Joseph Isadore „Joe“ Lieberman

Joe Lieberman, official photo.

Jewish Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman

Jewish Joseph Isadore „Joe“ Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party’s nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.

Father: Henry Lieberman (b. 3-Apr-1915, d. 3-Jan-1986)

Mother: Marcia Manger (b. 1915, d. 2005)
Sister: Rietta
Sister: Ellen
Wife: Elizabeth Haas (m. 1965, div. 1981)
Son: Matthew
Daughter: Rebecca
Wife: Hadassah Lieberman (b. 28-Mar-1948, m. 1983, two sons, two daughters)
Son: Ethan (stepson)
Daughter: Hana


Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Lieberman is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School. He was elected as a „reform Democrat“ in 1970 to the Connecticut Senate, where he served three terms as Majority Leader. After an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representativesin 1980, he served as state Attorney General from 1983 to 1989. Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker in 1988 to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000.

In the 2000 United States presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2004 presidential election.

During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label „Connecticut for Lieberman„. Lieberman himself is not a member of the Connecticut for Lieberman party; he is a registered Democrat.

Lieberman was officially listed in Senate records for the 110th and 111th Congresses as an „Independent Democrat[3] and sits as part of the Senate Democratic Caucus. But since his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in which he endorsed John McCain for president, Lieberman no longer attends Democratic Caucus leadership strategy meetings or policy lunches.[4] On November 5, 2008, Lieberman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reidto discuss his future role with the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucusvoted to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats.[5] Lieberman announced in January 2011 that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Marcia (née Manger) and Henry Lieberman. His paternal grandparents immigrated from Poland and his maternal grandparents were from Austria.[7] He received an A.B. in both political science and economics from Yale University in 1964 and was the first member of his family to graduate from college. At Yale he was editor of the Yale Daily News and a member of the Elihu Club. He later attended Yale Law School, receiving his law degree in 1967. After graduation from law school, Lieberman worked as a lawyer for the New Haven-based law firm Wiggin & Dana LLP.

A spokesperson told The Hartford Courant in 1994 that Lieberman received an educational deferment from the Vietnam War draft when he was an undergraduate and law student from 1960 to 1967. Upon graduating from law school at age 25, Lieberman qualified for a family deferment because he was already married and had one child, Matt.[8]

[edit]Personal life

Lieberman met his first wife, Betty Haas, at the congressional office of Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), where they worked as summer student interns. They married in 1965 while Joe Lieberman was in law school. They had two children – Matt and Rebecca. Betty, who is also Jewish, later worked as a psychiatric social worker. In 1981, the couple divorced. When asked about the divorce in an interview with New York Magazine, Lieberman said, „one of the differences we had was in levels of religious observance,“ adding, „I’m convinced if that was the only difference, we wouldn’t have gotten divorced.“[9]

In 1982, he met his second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, while he was running for Attorney General of Connecticut. Hadassah Lieberman is the child of a Holocaust survivor. According to Washington Jewish Week, Lieberman called her for a date because he thought it would be interesting to go out with someone named Hadassah. (Hadassah is the name of the Women’s Zionist Organization of America).[10] Since March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm based in New York City, as a senior counselor in its health and pharmaceuticals practice. She has held senior positions at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in JerusalemAssociation of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO), PfizerNational Research CouncilHoffmann-La Roche, and Lehman Brothers.[11]

Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a daughter, Hani. Lieberman also has a stepson from Hadassah’s previous marriage, Ethan Tucker. Matt Lieberman graduated from Yale University in 1989, and from Yale Law School in 1994. He is former Head of School of Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca Lieberman graduated from Barnard College in 1991, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997. She is married to Jacob Wisse. Ethan Tucker, son of Gordon Tucker, graduated from Harvard College in 1997 and received his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Lieberman is also related to Disney Channel star Raviv Ullman of Phil of the Future.[12]

Lieberman with Marty Markowitz at the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival to discuss the role spirituality played in his life.

Lieberman describes himself as an „observant“ Jew. In 1965 he married Betty Haas, a Reform Jew. Since the death in 1967 of Lieberman’s grandmother, a deeply religious immigrant, he found renewed interest in religious observance. His second wife, Hadassah, is also an observantOrthodox Jew. „Hadassah calls herself my right wing,“ says Lieberman.[9] In Lieberman’s 1988 upset of Republican Party incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker, his religious observance was mostly viewed in terms of inability to campaign on Shabbat. This changed when Gore chose Lieberman as the running mate; a Lieberman press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:

„He refers to himself as observant, as opposed to Orthodox, because he doesn’t follow the strict Orthodox code and doesn’t want to offend the Orthodox, and his wife feels the same way.“[13]

The Liebermans keep a kosher home and observe Shabbat.[13]

Lieberman has said that there is currently „a constitutional place for faith in our public life“, and that the Constitution does not provide for „freedom from religion.“[14] He attends Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol – B’nai Israel, The Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut. He also attends Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford.

