|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The inattentiveness — as well as the scattered boos amid the supportive calls of "Joe" that welcomed Mr. Lieberman to the podium — convinced some that the three-term senator, criticized for months because of his continued support for the war in Iraq, may be vulnerable in the primary challenge he faces.
"What I was struck by was that not many people were paying attention to him," said Leo Canty, chairman of the Democratic town committee in Windsor, which passed a resolution in February opposing Senator Lieberman's support for the war. "It used to be that he would be more of a presence when he came in."
A few minutes later, however, the audience was riveted as Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the guest speaker at the $175-a-plate dinner, stood on the podium and began the customary round of recognition of candidates and incumbents in the room. When he got to Mr. Lieberman, who is his mentor in the Senate and who helped recruit him to speak at the event, the applause again was muted.
"I know that some in the party have differences with Joe," Senator Obama said, all but silencing the crowd. "I'm going to go ahead and say it. It's the elephant in the room. And Joe and I don't agree on everything. But what I know is, Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America."
Then, with applause beginning to build, he finished the thought: "I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told reporters today that he would in fact filibuster any health care bill he doesn't agree with--and right now, he doesn't agree with the public option proposal making its way through the Senate.
"I told Senator Reid that I'm strongly inclined--i haven't totally decided, but I'm strongly inclined--to vote to proceed to the health care debate, even though I don't support the bill that he's bringing together because it's important that we start the debate on health care reform because I want to vote for health care reform this year. But I also told him that if the bill remains what it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage. Therefore I will try to stop the passage of the bill."
Rather than remove Lieberman from a post leading the homeland security committee, which gives him wide leeway to oversee the new Obama administration, Democratic senators opted to strip him of a less significant seat on the environment committee.
"I don't apologize to anyone for what we did today," Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate leader, told reporters after Lieberman received a slap on the wrist in a 42-13 secret-ballot vote.
"We're moving forward, recognising that there is a period of time that in Joe Lieberman's political career that I will never understand or approve," Reid added. "But I also recognize that he's been in public office for four decades [and is] one of the most progressive members to come from the state of Connecticut. That says a lot."