Lieberman has said that there is currently "a constitutional place for faith in our public life".[10] He attends Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, Washington, DC and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol - B'nai Israel, The Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut. He also attends Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford.


Senate tenure
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In 1988, Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in the 1988 election, by a margin of 10,000 votes. He scored the nation's biggest political upset that year, after being backed by a coalition of Democrats and unaffiliated voters with support from conservative Republicans, who were disappointed in three-term Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker's moderate voting record and personal style. During the campaign, he received support from the Connecticut's Cuban-American community which was unhappy with Weicker, who was known as a supporter of Fidel Castro. Lieberman has since remained loyal to the anti-Castro cause.[11] Six years later, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.

In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Bill Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Lewinsky.[12] However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment. In 2000, while concurrently running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third Senate term with 64 percent of the vote easily defeating the Republican Philip Giordano.

When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. He was also a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chaired the Airland Subcommittee and sat on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.[13]

In the 110th Congress, Lieberman is Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.


Committee assignments
Committee on Environment and Public Works
Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection (Chairman)
Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, and Children's Health Protection
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Chairman)
As Chairman of the full committee, Sen. Lieberman is an ex officio member of all subcommittees.
Committee on Armed Services
Subcommittee on Airland (Chairman)
Subcommittee on Personnel
Subcommittee on SeaPower

Vice-Presidential campaign

Gore/Lieberman 2000 campaign logoIn August 2000, Lieberman was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States by Al Gore, the Democratic Party nominee for President. Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket. The announcement of Lieberman's selection may have resulted in an increase in support for Gore's campaign.[14] The Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but they were defeated in the Electoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.

Like Democratic VP candidates Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960, and Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, Lieberman's Senate term was due to expire during the election cycle. Like both Johnson and Bentsen, he decided to stage a run to maintain that seat.


2004 campaign
On January 13, 2003, Lieberman announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election.

Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to voters. Indeed he initially leads in pools of primaries, but due to his political positions he failed to win a support of liberal Democratic voters, who are dominating in primaries[15].Prior to his defeat in New Hampshire, Lieberman famously declared his campaign was picking up "Joementum".[16] On February 3, 2004, Lieberman withdrew his candidacy after failing to win any of the five primaries or two caucuses held that day. He acknowledged to the Hartford Courant that his support for the war in Iraq was a large part of his undoing with voters.[17]

Lieberman's former running candidate Al Gore did not support Lieberman's Presidential run, and in December 2003 endorsed Howard Dean's candidacy, saying "This is about all of us and all of us need to get behind the strongest candidate [Dean]."[18]

Finally Lieberman withdrew from the race without winning a single contest. In total popular vote he placed 7th behind eventual nominee, Massachusetts John Kerry, future Vice Presidential nominee, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, retired General Wesley Clark and Reverend Al Sharpton[19].


Political positions

Domestic policy

Affirmative action
In a 1995 speech before the National Press Club, Lieberman said, "this business of deciding by group, the argument that some make that some groups are genetically less able than others. That's an un-American argument." Affirmative action programs "must change because they are inconsistent with the law and basic American values of equal treatment and opportunity." He also stated that he was "against group preferences".[20]

In 1996, he expressed support for California's Proposition 209, which will eliminate state and local government affirmative action programs in the areas of public employment, public education, and public contracting to the extent these programs involve "preferential treatment based on race, sex, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin."[21] "Affirmative action is dividing us in ways its creators could never have intended.", he said.[22]

Since 2000, he rescinded his support for the proposition, saying that he expressed support "without understand[ing] the intent of Proposition 209",[21] and renounced any support for Proposition 209.[23] In the 2000 campaign, Lieberman assured the black voters, "I have supported affirmative action, I do support affirmative action, and I will support affirmative action because history and current reality make it necessary."[24]

In 2003, Lieberman criticized Bush's affirmative action policy.[25] In 2004, he reiterated his support, "I support affirmative action programs, including in appropriate instances consideration of race and gender in government contracting decisions, when the affirmative action program is designed to remedy the effects of past discrimination."[26]

