Dodd Sticks Up for Lieberman

Says Dodd on Joe Lieberman:

“What does Barack Obama want?” Dodd rhetorically asked reporters Friday in Hartford. “He’s talked about reconciliation, healing, bringing people together. I don’t think he’d necessarily want to spend the first month of this president-elect period, this transition period, talking about a Senate seat, particularly if someone is willing to come forward and is willing to be a member of your family in the caucus in that sense.” (Keating)

Apparently Dodd is willing to forgive and forget in the spirit of reconciliation.

Dodd has previously been hesitant to call for Lieberman’s head. For instance, just before Lieberman was due to speak at the Republican National Convention, Dodd said:

“Joe is Joe, and he’s going to do what he thinks is the right thing to do,” Dodd said during a slow moment between events. “The only problem I have is 90 percent of what Joe cares about … is antithetical to the crowd he’s addressing.

“It has to be an awkward moment for him.”

Dodd called Lieberman a friend and said he respected the choices that Connecticut’s junior senator felt he had to make.

But, he said, “I wish he were at our convention, speaking for Obama.” (Hamilton)

Before 2006 drove a wedge between them, Dodd and Lieberman were good friends. It isn’t all that surprising that Dodd would want to find some way to bring Lieberman back into the fold, if possible, with a minimum of fuss. It’s interesting that he’s invoking the name of Barack Obama to do it, though.

Is some sort of reconciliation what will actually happen? A lot depends on what Harry Reid decides, and right now it looks like he–along with most Democrats–wants to punish Lieberman in some way. We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

The better question is what consequences all of this might have for Dodd, who isn’t all that popular a senator himself these days. Some Democrats, remembering the nasty stuff Lieberman said about Obama during the election, are now more than a little angry at Dodd for defending him. This could be problematic for him if he really is facing a tougher than usual re-election battle in 2010.

Sources
Keating, Christopher. “Dodd Says Obama Wouldn’t Want Messy Fight Over Lieberman.” Hartford Courant 8 November, 2008.

JESSE A HAMILTON (2008, August 27). DODD STEPS BACK, REFLECTS, MOTIVATES. Hartford Courant,A.1.

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