He was the first observant Jew to run on a major party Presidential ticket. (1964 Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s father was Jewish, but Sen. Goldwater’s mother was an Episcopalian, and the Senator practiced his mother’s faith.)

[edit]Early political career

Lieberman was elected as a „reform Democrat“ to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, where he served for 10 years, including the last six as Majority Leader. He suffered his first defeat in Connecticut elections in the Reagan landslide year of 1980, losing the race for the Third District Congressional seat to Republican Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, a state senator from suburban Hamden with whom he had worked closely on bipartisan legislative efforts. In 1981 he wrote an admiring biography of long-time Connecticut and national Democratic leader John Moran Bailey, reviewing also in the book the previous 50 years of Connecticut political history.[15] From 1983 to 1989, he served as ConnecticutAttorney General.[16] In the 1986 general election, Lieberman won more votes than any other Democrat on the statewide ticket, including Governor William O’Neill.[17] As Attorney General, Lieberman emphasized consumer protection and environmental enforcement.

[edit]U.S. Senate


In 1988, Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in the 1988 election, by a margin of 10,000 votes. He scored the nation’s biggest political upset that year, after being backed by a coalition of Democrats and unaffiliated voters with support from conservativeRepublicans, who were disappointed in three-term Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker’s moderate voting record and personal style. During the campaign, he received support from the Connecticut’s Cuban-American community which was unhappy with Weicker. Lieberman has since remained firmly anti-Castro.[18] Six years later, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.

In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Bill Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Samille Lewinsky.

However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment. In 2000, while concurrently running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third Senate term with 64 percent of the vote easily defeating the Republican Philip Giordano.

When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. He was also a member of theEnvironment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chaired the Airland Subcommittee and sat on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.[20]

Lieberman along with his Senate colleagues Ted Kennedy, and future presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain, 2006

In the 110th Congress, Lieberman is Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.


Since 1989, Lieberman has received more than $31.4 million in campaign donations from specific industries and sectors. His largest donors have represented the securities and investment ($3.7 million), legal ($3.6 million), real estate ($3.1 million) and health professional ($1.1 million) industries.[21]

[edit]Committee assignments

[edit]Caucus memberships

  • Senate Caucus on Global Internet Freedom (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Fire Services Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • Congressional Public Service Caucus (Co-Chair)
  • International Conservation Caucus


Senator Lieberman announced on January 19, 2011 that he would retire from the Senate at the end of his fourth term.[22][23]

[edit]Presidential politics

[edit]2000 VP campaign

Gore/Lieberman 2000 campaign logo

In August 2000, Lieberman was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States byAl Gore, the Democratic Party nominee for President. Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket. The announcement of Lieberman’s selection was unusual in that it did not cause a positive „bump“ in the Gore campaign’s poll numbers according to a Newsweek poll done at the time.[24] Polling also indicated that Lieberman had badly lost his televised debate against Dick Cheney,[25] leading some to suggest later that Gore had lost the election due to choosing Lieberman as his running mate.[26]

The Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but they were defeated in theElectoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.

Like Democratic VP candidates Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960, Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, John Edwards in 2004, and Joe Biden in 2008, Lieberman’s Senate term was due to expire during the election cycle. He decided to run for reelection to maintain his seat, as Johnson, Bentsen and Biden did. All four won, but since Johnson and Biden were also elected Vice-President, they gave up their seats.

[edit]2004 primaries

On January 13, 2003, Lieberman announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election.

Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to voters. Indeed he initially led in polls of primaries, but due to his political positions he failed to win a support of liberal Democratic voters, who dominated the primaries.[27]

Prior to his defeat in New Hampshire, Lieberman famously declared his campaign was picking up „Joementum“; however, he failed to provide such momentum during the New Hampshire primary debates, held at Saint Anselm College days before the primary.[28] On February 3, 2004, Lieberman withdrew his candidacy after failing to win any of the five primaries or two caucuses held that day. He acknowledged to theHartford Courant that his support for the war in Iraq was a large part of his undoing with voters.[29]

Lieberman’s former running candidate Al Gore did not support Lieberman’s Presidential run, and in December 2003 endorsed Howard Dean’s candidacy, saying „This is about all of us and all of us need to get behind the strongest candidate [Dean].“[30]

