After Democratic Senate Caucus voted 42-13 not to strip Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of his Homeland Security chairmanship, Lieberman admitted both that he owes Obama, and that he regrets some of the remarks he made about the president elect during the presidential campaign.
After the vote, Lieberman urged unity, “This is the beginning of a new chapter, and I know that my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus were moved not only by the kind words that Senator Reid said about my longtime record, but by the appeal from President-elect Obama himself that the nation now unite to confront our very serious problems.” He also said that he regrets some of the statements made during the campaign, “There are some (statements) that I made that I wish I had not. In the heat of campaigns, that happens to all of us, but I regret that. And now it’s time to move on.”
Without Obama’s support, Lieberman would have been stripped of his committee chairmanship. Majority Leader Harry Reid went from making cryptic statements about Lieberman’s future after he met with him last Thursday, to today telling reporters that it is time to move on. It is obvious to all that Obama brought about this public change in position. If Lieberman would have been booted out of the Democratic caucus, he would have lost all of his power. The truth is that the Democrats need Lieberman’s vote, and Lieberman needs the Democrats.
What Lieberman should regret most was the questioning of Obama’s patriotism. In August, Lieberman said, “In my opinion, the choice could not be more clear: between one candidate, John McCain, who’s had experience, been tested in war and tried in peace, another candidate who has not. Between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not. Between one candidate who’s a talker, and the other candidate who’s the leader America needs as our next candidate.”
Lieberman crossed the line in a big way, during the fall campaign. His speech at the Republican convention galled many Democrats, along with his constant criticism of Obama. If Obama would have lost the election, the wrath of Democrats would have come down on Lieberman, but winning is a fantastic tonic, so most Democrats see no need to punish Lieberman for a losing effort. The public remarks of many Senate Democrats have made it clear that he has a lot of bridges to mend on the Senate floor, but I think that Obama will now have little problem getting his legislation through Lieberman’s committee.
Quotes came from here