By ANDREW MIGA, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - Joe Lieberman is fast becoming the Democrats' public enemy No. 1.I wonder if Joe Lieberman ever lies awake at night and stares at the ceiling, thinking about how he's pissed away every vestige of integrity in a naked effort to cling to power? I can't imagine he doesn't regret some of the decisions he's made which has permanently stained his legacy and made him alternately hated and a laughing stock.
The four-term Connecticut senator, who came tantalizingly close to being Al Gore's vice president in 2000, not only has been campaigning for his pal, presumed Republican nominee John McCain, now he's publicly criticizing the Democrats' standard-bearer, Barack Obama. Lieberman has strayed before, most notably switching from Democrat to independent in 2006 to hold onto his Senate seat after a Democratic primary loss.
But the latest betrayal has upset Democrats, who often answer in clipped but polite tones when asked about Lieberman. The reason: The independent still caucuses with the Democrats on most issues except the Iraq war, and he holds their slim political majority in his hands.
"There's a commonly held hope that he's not going to be transformed into an attack dog for Republicans," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., an Obama supporter. (CT Bob: Don't hold you're breath, John!)
Lieberman has wasted no time in questioning Obama's positions on Iran and Israel, two topics on which Lieberman and McCain agree. Just one day after Obama clinched his party's nomination, Lieberman joined Republicans on a McCain campaign teleconference call assailing Obama following his foreign policy address to a leading Jewish group.
Lieberman accused Obama of blaming U.S. policies for "essentially sort of strengthening" Iran.
Does the thought ever occur to him that he should have quietly retired in 2006 and allowed a younger and more idealistic generation assume the helm? He could have become a respected professor, or an MSNBC pundit, or even a highly successful lobbyist for Israel, and done so without wrecking his place in history.
Instead, after this year's election, Joe Lieberman will be remembered mostly as an angry, pathetic, impotent little man; known best for selling out every deeply held belief in order to win.
In that respect, he's perfect for John McCain.