Finally Lieberman withdrew from the race without winning a single contest. In total popular vote he placed 7th behind eventual nominee,Massachusetts senator John Kerry, future Vice Presidential nominee, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Governor of VermontHoward DeanOhio Representative Dennis Kucinich, retired General Wesley Clark and Reverend Al Sharpton.[31]

[edit]2008 activism

Lieberman with Presidential CandidateJohn McCain at an event in Derry, New Hampshire

On December 17, 2007, Lieberman endorsed Republican Senator John McCain for president in 2008,[32] contradicting his stance in July 2006 where he stated „I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008.“[33] Lieberman cited his agreement with McCain’s stance on the War on Terrorism as the primary reason for the endorsement.[34]

On June 5, Lieberman launched „Citizens for McCain,“ hosted on the McCain campaign website, to recruit Democratic support for John McCain’s candidacy. He emphasized the group’s outreach to supporters of Hillary Clinton, who was at that time broadly expected to lose the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama.[35] Citizens for McCain was prominently featured in McCain team efforts to attract disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters such as Debra Bartoshevich.[36][37]

Lieberman spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on behalf of McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.[38] Lieberman was alongside McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham during a visit to French president Nicolas Sarkozy on March 21, 2008.[39] Lieberman was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee on a McCain ticket,[40][41] although Lieberman had denied interest.[42] ABC News reported that Lieberman was McCain’s first choice for Vice President until several days before the selection, when McCain had decided that picking Lieberman would alienate the conservative base of the Republican Party.[43][44] Lieberman had been mentioned as a possible Secretary of State under a McCain administration.[45]

Many Democrats wanted Lieberman to be stripped of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs due to his support for John McCain.[46] Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached out to Lieberman, asking him to caucus with the Republicans.[47] Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucus voted 42 to 13 to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship (although he did lose his membership for the Environment and Public Works Committee). Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats.[5] Lieberman credited President-elect Barack Obama for helping him keep his chairmanship. Obama had privately urged Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not to remove Lieberman from his position. Reid stated that Lieberman’s criticism of Obama during the election angered him, but that „if you look at the problems we face as a nation, is this a time we walk out of here saying, ‚Boy did we get even‘?“ Senator Tom Carper of Delaware also credited the Democrats‘ decision on Lieberman to Obama’s support, stating that „If Barack can move on, so can we.“[48][49]

Liberal members of the Democratic caucus were reportedly angry at the decision to not punish Lieberman more severely. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (who is also an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats) stated that he voted against Lieberman „because while millions of people worked hard for Obama, Lieberman actively worked for four more years of President Bush’s policies.“[49]

Lieberman’s embrace of certain conservative policies and in particular his endorsement of John McCain have been cited as factors for his high approval rating among Republicans in Connecticut with 66% of Republicans approving of him along with 52% of independants also approving of his job performance, this however is also cited for his low approval rating among Democrats: 44% approving and 46% disapproving.[50]Currentlly 51% of voters approve of his performance along with 40% disapproving.[51]

[edit]2006 Senate election


Democratic Primary Results
Candidate Votes[52] Percentage
Ned Lamont 146,587 52%
Joe Lieberman 136,468 48%

Lieberman sought the Democratic Party’s renomination for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2006 but lost to Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman and antiwar candidate.

Lieberman was officially endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Convention, which met in May. However, Lamont received 33 percent of the delegates‘ votes, forcing an August primary.

In July, Lieberman announced that he would file papers to appear on the November ballot should he lose the primary, stating, „I’m a loyal Democrat, but I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party, and that’s my loyalty to my state and my country.“[53] He stated that he would continue to sit as a Democrat in the Senate even if he was defeated in the primary and elected on an unaffiliated line, and expressed concern for a potentially low turnout.[54] On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures for the newly formed Connecticut for Lieberman party ballot line.[55] On August 8, 2006, Lieberman conceded the Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont, saying, „For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand,“ and announced he would run in the 2006 November election as an independent candidate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, against both Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.[56]

[edit]General election

Lieberman during his re-election campaign on a third party ticket

Polls after the primary showed Lieberman ahead of Ned Lamont by 5 points.[citation needed] Later polls showed Lieberman leading by varying margins.[citation needed] Alan Schlesinger barely registered support[citation needed] and his campaign had run into problems based on alleged gambling debts. Thus, „Lieberman was able to run in the general election as the de facto Republican candidate – every major Republican office-holder in the state endorsed him – and to supplement that GOP base with strong support from independents.“[57]

On August 9, 2006, Hillary Clinton affirmed her pledge to support the primary winner, saying „voters of Connecticut have made their decision and I think that decision should be respected“,[58] and Howard Dean called for Lieberman to quit the race, saying he was being „disrespectful of Democrats and disrespectful of the Democratic Party“.[59]

On August 10, in his first campaign appearance since losing the Democratic primary, referencing the2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, Lieberman criticized Lamont, saying:[60]

If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.