Lieberman has stated he wants to increase subsidies for women-owned non-profit business, and he voted yes on setting aside 10% of highway funds for companies owned by minorities and women without regard to the demographics of their employees.[27]


Consumer protection
Lieberman was one of four Senate Democrats to side with Republicans in 1995 in voting to limit punitive damage awards in product liability cases.[28]

In February 2005, breaking ranks with fellow Senate Democrats, Lieberman voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, S. 5, which is a bill to curtail the ability of plaintiffs to file class action lawsuits against corporations in federal courts. The bill was backed by the White House and business groups as an essential tort reform measure that would reduce what they said was a debilitating number of frivolous lawsuits. The bill was opposed by consumer advocacy groups and trial lawyers who argued that many valid claims against corporations would be dismissed, leaving consumers without legal recourse.[29][30]


Education
Lieberman championed experimental voucher programs, which would redirect some education funding directly to parents, who could apply it towards paying for the public or private school of their choice.[31]

Lieberman has called Bush's "No Child Left Behind" plan a "progressive piece of legislation" which has been insufficiently funded. He said, "A month after he signed the law, President Bush under funded it by $6 billion less than was promised in the legislation. This is creating greater pressures on our schools to perform and educate our kids - which is appropriate - but without giving them sufficient resources to make it happen."[32] He has repeatedly criticized the administration to this effect.[33]

With Lynne Cheney, Richard Lamm, Saul Bellow, and others, Lieberman co-founded the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a controversial educational organization which released the post-9/11 report titled "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It" that criticized universities for evidence of anti-Americanism.[2]


Entertainment industry
Lieberman has been critical of the entertainment media.[34] On November 29, 2005, Lieberman co-sponsored the Family Entertainment Protection Act, which was introduced by Hillary Clinton, S.2126. The act is intended to protect children from what he says is inappropriate content found in video games. He has denounced the violence contained in video games and has attempted to regulate sales of violent video games to minors, arguing that games should have to be labeled based upon age-appropriateness.[35] Regarding Grand Theft Auto, he said, "The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again. I call on the entertainment companies—they've got a right to do that, but they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect."[36] He voted for the Communications Decency Act.[37]


Environment
Lieberman co-sponsored the 1990 Clean Air Act, introduced legislation in 1991 to give consumers more information about the dangers of pesticides, and has addressed the need to limit global warming.[38]

Lieberman has stated that the US population has to accept responsibility for global warming, and voted "yes" on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.[39] Lieberman voted yes on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). Lieberman voted against Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior, and voted for funding for greater risk assessment by the EPA. Lieberman has even gone as far as saying he wants to raise mileage standard to 40 mpg.[40] Lieberman voted for the administration-backed Energy Policy Act of 2005;[41] facing criticism, Lieberman called the bill imperfect but good for Connecticut, citing a saving of $800 million for Connecticut electricity customers.[42] Lieberman has been a vocal critic of Bush's environmental policy.[43][44]


‘‘Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008’’
Main article: America's Climate Security Act of 2007
Also more commonly referred to as the "Cap and Trade Bill", proposed to ration (cap) carbon emissions in the U.S., and tax or purchase (trade) Carbon credits on the global market for greater U.S. alignment with the Kyoto protocol standards and goals. The current bill is almost 500 pages long, and provides for establishment of a federal bureau of Carbon Trading, Regulation, and Enforcement with mandates which some authorities suggest will amount to the largest tax increase in the history of the United States. http://lieberman.senate.gov/documents/amendment.pdf


"Gang of 14"
On May 23, 2005, Lieberman was one of fourteen senators, dubbed the "Gang of 14," who forged a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus avoiding the Republican leadership's implementation of the so-called "nuclear option". Under the agreement, the Democrats would exercise the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance," and three of the filibustered Bush appellate court nominees – (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) – would receive a vote by the full Senate, which resulted in their confirmation. Lieberman refused to support a filibuster against Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito.[45] Alito was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 2006 by a vote of 58-42, becoming the Court's 110th Justice. Lieberman voted against the Alito confirmation in the final Senate vote.[46] On the John Roberts nomination as the Chief Justice of the United States, Lieberman believed that Roberts did not seem to be the kind of right-wing candidate the "Gang of 14" feared the president would select. Lieberman said he thought Roberts was a "decent guy." But he also said it was too early to draw further conclusions.[47] Roberts was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 2005 by a vote of 78-22, becoming the Court's 17th Chief Justice. Lieberman voted for the Roberts confirmation.[48]


