Lieberman rips 'greatest obstacle': Washington gridlock
A still image from Senate TV is of retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman's final Senate floor speech. AP
Photo by AP
WASHINGTON — Retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday used his final Senate floor speech to urge Congress to put partisan rancor aside to break Washington's gridlock.
“It requires reaching across the aisle and finding partners from the opposite party,” said Lieberman. “That is what is desperately needed in Washington now.”
The Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut is leaving the Senate in January at the end of 24 years. He said strong bipartisan leadership is needed to solve the nation's most pressing problems, such as the fiscal cliff budget crisis. Washington gridlock stands as “the greatest obstacle” to finding compromises to make major progress on those problems, he said.
Lieberman, 70, nearly won the vice presidency on the Democratic ticket with running mate Al Gore in 2000. He would have been the first Jewish vice president.
He also made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. Four years later, he was under serious consideration in 2008 to be then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate. He and McCain are friends known for their hawkish views on military and national security matters.
Lieberman's independent streak has often rankled Democrats, the party he aligned with in the Senate.
He lost the last time he ran for the Democratic Senate nomination in Connecticut, in 2006. But he rebounded and won a new term running as an independent in a three-way race. After his re-election, Lieberman decided to caucus with Democrats in the Senate, who let him head a committee in return.
Yet in 2008, he supported McCain, drawing the ire of many Democrats. Lieberman's decision to speak at the 2008 GOP presidential nominating convention especially angered Democrats.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.