Lamont noted Lieberman’s position was similar to George W. Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s position. Lamont said, “That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney’s comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That’s a false premise.”[60] Lieberman’s communications director replied that Lamont was politicizing national security by „portraying [Lieberman] as a soul mate of President Bush on Iraq“.[60]

On August 17, 2006 the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated that they would favor a Lieberman victory in the November election over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. The NRSC did state, however, that they were not going so far as to actually support Lieberman.[61]

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Lieberman at a South Carolina campaign stop on August 18, saying he was „a really exceptional senator.“[62] Other Republican supporters of Lieberman included Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, former Representative and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.[citation needed]

Five Democratic Senators maintained their support for Lieberman, and Lieberman also received the strong support of former Senator and Democratic stalwart Bob Kerrey, who offered to stump for him.[63] Democratic minority leader Harry Reid, while endorsing Lamont, promised Lieberman that he would retain his committee positions and seniority if he prevailed in the general election.

On August 28, Lieberman campaigned at the same motorcycle rally as Republican Congressman Christopher Shays.[citation needed] Shays told a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, „We have a national treasure in Joe Lieberman.“

Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, helped organize a reception that raised a „couple hundred thousand dollars“ for Lieberman, who was personally in attendance. Sembler is a prominent Republican who chaired I. Lewis ‚Scooter‘ Libby’s legal defense fund.[64] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a fundraiser for Lieberman at his home in November, co-hosted by former mayorEd Koch and former Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato.[65] Koch called Lieberman „one of the greatest Senators we’ve ever had in the Senate.“[66]

Despite still considering himself a Democrat, Lieberman was endorsed by numerous Republicans who actively spoke out in favor of his candidacy. Lieberman was also the focus of websites such as[67]

On November 7, Lieberman won re-election with 49.7% of the vote. Ned Lamont garnered 40% of ballots cast and Alan Schlesinger won 10%.[68] Lieberman received support from 33% of Democrats, 54% of independents and 70% of Republicans.[69]

Following the election, Lieberman struck a deal with Democratic leadership allowing him to keep his seniority and chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee. In return, he agreed to vote with the Democrats on all procedural matters unless he asked permission ofMajority Whip Richard Durbin.[citation needed] He is free to vote as he pleases on policy matters.[citation needed] Along with Bernie Sanders, Lieberman’s caucusing with the Democrats gave them a 51–49 majority in the Senate, leaving a slim one Senator majority to control the Senate in the 110th Congress.


While he officially considers himself a member of the Democratic party, Lieberman has been accused of being more conservative than many Republicans. His own party refused to nominate him as a candidate in the 2006 election, so he ran as an independent candidate to retain his senate seat. In February 2007, Lieberman spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the confirmation of Sam Foxas ambassador to Belgium. Fox, a prominent Republican businessman and political donor, was a contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign in 2004.[70] Fox is also reported to have donated to Lieberman’s 2006 Senate campaign.[71] Critics claim Lieberman was a favorite of Fox News , since he was willing to go on the conservative channel and play the role of someone in the “opposition” party who criticised fellow Democrats.

Lieberman was a supporter of the Iraq War and has urged action against Iran. In July 2008, Lieberman spoke at the annual conference ofChristians United for Israel (CUFI) then later, in July 2009, accepted from John Hagee CUFI’s „Defender of Israel Award“.[72] Pastor Hagee, CUFI’s founder and leader, has made a number of controversial remarks, including a statement that the Catholic Church is „the great whore“ and a suggestion that God sent Adolf Hitler to bring the Jews to Israel.[73]

In May 2010, while favoring the filibuster and threatening to use it in 2009 to eliminate a public health option as part of the healthcare proposal, Lieberman once strongly opposed it. In 1995, he joined with Senator Tom Harkin to co-sponsor an amendment to kill the filibuster. “The filibuster hurts the credibility of the entire Senate and impedes progress,” Lieberman told the Hartford Courant (Jan 6, 1995).[74]

In April 2010, Lieberman blasted President Obama for stripping terms like „Islamic extremism“ from a key national security document, calling the move dishonest, wrong-headed and disrespectful to the majority of Muslims who are not terrorists.[75]

