Lieberman Seen as Kingmaker in Mid-term Elections

Joe-Lieberman.jpgLittle publicized so far, Joe Lieberman, an ordained Rabbi and the Independent Senator from Connecticut, is being seen today in several political circles as the potential kingmaker for the new Senate.

Lieberman is frustrating critics and supporters alike by declining to say how he would vote if the Democrats and the Republicans wind up in a 50-50 tie after the Nov. 2 Mid-Term elections.

His vote would decide who controls the Senate--a control now held by the Democrats.

The Huffington Post reports recent polling suggests Republicans could pick up nine seats this fall, making a 50-50 split between the two parties a distinct possibility.

Bernie-Sanders-Vermont-Senator-Independent.jpg"A nine-seat gain for the GOP would give Democrats the slimmest possible majority -- a caucus of 50, made up of 48 Democrats and two independents, Lieberman and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)," according to the Post's J. Taylor Rushing.

Vice President Joe Biden would then become the crucial tie-breaking vote in the Democrats' favor.

But that one-vote majority would hinge on Lieberman continuing to caucus with the Democrats.  Under that scenario, the Democratic Party's love--hate relationship with Lieberman could reach a critical juncture.

Lieberman considered joining the GOP after the 2008 election, when his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee was nearly yanked by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

John-McCain-7-26-10.jpgLieberman is facing a tough reelection fight in 2012 and could be tempted to caucus with the Republicans -- or switch parties outright -- during the next Congress.

Liberal activists dislike him. He voted against the public option in the Health Bill.  He also endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) for president in 2008 instead of Obama -- a decision that still rankles liberal voters in Connecticut.

Lieberman is an opportunist. This corner is betting on Lieberman siding with the Republicans on the issue of who controls the new Senate.

What do you think?


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