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Joe Lieberman
Sen. Joseph Lieberman
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Sen. Joseph Lieberman

Chants of "Go Joe Go" filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, as Democratic vice presidential pick Sen. Joseph Lieberman told America his family's story and then compared the Democratic platform with the Republicans. "This is a question of priorities and choices," said Lieberman. He evoked traditional party themes of caring for the environment, providing health care for children and senior citizens, and improving education.

"Forty years ago we came to this city and crossed a new frontier. Today we return with prosperity at home, and freedom throughout the world that John F. Kennedy could only have dramed about. We may wonder where the next frontier really is. I believe the next frontier isn't just in front of us, but inside of us -- to overcome the differences that are still between us, to break down the barriers that remain, and to help every American claim the limitless audio button possibilities of our own lives." Listen to Lieberman's entire speech or read the text.

Lieberman was one of the first Democrats in Congress to publicly condemn President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky and the president’s subsequent lies about the relationship.

Taking to the Senate floor in September 1998, the Connecticut senator delivered a scathing speech sharply accusing the president of behavior that is “not just inappropriate, it is immoral.”

What’s more, said Lieberman, the personal conduct of a president must follow higher standards than that of a private citizen.

“When his personal conduct is embarrassing, it is sadly so not just for him and his family, it is embarrassing for all of us as Americans,” said Lieberman. “The president is a role model, and, because of his prominence and the moral authority that emanates from his office, sets standards of behavior for the people he serves.”

Such a gesture is one reason Gore is thought to have picked the Connecticut senator to share the Democratic presidential ticket as his vice presidential candidate. Another reason is a long friendship first developed when the two served in the Senate together.

An Orthodox Jew, Lieberman grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. The son of a liquor storeowner, he attended public schools as a child. His hard work and keen mind brought him to Yale College, from which he graduated in 1964, and then Yale Law School.

Lieberman entered politics at age 27, winning a seat in the state Senate. He served 10 years, six of those as Senate Majority Leader. He followed that by serving as Connecticut Attorney General from 1982-1988. He's also the author of five books written over the past 35 years. They cover a wide range of topics, from nuclear proliferation to ways to collect child support from deadbeat dads.

In 1988 Lieberman challenged the popular U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker for his seat and scored the biggest upset victory of the political season. He's been in the Senate ever since and is up for re-election this fall. Since 1995 Lieberman has served as chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist organization that President Bill Clinton and Vice President Gore also helped found.

Lieberman makes his permanent home in New Haven, Connecticut. He and his second wife Hadassah have four children between them, ranging in age from 12 to 32. Lieberman has two grandchildren.

Additional stories on this speaker:

Democratic Veep ( 14.4 | 28.8) -- NPR's Anthony Brooks reports on the surprise selection of Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman as Vice President Al Gore's running mate. Lieberman, the first Jew on a major-party national ticket, is well regarded for his integrity. Polls indicate that morality and family values rank high on a list of voter concerns. But Lieberman also parts company with Gore on some issues, such as school vouchers. (4:30)

Lieberman Profile ( 14.4 | 28.8) -- NPR's Tovia Smith profiles the man Al Gore has asked to join him on the Democratic ticket. Joseph Lieberman began life as the son of a liquor storeowner who never went to college. But he studied hard, got a scholarship to Yale and then attended law school there. After that it was the state legislature, the state attorney general's office and an upset win over a senior Republican senator in 1988. Now Lieberman suddenly finds himself on the national stage. (4:00)

Lieberman's Voting Record ( 14.4 | 28.8) -- NPR's Brian Naylor reports on the Congressional voting record of Senator Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore's choice as his Vice Presidential running mate. Republicans plan to emphasize disagreements between Lieberman and Gore on various policies of the Clinton administration. (3:44)


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