Joseph Lieberman was elected to the United States Senate from Connecticut in 1988. Before that he was chosen by Connecticut voters to be their Attorney General and also served for 10 years in the State Senate.
A lifelong Democrat, Joe Lieberman was savaged by the left wing of his party in his last primary in 2006 in a campaign where the stench of antisemitism was never far from the ongoing dialogue of the campaign. With Internet postings referring to him as “the Jew Lieberman”, accusations of dual loyalty, personal attacks on his family and an opponent in the Democrat primary who was silent in the face of this vile vitriol, the Senator lost the Democratic Primary, but then opted to remain on the ballot for the general election as an Independent. Connecticut voters, Democrat, Republican and Independent took the full measure of the man that year and returned him to the Senate seat he so ably filled as a staunch union, strong national defense Democrat for the previous 18 years.
Although Connecticut has a history of supporting Independents like Lowell Weicker, the man Joe defeated in 1988, and did it again for Joe in 2006 when it sent him back to the Senate, running without a party affiliation is difficult and the support of a major party in a campaign is critical. Sensing that difficulty, Democrats, 22 months ahead of the election, are already announcing their intent to seek the nomination of their party. That would mean that Joe has to choose between another bruising contest in a Democratic Primary or a run again as an Independent. Serious Republican candidates sensing the possibility of a divided Democratic vote are also looking hard at the race.
We are not sure what the Senator is going to do, but we do know that we are grateful for his service, his dedication and his fine record of accomplishment representing the people of Connecticut in the United States Senate. And we are also proud that our Senator was the first member of the Jewish faith to run on a national ticket as a nominee of one of the two major parties. That and his honest record of service will serve him well when the events of his tenure in the Senate go into the historical record whether that tenure of service ends in 2012 or further in the future.