Friends and former rivals alike attend Lieberman funeral

Hundreds attend Lieberman's funeral, including Lieberman's one-time political rival, Gov. Ned Lamont, who delivered his eulogy.

John Craven

Mar 29, 2024, 8:52 PM

Updated 19 days ago


Among the nearly 2,000 mourners who attended longtime Sen. Joe Lieberman's funeral on Friday were longtime political allies – but also former foes. Despite their differences, each remembered a moral public servant who stuck to his principles.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro met Lieberman back in the 1960s. Both came of age in the rough-and-tumble New Haven politics of the era. But in 2010, she urged voters to recall the senator (which isn't allowed in Connecticut) for holding up an Obamacare vote.
"I disagreed with Joe Lieberman on a number of occasions. Agreed with him on many more," DeLauro said. "But I knew who he was; respected who he was."
Another former rival – Gov. Ned Lamont – delivered Lieberman's eulogy. Lamont challenged Lieberman to a bitter Democratic primary in 2006. Lieberman defected from the party, running as an independent and defeating Lamont.
The two later became friends. And in some ways, Lamont now carries his former foe's bipartisan mantle.
"He never quite fit in that Republican or Democratic box," the governor told mourners. "I think maybe, in an odd way, I helped liberate him."
Prominent Republicans like former Gov. John Rowland, Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Meghan McCain also attended. Lieberman bucked his own party to endorse her father, John McCain, for president against Barack Obama.
Lieberman is most famous for his 2000 vice presidential run with Al Gore – a race decided by a few hundred disputed votes.
"We prayed together, thought for a season we had won together, but – well, you know that part of the story," Gore said.
Four years later, Gore declined to back his former running mate's own bid for president. But he said Lieberman didn't hold a grudge, noting their friendship "was so much larger and so much stronger than what was drawing us apart."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Lieberman transcended political divisions.
"Whether people agreed or disagreed with him, he'd get along with anyone," Blumenthal said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy grew up in the same working-class neighborhood as Lieberman.
"We're both from Stamford," he said. "His mother used to come to our house because we were frequently the headquarters for the 11th District and she would come to the house and call out votes for Joey when he was on the ballot."
Following the service, Lieberman was buried just a few miles from where he and Malloy grew up, next to his parents at the Congregation Agudath Sholom cemetery off Long Ridge Road.

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