Joe Lieberman May Have To Run As A Republican In 2012 Or Retire

Andrea Mitchell sat down with Politico's Craig Gordon to discuss their article on Joe Lieberman's choices if he wants to run for the Senate again in Connecticut. If he does switch parties and becomes a Republican he could be facing a primary
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Andrea Mitchell sat down with Politico's Craig Gordon to discuss their article on Joe Lieberman's choices if he wants to run for the Senate again in Connecticut. If he does switch parties and becomes a Republican he could be facing a primary challenge from Linda McMahon as well.

Joe Lieberman left with limited 2012 options:

Joe Lieberman essentially has two options for 2012: Retire or become a Republican.

The Connecticut senator and Democratic exile hasn't made up his mind whether to seek a fifth term, Lieberman and those close to him say. But if he does, the GOP ticket appears to offer his best shot at reelection.

"That's his only hope," said John Olsen, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO and a former state Democratic chairman.

Even that, Olsen and others involved in Connecticut politics say, looks like a long shot. But no other avenue appears to be open to the 68-year-old Lieberman, who won a three-way contest in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary to a challenger from the left, Ned Lamont.

One reason is that the ballot line for the Connecticut for Lieberman party, the vehicle he used in 2006, is no longer available to him.

After the 2006 election, a group of anti-Lieberman activists took over the party with the hope of embarrassing the senator by running a candidate against him in 2012. But its candidate for Senate this year failed to garner the 1 percent of the vote needed to keep the party's automatic ballot access next cycle.

To run as a third-party candidate again, "He would have to form a new party with some other name," the party's chairman and failed Senate nominee, John Mertens, said. "And it could not use the word 'Connecticut' or 'Lieberman' in the name," under the state's election regulations.

Mertens, who was surprised and dismayed by his poor showing on Nov. 2, said the fact that he got just six-tenths of 1 percent of the vote ought to tell you just how few fans Lieberman — who’s listed by the Senate as an “independent Democrat” — has left in his home state. Read on...

If he decides to remain an "independent" and needs a new party name, I'm sure we could come up with lots of suggestions for him, not that he'd be likely to want to use any of them.

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