Lieberman has favoured greater use of surveillance cameras by the federal government and referred to attempts by Congress to investigate illegal wire-tapping as „partisan gridlock“. On June 19, 2010, Lieberman introduced a bill called „Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010“,[76] which he co-wrote with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE). If signed into law, this controversial bill, which the American media dubbed the „Kill switch bill„, would grant the President emergency powers over the Internet. However, all three co-authors of the bill issued a statement claiming that instead, the bill „[narrowed] existing broad Presidential authority to take over telecommunications networks“.[77] American computer security specialist and author Bruce Schneier objected to the „kill switch“ proposal on the basis that it rests on several faulty assumptions and that it’s „too coarse a hammer“. Schneier wrote:

Defending his proposal, Sen. Lieberman pointed out that China has this capability. It’s debatable whether or not it actually does, but it’s actively pursuing the capability because the country cares less about its citizens. Here in the U.S., it is both wrong and dangerous to give the president the power and ability to commit Internet suicide and terrorize Americans in this way.[78]

Sen. Lieberman has been a major opponent of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. His staff „made inquiries“[79] of and other internet companies such as PaypalVisa, and Mastercard which resulted in them suspending service to WikiLeaks. Blogger Glenn Greenwald called Lieberman’s actions „one of the most pernicious acts by a U.S. Senator in quite some time,“ and accused Lieberman of „emulat[ing] Chinese dictators“ by „abusing his position as Homeland Security Chairman to thuggishly dictate to private companies which websites they should and should not host—and, more important, what you can and cannot read on the Internet.“[80] Lieberman has also suggested that „the New York Times and other news organisations publishing the US embassy cables being released by WikiLeaks could be investigated for breaking US espionage laws.“[81]

Along with Senators John Ensign and Scott Brown, Lieberman „introduced a bill to amend the Espionage Act in order to facilitate the prosecution of folks like Wikileaks.“[82] Critics have noted that „[l]eaking [classified] information in the first place is already a crime, so the measure is aimed squarely at publishers,“ and that „Lieberman’s proposed solution to WikiLeaks could have implications for journalists reporting on some of the more unsavory practices of the intelligence community.“[83] Legal analyst Benjamin Wittes has called the proposed legislation „the worst of both worlds,“ saying:

„It leaves intact the current World War I-era Espionage Act provision, 18 U.S.C. 793(e), a law [with] many problems . . . and then takes a currently well-drawn law and expands its scope to the point that it covers a lot more than the most reckless of media excesses. A lot of good journalism would be a crime under this provision; after all, knowingly and willfully publishing material ‚concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government‘ is no small part of what a good newspaper does.“[82]

As a result of these statements and actions, Lieberman has been perceived as an opponent of Internet Free Speech and become the target of Anonymous attacks under Operation Payback.[84]

[edit]Political positions

Lieberman is one of the Senate’s strongest advocates for continued prosecution of the war in Iraq. He is also an outspoken supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship. On domestic issues, he strongly supports free trade economics while reliably voting for pro-trade union legislation. He has also opposed filibustering Republican judicial appointments. With Lynne Cheney and others, Lieberman co-founded American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 1995. Lieberman is a supporter of abortion rights and of the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt children, to be protected with hatecrime legislation, and to serve openly in the military.[85] Lieberman is one of the Senate’s leading opponents of violence in video games and on television. Lieberman describes himself as being „genuinely an Independent,“ saying „I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy.“[86] Senator Lieberman is also famous for championing, authoring and leading the effort that led to the repeal of Don’t ask don’t tell.

Senator Lieberman was an integral part in attempting to stop WikiLeaks from publishing further material using US-based corporations in theUnited States diplomatic cables leak of 2010.[87]

[edit]Electoral history

[edit]Published works

Lieberman is the author of seven books: The Power Broker (1966), a biography of the late Democratic Party chairman, John M. BaileyThe Scorpion and the Tarantula (1970), a study of early efforts to control nuclear proliferationThe Legacy (1981), a history of Connecticut politics from 1930 to 1980; Child Support in America (1986), a guidebook on methods to increase the collection of child support from delinquent fathers; In Praise of Public Life (2000); An Amazing Adventure (2003), reflecting on his 2000 vice presidential run; and The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath (2011), written with David Klinghoffer.