Gay rights
In 2004, Lieberman scored a rating of 88 out of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality."[49]

Lieberman voted no on a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.[49] In 2003, in response to the Massachusetts ruling that sanctions gay marriage, Lieberman stated, "although I am opposed to gay marriage, I have also long believed that states have the right to adopt for themselves laws that allow same-sex unions," and "I will oppose any attempts by the right wing to change the Constitution in response to today's Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling, which would be unnecessary and divisive."[50]

Lieberman cosponsored the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations act of 2003, which provided the same benefits to domestic partners of federal employees as spouses currently have.[49] In 1996, Lieberman cosponsored the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[51] Lieberman voted in favor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2003, which provided Medicaid treatment for people with HIV.[49] Lieberman has adopted a non-discriminatory policy in employment decisions, which include sexual orientation and gender.[49] Although Lieberman had no experience in military personnel policy, he was among the minority in the Senate in 1993 to vote in support of President Clinton's proposal to let gays and lesbians serve openly in the military.[citation needed] However, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act and "Don't ask, don't tell."

In August, 1994, Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Bob Smith (R-NH) proposed an amendment, S.AMDT.2434, to Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization (ESEA) - S.1513 - that would prevent federal funding for schools that "implement or carry out a program or activity that has either the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle." [52][53][54] Lieberman voted for the amendment.[55] He voted for prohibiting HIV-positive immigrants from entering the United States and against a measure to grant domestic-partner benefits to District of Columbia employees.[56][57][58][59]


Gun control
Lieberman received an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association and a 90% from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.[60] He has sought to ban guns in schools and places of worship. He has voted against prohibiting most lawsuits against gun manufacturers, but cast another vote that would immunize gun manufacturers from lawsuits over gun violence. He has voted to require background checks at gun shows and against allowing guns to be sold without trigger locks.[61]

In 2000, he opposed Al Gore's position to require a license to purchase a new handgun. Although they disagreed on this issue, Gore asked Lieberman not to change his position.[61]


Health care and reproductive rights
In March 2006, according to the The New Haven Register, when asked about the approach of Catholic hospitals on contraceptives for rape victims, Lieberman said he believed that Catholic hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn’t be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn’t take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.[62]

During his 2004 campaign, Lieberman said, "The day I walk into the Oval Office, the first thing I'm going to do is rescind the Bush administration restrictions on embryonic stem cell research."[63] In 2006, he criticized Bush's veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005.[64]

Lieberman has been critical of Bush's Medicare plan, arguing that, in its current state, it does not provide sufficiently for the elderly.[65][66]

In 2005, Lieberman, along with Republicans Orrin Hatch and Sam Brownback, introduced S. 975, the Project BioShield II Act of 2005. Its stated purpose was to provide incentives to increase research by private sector entities to develop medical countermeasures to counter bioterrorism threats. The bill would have provided tax credits, patent extensions, and immunity from civil liability.[67][68]

Lieberman joined a few other Democrats, Republican Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the Republican Congress as a vocal opponent of efforts to remove the feeding tube artificially sustaining Terri Schiavo's life.[69]

When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.[70]


Social Security
Lieberman cosponsored a resolution urging the Congress to reject the Bush Administration Social Security Commission's report.[citation needed]

Lieberman described the debate as "this is an ongoing problem, and we'd be wise to deal with it." He told The Hartford Courant in January 2005 when asked about Social Security, "if we can figure out a way to help people through private accounts or something else, great."[71] Although Lieberman praised Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for trying to fashion a bipartisan social security plan, he ultimately voted against the Bush Social Security plan.[71]

