On the Hill

Lieberman Keeps Homeland Security Chair

The Senate Democratic caucus has voted 42-13 to allow Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (a self-described "Independent Democrat" who caucuses with the Dems) to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman was stripped of his seat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, in which he held a subcommittee chairmanship.

The caucus had called Lieberman's fate into question because of anger over his vocal support for John McCain during this year's presidential campaign. The Senator was one of the primetime speakers at the Republican Convention that nominated McCain. In his speech in St. Paul Lieberman called the Barack Obama "a gifted and eloquent young man" but added that "eloquence is no substitute for a record."

According to Politico's The Crypt, Lieberman expressed some contrition during the caucus meeting:

Sources who were inside the meeting said Lieberman did not apologize for supporting McCain during the campaign, but that he did say he was sorry for some of the statements he made about Obama.

President-Elect Obama had reportedly told the Democratic leadership that he thought Lieberman should stay in the Democratic caucus despite his campaign transgressions. According to a statement from transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, "we don't hold any grudges."

UPDATE: Time's Michael Scherer provides a greatest-hits list of sorts of Lieberman's Obama criticisms.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.