[edit]See also


  1. ^ „Joseph Lieberman“Washington Times. Retrieved September 3, 2008.[dead link]
  2. ^ MacEachern, Frank (September 18, 2007). „Lieberman registers to vote as a Democrat, wife and daughter unaffiliated“ (– Scholar search). The Stamford Times[dead link]
  3. ^ „Senators of the 110th Congress“U.S. Senate. January 3, 2006.
  4. ^ „The Hill“. The Hill. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  5. a b Hulse, Carl (November 19, 2008). „Democrats Gain as Stevens Loses Race“The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Lieberman to Announce He Will Not Seek Re-Election, Aide Says
  7. ^
  8. ^ Lieberman: A history-making candidate. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  9. a b You Go, Joe. New York Magazine November 18, 2002.
  10. ^ Merida, Kevin. Lieberman’s Morality Concerns Not New. The Washington Post September 5, 1998.
  11. ^ Conason, Joe (September 1, 2006). „In bed with Big Pharma“. Salon. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  12. ^ Jacobson, Judie. „Jewish Geography“. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  13. a b Goodstein, Laurie. Lieberman Balances Private Faith With Life in the Public Eye New York Times August 18, 2000.
  14. ^ Gold, Matea. Lieberman and religion seem to be an easy mix.Los Angeles Times August 28, 2000.
  15. ^ Review of THE LEGACY: Connecticut Politics 1930–1980 Book by Joseph I. Lieberman. Introduction by Jack Zaiman. Cartoons by Ed Valtman. 215 pages. Spoonwood Press. Review in The New York Times, December 20, 1981. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  16. ^ The official web site of the Connecticut Attorney General’s office is at
  17. ^ Kornacki, Steve (January 19, 2011) The making (and unmaking) of Joe
  18. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey. Joe Lieberman looks hopefully toward the White House. The New Yorker December 16, 2002.
  19. ^ Senator Joe Lieberman Attacks Clinton. September 3, 1998. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  20. ^ Standing Committees of the Senate 108th Congress. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  21. ^ „Center for Responsive Politics profile“. May 16, 2010. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ „Newsweek Poll: Naming Lieberman No Charm for Democrats – Bush Retains 10 Point Lead“. August 12, 2000. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  25. ^ Langer, Gary. „Poll: Cheney Beats Lieberman in Veep Debate“. ABC News. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  26. ^ Shields, Mark (December 22, 2009). „SHIELDS: If You Could Change One Thing, Al Gore“. St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  27. ^ BY JOHN E. MULLIGANJournal Washington Bureau (July 13, 2003). „Moderate and steady may not win race for Lieberman“. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  28. ^ Lieberman says he’s got the ‚Joementum‘ January 26, 2004. Retrieved March 6, 2007.
  29. ^ Hamilton, Elizabeth. Lieberman Reflects on Candidacy. The Hartford Courant April 15, 2004.
  30. ^ Gore Endorses Dean: CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL December 9, 2003. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  31. ^ „US President – D Primaries Race – Jan 13, 2004“. Our Campaigns. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  32. ^ „LIEBERMAN, MCCAIN ENDORSEMENT“. MSNBC. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
  33. ^ „Lieberman: „I want to elect a Democratic president in 2008″“. YouTube. Retrieved August 5, 2008.
  34. ^ „Lieberman to Cross Aisle to Endorse McCain“. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  35. ^ Rhee, Foon (June 5, 2008). „Lieberman leads new pro-McCain group“Boston Globe. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  36. ^ Wheaton, Sarah (June 14, 2008). „McCain Courts Democrats, Independents“The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  37. ^ Falcone, Michael (August 24, 2008). „Republicans Unveil War Room in Denver“The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  38. ^ Meckler, Laura (February 13, 2008). „McCain Gets Boost from Senate Buddy“Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  39. ^ J.C. (March 22, 2008). „McCain loue l’ère „d’amitié franco-américaine““ (in French). Le Figaro. Retrieved March 21, 2008.
  40. ^ Christensen, Alex. „The 2008 GOP Field or It’s the Tenacity, Stupid“. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  41. ^ Kristol, William (November 19, 2007). „Say It’s So, Joe – Vice President Lieberman?“. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  42. ^ „McCain Has ‚Better Judgment‘ Than to Name Him VP“. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