Lieberman has toyed with the idea of switching his affiliation to Republican, especially if Senate Democrats go what he sees as too far in ending the War in Iraq. [72][73] In the 110th Congress, such a switch would leave the Senate equally divided, with Vice President Dick Cheney holding the tie-breaking vote.[74] [75] [76]

He helped defeat the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal of requiring the reporting of the costs of stock options as a business expense during the mid-nineties. During an interview with PBS after the Enron scandal, Lieberman defended his position, saying, "it was a good action."[77][78] Facing the growing stock option scandals, Lieberman ackowledged that "clearly a disproportionate percent of the options went to a small percentage of executives. That was disappointing."[11]


Other
Lieberman has voted against amending the Constitution to make it constitutional to criminalize flag desecration.[27]


Foreign policy

Committee on the Present Danger
At the 20 July launching of the 2004 Committee on the Present Danger, Joe Lieberman and Senator Jon Kyl were identified as the honorary co-chairs.[79] The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) is a hawkish "advocacy organization" first founded in 1950 and re-formed in 1976 to push for larger defense budgets and arms buildups, to counter the Soviet Union.


Iraq War
Lieberman sponsored S.J. Res.46, the Senate version of H.J. Res. 114, that is, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, also called the Iraq Resolution.[80]

Lieberman defended his support of the Iraq Resolution; in a November 29, 2005 op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, he praised the efforts of the U.S. military in the occupation of Iraq and criticized both parties:

"I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead."[81]

Later, on December 7, 2005, Lieberman said, "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril. It is time for Republicans in the White House and Congress who distrust Democrats to acknowledge that greater Democratic involvement and support in the war in Iraq is critical to rebuilding the support of the American people that is essential to our success in that war. It is time for Americans and we their leaders to start working together again on the war on terrorism. To encourage that new American partnership, I propose that the President and the leadership of Congress establish a bipartisan Victory in Iraq Working Group, composed of members of both parties in Congress and high ranking national security officials of the Bush Administration."[82]

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid expressed disappointment with Lieberman, saying, "I've talked to Senator Lieberman, and unfortunately he is at a different place on Iraq than the majority of the American people." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added, "I completely disagree with Lieberman. I believe that we have a responsibility to speak out if we think that the course of action that our country is not making the American people safer, making our military stronger and making the region more stable." Lieberman responded, "I've had this position for a long time – that we need to finish the job."[83]

Lieberman's defense of the administration resulted in speculation that he was attempting to position himself to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or another high-ranking government official, but Lieberman has denied having any desire for this. In 2005, media reports suggested that Lieberman might replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld;[84] Lieberman responded with, "It's a total fantasy, there's just no truth to it."[85]

On June 22, 2006, Lieberman voted against two Democratic amendments to the annual defense appropriations bill, including S. 2766, which called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. S.2766 did not set a withdrawal deadline, but urged President Bush to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2006. Both amendments were defeated in the Senate, 60-39.[86]


Free trade
Lieberman supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and continues to do so.[87] During a 2004 Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina, he said, "though it's cost some jobs, has actually netted out 900,000 new jobs that were created by NAFTA".[88] Lieberman also voted for the Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005.[87][89]

Lieberman is also the co-author of the US-China Relations Act that would create new incentives in bilateral relations with China. He voted for the U.S./China World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession agreement in 2000.


Israel
In 2002, Lieberman sponsored a pro-Israel U.S. Senate Resolution (S. Res. 247) regarding the Middle East Conflict, "expressing solidarity with Israel in its constant efforts to fight against terror".[90]


Homeland security
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (formerly the Governmental Affairs Committee) in 2001, Lieberman proposed forming the Department of Homeland Security, a proposal that passed into law in 2002. As ranking member of the Committee from 2003 to 2007, he played a leading role in the passage of homeland security legislation such as the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, the SAFE Port Act, and the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, and in the investigation of the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. In January 2007 he became Chairman again of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he led efforts to pass the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.


