Obama steering clear of Lieberman party spat

(AP) - President-elect Obama is steering clear of getting involved in one fight on Capitol Hill: whether Senate Democrats should remove Joe Lieberman as chairman

WASHINGTON - (AP) - President-elect Obama is steering clear of getting involved in one fight on Capitol Hill: whether Senate Democrats should remove Joe Lieberman as chairman of an important committee.

Lieberman's affiliation with Democrats is in question after theConnecticut independent's high-profile support of Republican JohnMcCain for president.

Lieberman has met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ofNevada, but there has been no word on whether Reid intends to tryto oust Lieberman as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security andGovernmental Affairs Committee.

"What happens on the House and Senate, on chairmanship is theirbusiness," Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, saidSunday. "But the business of what we have to do when we get swornin is focusing on what the American people care about. Priority oneis the economy."

Lieberman pledged last week to put partisan considerations asideand work with Obama. Lieberman, who was Al Gore's running mate in2000, was re-elected to the Senate from Connecticut in 2006 as anindependent after losing his state's Democratic primary. He remainsa registered Democrat and aligns himself with Senate Democrats.

"Joe Lieberman has done something that I think was improper,wrong, and I'd like - if we weren't on television, I'd use astronger word of describing what he did. But Joe Lieberman voteswith me a lot more than a lot of my senators," Reid said in aninterview broadcast Sunday.

"He didn't support us on military stuff and he didn't supportus on Iraq stuff. But you look at his record, it's pretty good. Hecomes from one of the most liberal states in the country. ... JoeLieberman is not some right wing nut case. Joe Lieberman is one ofthe most progressive people ever to come from the state ofConnecticut," Reid said.

Connecticut Democrats are scheduled to meet on Dec. 17 to decidewhether the state party should censure Lieberman.

In the meantime, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentuckyis talking to Lieberman about the possibility of Lieberman'scaucusing with the GOP.

In the past, Democrats tolerated Lieberman's politicalstraddling because he held their slim political majority in hishands. Now that Democrats have strengthened their hold on theSenate, there could be added pressure to punish Lieberman.

Emanuel spoke on ABC's "This Week," while Reid appeared onCNN's "Late Edition."

Liebermanmulls party options after Obama victory

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

A former corrections officer faces 45 years in 1 Former corrections officer found guilty in deadly 2014 car wreck
2 Connecticut Sportscast, Dec. 9
Local police departments are warning residents to be 3 Fairfield police warn to be wary of thieves stealing packages
About 500 volunteers helped at Saturday's event. 4 Volunteers wrap thousands of gifts for children in need
Police say 48-year-old Fred Busk was charged with 5 Westport dad accused of serving teens alcohol at his home

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Focus on Connecticut Focus on Connecticut

Features local, state and federal officials discussing the issues around southwestern Connecticut.

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut. Our Lives

Celebrates African-American culture in southwestern Connecticut.

Each week News 12 Connecticut introduces you to Hometown Hero

News 12 highlights people who give to the community.

We spotlight a local team each week. Connecticut Team of the Week

Each week News 12 Connecticut highlights a team from a local school.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE