Lieberman Loves the Spotlight
A few months back, Nate Silver pondered the motivations of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), pointing out that the impetus behind the senator’s staunch opposition to a public insurance plan doesn’t seem to fall into any of the traditional categories.
This week, Lieberman confirmed Silver’s suspicion that the Connecticut senator simply craves attention, telling The Washington Post that he likes being “relevant” to the debate over health reform legislation — even, evidently, if that means threatening to kill the top domestic priority of the White House.
Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent who caucuses with his former party, says he is feeling “relevant” as he threatens to withhold his vote — potentially the decisive 60th — on health-care reform legislation if it includes a government-run insurance plan. And it is hard to dispute that as Capitol Hill moves farther from the “public option,” to the consternation of liberals.
“There is no question he’s taken pleasure in this role,” said Jacob S. Hacker, a Yale political scientist who helped craft the initial proposal for the public option.
Perhaps getting Lieberman a puppy, as Silver suggested, would save the Democrats a few headaches.