Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All eyes on Lieberman

ST. PAUL — Democrats will closely watch Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) primetime speech to the Republican convention Tuesday to see whether he attacks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Despite some requests from Democratic senators that he not speak here, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential nominee will deliver a nationally televised keynote speech Tuesday night.

The Connecticut senator has already angered some of his Democratic colleagues with his strong advocacy of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential bid, and animosity would be fueled if he delivers harsh words against Sen. Obama (D-Ill.), according to Democratic aides and senators.
Lieberman already has an uneasy alliance with Senate Democrats, and escalating tensions could put his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in jeopardy next Congress.

Democratic leaders say they don’t have plans to remove Lieberman, who votes with them on most domestic issues, caucuses with them and gives them their 51-49 Senate majority. But that could change next year if Democrats win more seats in November and don’t need Lieberman to keep their Senate majority.


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