Lieberman sad he can't vote in Connecticut Republican primary
Michael Roston
Published: Monday February 4, 2008 |
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Senator Joe Lieberman, Connecticut's 'independent Democrat,' made political waves when he decided in December to officially endorse the presidential candidacy of Republican Senator John McCain. Lieberman has actively campaigned for the senator, but has now gone a step farther and expressed his disappointment at being unable to cast a ballot for the Arizona Republican on Super Tuesday.

"I wonít vote in the Democratic primary because Iím supporting John, but I can't vote in the Republican primary," Lieberman complained to Sasha Issenberg, a Boston Globe reporter, according to a Monday morning entry at the Political Intelligence blog.

The senator went on to describe himself as "blocked" and noted that he could not remember ever missing an opportunity to vote in an election.

While Lieberman caucuses with Democrats in the US Senate, he left the party in the summer of 2006 when challenger Ned Lamont defeated him in the state's Democratic primary. Lieberman won re-election under the banner of his own "Connecticut for Lieberman" party, receiving votes from many of the state's Republicans.

Connecticut does not allow independent voters to participate in its primaries. As a consequence, Lieberman cannot vote in the Republican primary for Senator McCain unless he officially switches his party affiliation.

Lieberman was former Vice President Al Gore's running mate in 2000, and ran for president himself in 2004. Lieberman's decision to hit the campaign trail with Senator McCain marked a major reversal of his stated position on his post-2006 role in the Democratic Party. In his 2006 campaign against Lamont, Lieberman called electing a Democratic president his priority.

"I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008," Lieberman said in a debate with Lamont in July 2006. "This man and his supporters will frustrate and defeat our hopes of doing that."

Lieberman endorsed McCain prior to the New Hampshire primary, where pundits suggested that his credentials as an "independent" might have been helpful as the Republican candidate worked to pick up votes from the state's large bloc of unaffiliated voters.