After the Senate Democratic Caucus voted by secret ballot to let Joe Lieberman retain his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Tuesday, we spoke with Jesse Hamilton, who's been covering the story from Washington for the Hartford Courant. Scott McLean from Quinnipiac also joined us and, as we'd hoped, so did many of our listeners. The phone rang off the hook Wednesday and our inbox saw some serious action. If there's anything that gets Connecticutians ready to talk, it's Joe Lieberman. It's been a strange ride from his Democratic Vice-Presidential bid with Al Gore in 2000 to Tuesday's Caucus make-up session. Though at least one of our callers yesterday called to support their Senator, praising him for "moral courage" and "independence," the emails we received were of a different tone:
Christopher Chevalier of Branford says, "I have always found Mr Leiberman to have a skewed idea of what it means to be a "Representative". My perception, and this is supported by his comments over the years, is that he feels the opinions of the citizens of Connecticut can not possible supersede, or even influence, his own perceptions and ideas. His attitude toward his constituents has been nothing less than patronizing. For him to call himself a Democrat, especially a Democrat representing Connecticut, is something I find infuriating."
Bob in West Hartford adds, "His betrayal, of his state and his party, in my opinion, comes out of his deep resentment of his failure to be nominated by Connecticut Democrats when he last ran for his seat in the senate. He may have postponed his ultimate fate, but he will still be reviled by Liberals and Democrats for the rest of his life."
Thomas Morrissey of Hamden wrote in with a list of the ways he felt Lieberman disregarded his constituents, including his approval of the hiring of FEMA director, Michael Brown, without a public hearing, his Defense of Bush's deal to sell control of US port security to foreign companies from the Middle East, his personal stock holdings in Halliburton, and his support of John McCain in the 2008 election.
Many thanks to everyone who called and wrote, and to our guests for a great discussion!