Geneva Conventions
Lieberman supports the Alberto Gonzales policy memo on the application of provisions of the Geneva Conventions. He believes "the decision was, in my opinion, a reasonable one, and ultimately a progressive one." He agrees with Gonzales in describing certain provisions of Geneva Conventions, specifically "that a captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script advances of monthly pay, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments” as "quaint". He also agrees with the legal decision that al Qaeda's members "were not entitled to prisoner of war status."[91] In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that "at least" Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is applicable to combatants "in the territory of" a signatory of the Conventions.[92]

During an exchange with Donald Rumsfeld in the 2004 senate hearing on the Abu Ghraib scandal, Lieberman denounced the abuses as "immoral" and deserving of an apology. Then he added, "I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, never apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect our security have never apologized."[93]


Senate election, 2006

Primary
Main article: Democratic Party primary, Connecticut United States Senate election, 2006
Democratic Primary Results Candidate Votes[94] Percentage
Ned Lamont 146,587 52%
Joe Lieberman 136,468 48%
Lieberman sought the Democratic Party's renomination for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2006 but lost to Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman and antiwar candidate.

Lieberman was officially endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Convention, which met in May. However, Lamont received 33 percent of the delegates' votes, forcing an August primary.

In July, Lieberman announced that he would file papers to appear on the November ballot should he lose the primary, stating, "I'm a loyal Democrat, but I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party, and that's my loyalty to my state and my country."[95] He stated that he would continue to sit as a Democrat in the Senate even if he was defeated in the primary and elected on an unaffiliated line, and expressed concern for a potentially low turnout.[96] On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures for the newly formed Connecticut for Lieberman party ballot line.[97]

Wikinews has related news:
Lieberman loses to Lamont in Connecticut primaryOn August 8, 2006, Lieberman conceded the Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont, saying, "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," and announced he would run (and eventually did win) in the 2006 November election as an independent candidate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, against both Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.[98]


November election
Main article: Connecticut United States Senate election, 2006
On August 9, 2006, Lieberman announced his intention to run as an "independent Democrat" in the upcoming November election.[99] He petitioned to run on the ticket of Connecticut for Lieberman party, saying that this was a technicality and that he would continue to caucus in the Senate as a Democrat.[100]

Polls after the primary showed Lieberman ahead of Lamont by 5 points; later polls showed Lieberman leading by varying margins. Schlesinger barely registered support and his campaign had run into problems based on alleged gambling debts.

On August 9, 2006, Hillary Clinton affirmed her pledge to support the primary winner, saying "voters of Connecticut have made their decision and I think that decision should be respected",[101] and Howard Dean called for Lieberman to quit the race, saying he was being "disrespectful of Democrats and disrespectful of the Democratic Party".[102]

On August 10, in his first campaign appearance since losing the Democratic primary, referencing the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, Lieberman criticized Lamont, saying:[103]

“ If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again. ”

Lamont and some other Democrat consultants said that Lieberman was sounding like Bush. Lamont said, “That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney’s comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That’s a false premise.”[103] Lieberman's communications director replied that Lamont was politicizing national security by "portraying [Lieberman] as a soul mate of President Bush on Iraq".[103]

On August 17, 2006 the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated that they would favor a Lieberman victory in the November election over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. The NRSC did state, however, that they were not going so far as to actually support Lieberman.[104]

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Lieberman at a South Carolina campaign stop on August 18, saying he was "a really exceptional senator."[105] Other Republican supporters of Lieberman included Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, former Representative and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.[citation needed]

Five Democratic Senators maintained their support for Lieberman, and Lieberman also received the strong support of former Senator and Democratic stalwart Bob Kerrey, who offered to stump for him.[106] Democratic minority leader Harry Reid, while endorsing the party nominee, Lamont, promised Lieberman that he would retain his committee positions and seniority if he prevailed in the general election.

On August 28, Lieberman campaigned at the same motorcycle rally as GOP Congressman Christopher Shays.[citation needed] Shays told a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, "We have a national treasure in Joe Lieberman."

Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, helped organize a reception that raised a "couple hundred thousand dollars" for Lieberman, who was personally in attendance. Sembler is a prominent Republican who chairs I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's legal defense fund.[107] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) held a fundraiser for Lieberman at his home in November, co-hosted by former mayor Ed Koch (D) and former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato (R).[108] Koch called Lieberman "one of the greatest Senators we've ever had in the Senate."[109]

On November 7, Lieberman won re-election on the Connecticut for Lieberman line with 50% of the vote. Democratic challenger Ned Lamont garnered 40% of ballots cast and Republican Alan Schlesinger won 10%.[110] Lieberman received support from 33% of Democrats, 54% of Independents, and 70% of Republicans. Despite still considering himself a Democrat, Lieberman was endorsed by numerous Republicans across the United States. They actively spoke out in favor of his candidacy. National conservative radio talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were among those that endorsed Lieberman on their shows. Lieberman was also the focus of websites such as ConservativesforLieberman06.com.[111]

Following the election, Lieberman made a deal with the Democratic leadership that allowed him to keep his seniority and become chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee. He agreed to vote with the Democrats on all procedural matters unless he asked permission of Majority Whip Richard Durbin (a request that is almost never made or granted) in return for the committee assignments that would have been available to him had he remained a Democrat. He is free to vote as he pleases on policy matters.[citation needed] The 49-51 Democratic majority in the senate is in Joe Lieberman's hands. Although he is Independent, he is counted as a Democrat. Were he to switch sides, the Senate majority would be 50-50, or 49-50, erasing the Democrats' majority.


2008 Presidential Election
Further information: United States presidential election, 2008
Although Lieberman remained a member of Democratic Senate Majority, he endorsed Republican Senator John McCain for President in 2008. It marked the first endorsement in the 2008 presidential election from across traditional party lines. Lieberman cited his agreement with McCain's stance on the War on Terrorism as the primary reason for the endorsement.[112] The endorsement sparked Democratic criticism due to his statement in 2006 saying he would support a Democratic candidate in the Presidential race.[113] Under Democratic Party rules, his endorsement of McCain caused him to lose his status as a superdelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[114] Lieberman has since indicated that he is even willing to speak at the 2008 Republican National Convention on behalf of his friend.[115] Lieberman was alongside McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham during a visit to French president Nicolas Sarkozy on March 21, 2008 [116]

Lieberman has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee on a John McCain ticket,[117][118][119] although Lieberman has denied interest.[120]


Popular culture and media controversy

Bush and the "kiss"

President George W. Bush leans close to Lieberman at the 2005 State of the Union.Following his 2005 State of the Union address, President Bush, while shaking lawmakers’ hands, abruptly grasped Lieberman’s head in both hands and leaned in close to his cheek. The incident became known as "the kiss." At first, Lieberman's staff humorously referred to the embrace as "some kind of Yale thing."[121] However, political backlash arose among Lamont supporters and other critics of Lieberman. Lamont backers used the incident in a campaign button: "The Kiss: Too Close for Comfort"[122] and a large papier-mache sculpture that followed Lieberman on the campaign trail.[123] Lieberman has since denied the kiss took place. "I don't think he kissed me, he leaned over and gave me a hug and said 'thank you for being a patriotic American,' " Lieberman told Time Magazine.[124] After Lieberman's defeat in the Democratic primary, an editorial claimed Bush's sign of affinity cost him the nomination, and referred to the incident as "the kiss of death," but Lieberman would still go on to win the seat as an independent.


Donor controversy
In February 2007, Lieberman spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the confirmation of Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. Fox, a prominent Republican businessman and political donor, was a contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign in 2004.[125] Fox is also reported to have donated to Lieberman's 2006 Senate campaign.[126]


Published works
Lieberman is the author of six books: The Power Broker (1966), a biography of the late Democratic Party chairman, John M. Bailey; The Scorpion and the Tarantula (1970), a study of early efforts to control nuclear proliferation; The Legacy (1981), a history of Connecticut politics from 1930-1980; Child Support in America (1986), a guidebook on methods to increase the collection of child support from delinquent fathers, In Praise of Public Life (2000), and An Amazing Adventure (2003), reflecting on his 2000 vice presidential run.

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