Senate Democrats Balk At Lieberman For FBI Director
May 19, 2017

Politico ran a story yesterday gauging Lieberman's support within the Democratic caucus of the Senate. They couldn't find any.

President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman would have among his former Democratic colleagues if nominated to become FBI director.

Some Senate Democrats hold a grudge against Lieberman for his rightward turn and opposition to some of President Barack Obama's agenda late in his Senate career. Others say even though they respect Lieberman, the job of FBI director should not go to a former politician. And all Democratic senators interviewed for this story said the former Connecticut senator lacks the kind of experience needed for the post.

Lieberman's transgressions were many. From his cheerleading for the Bush fiasco of the Iraq War/Invasion, to running against his own party in 2006 after losing the Democratic primary, to supporting McCain against Obama, and then working to gut the Affordable Care Act, Lieberman's efforts to sabotage Democrats has been his been his hallmark, earning him little love and more than a little scorn.

Surprisingly, even moderates like Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin demurred on the choice.

“I don’t think there's going to be much excitement about that from our side of the aisle. Not because we don’t respect Joe Lieberman. But we need a law enforcement professional, not someone who’s run for office before,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “We don’t need anyone who’s put on a red shirt or blue shirt — or who’s campaigned for president.” Lieberman ran for president in 2004.

Chris Murphy, who replaced Lieberman in the senate, cut to the quick.

“He has a history of angering Democrats and Republicans, which is probably a good experience for being FBI director. But my concern is about someone with a political background. This is a moment for someone with a law enforcement background,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who holds Lieberman’s old seat. “It’s really important to restore people’s faith in the FBI.”

While other liberals such as Sherrod Brown were scathing.

Still, many liberals flat out don't like Lieberman. In an interview, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) fumed about Lieberman’s efforts to undercut more generous Medicare benefits in Obamacare and his relative closeness to Trump. After a monologue on Lieberman's faults, Brown ended by telling a reporter: “That’s all on the record.”

“Joe Lieberman has no real law enforcement credentials. Look where he works now, a Trump law firm. That tells me a lot,” Brown said, referring to the law firm where Lieberman now works that represents Trump.

Lieberman also opposed a Democratic proposal to extend Medicare to people 55 and older, infuriating liberals. “He’s the reason we lost Medicare at 55 … Couldn’t have had anything to do with the insurance industry lobbying in Hartford. I’m sure Lieberman couldn’t succumb to that,” Brown said sarcastically.

Ouch. Senators normally aren't that blunt.

So, despite all the hugs and kisses from Republicans like his old pals John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins, who seem to think there's nothing wrong with politizing the FBI, Lieberman seems doomed to gain any Democratic support. FBI Directors usually gain unanimous or near unanimous support on senate votes. If all the Republicans vote for Lieberman, he'll get the job. But the lingering odor will always be there.

Dick Durbin pretty much shut the door on Lieberman.

“We ought to stay away from political figures,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “All the voting history, all the party history, whatever it is, I would stay away from it. Stick with the professionals.”

"Stick with the professionals" is just about the opposite of what this administration does, however.

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