  43. ^ Hunter, Duncan (August 29, 2008). „How Palin Came to the Top of the List“Political Radar – ABC News. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  44. ^ „Topic A: Assessing Sarah Palin“The Washington Post. August 30, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  45. ^ „Gizzi on Politics: Convention Diary“. Human Events. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  46. ^ Rushing, J. Taylor. „Sen. Lieberman likely to lose his gavel in massive reshuffle being discussed“. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  47. ^ Grim, Ryan. „McConnell Reaches Out To Lieberman“. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
  48. ^ Sources: Lieberman likely to keep top Democratic post,, November 17, 2008.
  49. a b Lieberman credits Obama after Dems let him keep post,, November 18, 2008.
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^ Election results. Hartford Courant August 10, 2006.
  53. ^ Klein, Rick. Lieberman crafts backup plan: Says he’ll run even if he loses primary. The Boston Globe July 4, 2006.
  54. ^ Murray, Shailagh. Lieberman May Run as Independent. The Washington Post July 4, 2006.
  55. ^ Haigh, Susan. Lieberman campaign files forms to run as petitioning candidate. The Boston Globe July 10, 2006.
  56. ^ Barry, Ellen. Lieberman Is Defeated in Primary. Los Angeles Times August 9, 2006. pg. A1.
  57. ^ Kornacki, Steve (January 24, 2011) The most cowardly act of a retiring
  58. ^ Fouhy, Beth. Clinton Reiterates Pledge to Back Lamont. The Washington Post August 10, 2006.
  59. ^ Nagourney, Adam.PRIMARY IN CONNECTICUT: NEWS ANALYSIS; A Referendum On Iraq Policy. New York TimesAugust 9, 2006.
  60. a b c Healy, Patrick and Medina, Jennifer. Lieberman Goes on the Offensive, Linking the Terror Threat to Iraq. New York TimesAugust 11, 2006.
  61. ^ NRSC Takes Lieberman.. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  62. ^ First Read. August 17, 2006.
  63. ^ Kerrey for Lieberman.. Retrieved October 10, 2006.
  64. ^ Associated PressTop Republican co-hosted fundraiser for Lieberman. International Herald Tribune. September 21, 2006.
  65. ^ In Connecticut Iraq Debate, Vague Policy PrescriptionsMedina, Jennifer. New York Times. September 18, 2006. pg. B3.
  66. ^ Lieberman Stumps In New York, With Koch By His Side. NY1 News, October 3, 2006.
  67. ^ [1] The Right Perspective Podcast Blog, November 11, 2006.
  68. ^ Joe Lieberman wins CT Senate race.. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  69. ^ „ – Elections 2006“. CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  70. ^ Akers, Mary (November 2006). „Lieberman and Swiftie Donor, Bound by Admiration… and Money“Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  71. ^ Lightman, David (March 8, 2007). „Fox Makes Friends And Foes“Hartford Courant. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  72. ^ Christian Zionist parley: Don’t pressure Israel by Eric Fingerhut, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), July 23, 2009.
  73. ^ Krieger, Mary (July 23, 2008). „Lieberman backs Hagee despite calls from Jews to cut ties“Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
  74. ^ „TV, Rachel Maddow Show, Dec 14, 2009“. MSNBC. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  75. ^ „Senator: Dropping ‚Islamic extremism‘ term is ‚Orwellian and counterproductive‘ – Military News and Comment“. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
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  77. ^ Senators Say Cybersecurity Bill Has No ‚Kill Switch‘,, June 24, 2010. Retrieved on June 25, 2010.
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  79. ^ „Amazon stops hosting WikiLeaks site“The Globe and Mail(Toronto). December 1, 2010.
  80. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (December 2, 2010) Joe Lieberman emulates Chinese
  81. ^ Owen, Paul; Adams, Richard; and McAskill, Ewen (December 7, 2010) WikiLeaks: US Senator Joe Lieberman suggests New York Times could be investigatedThe Guardian
  82. a b Wittes, Benjamin (December 6, 2010) Espionage Act AmendmentsLawfare
  83. ^ Poulsen, Kevin (December 2, 2010) Lieberman Introduces Anti-WikiLeaks LegislationWired
  84. ^ Fernandez, Colin; Caroe, Laura (December 9, 2010). „Army of hackers targets the Swedish government, Sarah Palin and credit card giants in WikiLeaks ‚Operation: Payback'“Daily Mail(London).
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[edit]External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Joseph Lieberman
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Wikisource has original works written by or about: Joe Lieberman
Official site
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Joseph Isadore „Joe“ Lieberman (* 24. Februar 1942 in StamfordConnecticut) ist ein US-amerikanischer Politiker. Er vertritt seit 1989 den Bundesstaat Connecticut im Senat. Bei derPräsidentschaftswahl 2004 war er ein Bewerber der Demokraten für das Amt des Präsidenten der Vereinigten Staaten, nachdem er bei der Präsidentschaftswahl 2000 neben Al Gore für das Amt des Vizepräsidenten kandidiert hatte.

