Christopher Shays

The Inscrutable Joe Lieberman Still Making Noise As He Readies To Exit The Scene

Connecticut Independent Senator Joe Lieberman may have decided to exit the Senate at the end of 2012, but he is still making noise and creating controversy.

Called conservative intellectual William F. Buckley, Jr’s “favorite Democrat” when he challenged incumbent liberal Republican Lowell Weicker successfully in 1988, Lieberman went on to build a legacy of hard nosed realism in American foreign policy, and the typical liberal Democrat in domestic affairs.

Coming across as moderate mainstream overall, he ended up being chosen as Vice President Al Gore’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2000, but then alienated Gore by publicly stating that the recount challenge was useless against George W. Bush.

After September 11, 2001, his maverick nature continued to develop, and he became one of the most vociferous backers of the Iraq War strategy of President George W. Bush, breaking with many Democrats, including Al Gore.

By 2006, he had alienated many Democrats in his home state and lost the Democratic primary, but instead of gracefully retiring, he ran as an Independent in a three way race and won his seat for another six year term.

Then in 2008, he backed his old friend, Senator John McCain, in the presidential election, breaking party ties completely in a shocking way, and the Democrats thought of punishing him by taking away his party seniority, but President Barack Obama advised against it.

At times supportive of Obama, but often not, Lieberman continued on his independent ways, remaining hawkish in foreign policy and liberal on most domestic matters, and particularly was notable in backing the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military.

But last week, he refused to support the spending bill that would have preserved or created jobs for teachers and first responders, including firefighters and police officers, joining with only two other Democrats and all the Republicans in the Senate.

He has made it clear that he is unlikely to back anyone in the race to replace him in 2012, but has been friendly to Christopher Shays, former moderate Republican Congressman running for his seat.

So Joe Lieberman, from the beginning 23 years ago to now, remains the ultimate inscrutable political figure, certainly a fascinating one to research for a biography in the future.

A Move Toward A Centrist Political Party, Called “No Labels”, And The Role Of Michael Bloomberg And Joe Scarborough!

At Columbia University in New York City, on December 13, a centrist group is going to form a “No Labels” centrist movement to promote civility in American politics.

Among those who will engage in this new movement are the following: Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City; former Republican Florida Congressman Joe Scarborough, MSNBC talk show host of “Morning Joe”; retiring Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana; Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Democratic Senator Debby Stabenow of Michigan; former Republican Congressman Tom Davis of Virginia; Republican Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut;  Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles; and former Republican Governor Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey, among others!

The group is against hyper partisanship, and promotes civility, calm, reason, and cooperation. Prominent fundraisers are involved in the new movement, and the hope is to form chapters in all 50 states.

There is growing speculation that Mayor Bloomberg might run as an independent for President, and some even speculate that Joe Scarborough might seek the Presidency or run with Bloomberg for Vice President on an independent party ticket, although the “No Labels” group claims that is not the purpose of the organization being formed!

One thing for sure: Joe Scarborough has begun a full scale attack on the incompetence and inadequacy of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a possible candidate for the Presidency by the Republican Party, joining many others who feel the same way, including not only Barbara Bush and Karl Rove, but also conservative columnists Mona Charen, David Frum, and Peggy Noonan.

Certainly, if Bloomberg were to run, being the wealthiest political figure in the nation, with billions of dollars in assets, he could fund his own campaign, but the question is could he win over the country with his overly liberal views on social issues, and being a New York Jew! In an early poll, it shows he would only win about eleven percent of the vote, but in a dry run with President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, Obama would be the beneficiary, as Bloomberg would hurt Romney more than he would hurt Obama!