A decade after being the most popular politician in Connecticut history, Senator Joe Lieberman is facing calls from Democratics to punish, or even recall him, because of his stance on health care reform. WNPR's John Dankosky looks back at Lieberman's turbulent decade.
Bill Curry is a two-time Democratic nominee for Governor, who was also a close advisor to President Bill Clinton. Back at the start of this decade, he - along with most other Democrats in the state - was a supporter of Joe Lieberman.
"I regret to say, I wrote a memorandum to Al Gore, arguing for putting Joe Lieberman on the ticket."
Curry told WNPR's Where We Live that Lieberman began to disappoint some members of his party during that campaign, but he still held on to his popularity, up until 2004.
"I truly believe that 2004 was a turning point. His resentment against liberals generally. His blaming the people whom he felt should have agreed with him. And, most importantly, his beginning to question sometimes even the patriotism of people who dared to suggest that the war in Iraq might have been a mistake."
Curry says that after losing the Democratic nomination to Ned Lamont in 2006, he shifted his position on the Iraq war to win more votes...and the general election. He calls that "a form of lying." Curry supports a law change that would allow voters to recall an elected official, like Lieberman, who he says hid his true position on the war, health care reform, and his support for President Obama.
"Because it was a deceptive practice. If this were a consumer transaction, he coulda gone to jail...okay, well there ought to at least be the right to revoke the contract in a Democratic process."
Curry says Lieberman's flip flop on health care may be an attempt to secure a Republican nomination for his Senate re-election campaign in 2012. But state Republican party chair Chris Healy says that to run as a Republican, he has to first become a Republican - and he says the Senator is still a mainstream liberal Democrat on most issues.
"Unless he takes the pledge, and starts caucusing as a Republican, I don't really see that as an option."
For WNPR News, I'm John Dankosky.