Joe Lieberman machte 1964 seinen Abschluss an der Yale University; drei Jahre später bestand er sein juristisches Examen an der dortigen Law School. Von 1970 bis 1980 gehörte er dem Senat von Connecticut an, wobei er ab 1974 als Majority Leader der demokratischen Mehrheitsfraktion fungierte. Im Jahr 1983 sowie von 1986 bis 1988 übte er das Amt des Attorney General von Connecticut aus.

1988 gewann Lieberman die Wahl zum US-Senator gegen Amtsinhaber Lowell P. Weicker, woraufhin er am 3. Januar 1989 in den Kongresseinzog. Als US-Senator ist er Mitglied des Ausschusses für die Streitkräfte. Bedeutender Höhepunkt seiner politischen Karriere war die Präsidentschaftswahl im Jahr 2000, als ihn der für das Präsidentenamt kandidierende Al Gore zu seinem Kandidaten für das Vizepräsidentenamt nominierte. Lieberman war damit der erste jüdische Kandidat, der für eine der großen Parteien bei einer Präsidentschaftswahl antrat. Bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen 2004 bewarb er sich um das Amt des Präsidenten, scheiterte aber in den Vorwahlen seiner Partei.[1] Bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen 2008 unterstützte er den republikanischen Kandidaten John McCain. Als Hauptgrund hierfür gab er die Unterstützung des Irakkrieges durch McCain an.

Senatswahl als parteiunabhängiger Kandidat [Bearbeiten]

Im August 2006 unterlag Lieberman bei den Vorwahlen der Demokraten zu seiner Wiederkandidatur für den Senat seinem davor weitgehend unbekannten Herausforderer Ned Lamont, der damit für die Demokraten antrat. Diese unerwartete Niederlage Liebermans wurde als Folge seiner Pro-Irakkrieg-Politik angesehen, mit der er sich von der Basis der Demokratischen Partei entfernt hatte. In diesem Zusammenhang sorgte eine Umarmung mit dem republikanischen Präsidenten George W. Bush im Januar 2005, die als „The Kiss“ bekannt wurde, für Wirbel. Nach seiner parteiinternen Vorwahlniederlage zu den Senatswahlen trat er als parteiunabhängiger Kandidat an und schaffte den Wiedereinzug. Lieberman, der weiterhin Mitglied der Demokratischen Partei ist und im Senat der Fraktion („Caucus“) der Demokratischen Partei angehört, konnte hierbei 50% der Stimmen erringen. Seine Herausforderer Ned Lamont und Alan Schlesinger (Republikaner) kamen auf 40 % bzw. 10 % Prozent der Stimmen. Das schlechte Abschneiden des republikanischen Bewerbers Schlesinger ist darauf zurückzuführen, dass viele Anhänger der Republikaner Lieberman ihre Stimme gaben. Lieberman wurden allgemein größere Chancen als Schlesinger eingeräumt, den Demokraten Lamont zu schlagen. Außerdem gilt Lieberman als wertkonservativ und ist daher für viele Anhänger der Republikaner wählbar.

In der Folgezeit kam Lieberman im Senat nun eine entscheidende Rolle zu, denn die Demokraten verfügten hier über 50 von 100 Stimmen, die Republikaner über 49 von 100. Als unabhängiger Abgeordneter konnte er die Demokraten unterstützen (dann 51 zu 49 Stimmen) oder aber quasi ein Vetorecht ausüben und sich den Republikanern anschließen (dann 50 zu 50 Stimmen, wobei bei Stimmengleichheit der Vizepräsident, Dick Cheney, die Abstimmung entschieden hätte). Dieses „Vetorecht“ brachte ihm im Volksmund den Titel „King Joe“ („König Joe“) ein. Mit der Senatswahl im November 2008 änderten sich die Stimmenverhältnisse zu Gunsten der Demokraten, so dass Liebermans Stimme nicht mehr entscheidend war. Im Abstimmungskampf um die Gesundheitsreform ist es Lieberman Mitte Dezember 2009 wieder gelungen, sich als „Zünglein an der Waage“ in den Mittelpunkt zu stellen und die Demokraten zu zwingen, wesentliche Punkte dieser Gesetzesvorlage fallenzulassen.[2]

Seit dem 4. Januar 2007 ist Lieberman im Senat Vorsitzender des Ausschusses für den Heimatschutz. Bei der Wahl im Jahre 2012 will er nicht mehr antreten.[3] Lieberman ist in zweiter Ehe verheiratet und hat drei Kinder. Er und seine Frau sind gläubige Juden.

Einzelnachweise [Bearbeiten]

  1.  Online News Hour Vote 2004 – PBS
  2.  David M. Herszenhorn, David D. Kirkpatrick: Lieberman Flexes Muscle as Democrats Rethink Health Plan. New York Times, 14. Dezember 2009.
  3.  Chris Cillizza: Joe Lieberman to retire in 2012, The Washington Post, 18. Jänner 2011

Weblinks [Bearbeiten]

 Commons: Joe Lieberman – Sammlung von Bildern, Videos und Audiodateien
 Wikiquote: Joe Lieberman – Zitate (Englisch)
 Wikisource: Joe Lieberman – Quellen und Volltexte (Englisch)

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