Joseph I. Lieberman, 82


    Former four term U.S. Senator Joseph Isadore Lieberman of Connecticut is dead at age 82.

    His family reported he died Wednesday from complications from a fall.


    He served in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2013 coming to office after defeating former Governor Lowell Weicker(R) in a close election in 1988. Weicker lost to Lieberman in part because Republicans considered Weicker too liberal, or unreliable. Ironically, Lieberman eventually fell out of favor with Democrats in Connecticut because he was considered too conservative and unreliable. Lieberman ran his last race as an independent and won. He served his last term in the Senate as an “Independent Democrat” and caucused with Democrats initially.


    Joseph Lieberman, 82 – Washington Post

    Lieberman, 82 – Politico

    Lieberman Dies – Axios

    Lieberman, 82 – New York Times

    Jake Sherman, like Lieberman a native of Stamford, Connecticut, broke the story on PunchBowl News:


    Even before his rise to the U.S. Senate, Lieberman was a fixture in Connecticut politics. He served ten years in the Connecticut Senate, rising to majority leader for six years. He ran and lost a race for the U.S. House seat currently held by Rosa DeLauro. He then went on the serve as attorney general from 1983 to 1989.

    Along the way Lieberman was picked as the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2000 by presidential candidate Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague. The Gore/Lieberman ticket won the popular vote by half a million votes but lost in the Electoral College(271-266) – in an election ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Lieberman was the first Jewish person on a national ticket.

    In 2004 Lieberman ran for president on his own, but withdrew from the race early in the primary season.

    It is generally known, but not widely reported that John McCain seriously considered picking his long-time friend and ally Lieberman as his cross-ticket running mate in 2008, but decided it was too risky and would not be accepted by most members of the Republican Party. Lieberman endorsed McCain that year and afterward ended his practice of caucusing with Democrats in the Senate.

    Although he came to be despised by many rank and file Democrats in his home state, the voters rewarded him by electing him twice as attorney general and four times as a U.S. Senator. His run for vice president, his solo run for president, his role in the McCain campaign, and his position as a moderate member of the Senate also made him a significant player on the national stage. He remained politically active in recent years through his affiliation and chairmanship of the No Labels group which has sought to find a viable way to put a third party centrist candidate into the race for president.

    Media Maven

    No Connecticut synopsis of Lieberman’s career would be complete without a nod to his admiration, respect for, and use of the news media to advance his own career and his political agenda.

    He was the author of seven books, the first of which – The Power Broker(1966) – a biography of former Connecticut Democratic Party chairman John Bailey is considered a Connecticut political classic, both for its content and the role it played in helping launch Lieberman’s career in elective politics.

    As a lifelong writer he had a special affinity for the press and its power to influence events.

    He was the first politician in Connecticut to understand the power of the media to raise the sleepy profile of the Office of Attorney General into a tool for nearly constant positive publicity. His regular news conferences and news interviews allowed him to boost his statewide name recognition and build an unassailable reputation as someone standing up for the average voter. He set the media management standard for everyone who has followed in that office since, including current U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal who succeeded Lieberman in the A.G.’s office.

    In Washington he was equally accessible both to the local press back home and the national press where he often paired himself with John McCain. Learning from his experience in Connecticut, Lieberman was always available and especially on Sunday mornings for the national public affairs shows that play a role in setting the weekly agenda in Washington, D.C.

    Joseph Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1942 and died Wednesday March 27, 2024 roughly one month after his 82nd birthday.

    Wikipedia – Lieberman

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