Political Animal


March 11, 2013 3:04 PM Lieberman To AEI

By Ed Kilgore

When Joe Liberman announced he would not be seeking another term in the Senate back in January of 2011, Jonathan Chait had an acute sense of his options:

I’m guessing he has a sinecure at a foundation or think-tank dedicated to promoting hawkish foreign policy or centrism. The right-wing version of this career plan would be an AEI fellowship where he will produce a book and a series of op-eds on the theme I Did Not Leave The Democratic Party, The Democratic Party Left Me. The left-wing version is a Brookings fellowship consisting largely of providing quotes to the mainstream media bemoaning the decline of bipartisanship, punctuated by service on a large number of blue ribbon panels.

Door Number One it is:

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) president Arthur Brooks announced today that former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman will join AEI Visiting Fellow Jon Kyl as co-chair of the American Internationalism Project, an important new effort from AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies. The Project’s focus will be to rebuild and reshape a bipartisan consensus around American global leadership and engagement.

I’m guessing it was a relatively easy call for Lieberman. Yeah, Brookings offers an affiliation to a number of people who are big on promoting bipartisanship. But they mostly have some scholarly or wonkish credentials, and Brookings itself doesn’t do advocacy work. Besides, people who know him well have told me his defeat by Ned Lamont in the 2006 Senate primary really changed his previously mild-mannered attitude, embittering him towards those he perceives as having hijacked the Democratic Party, particularly on national security issues. So the chance to continue lashing out them from the friendly confines of AEI, and helping combat the creeping non-interventionism in the GOP as well, makes perfect sense. Assuming he’s out there in the public eye a lot, this new gig will likely eliminate the residual good will he still managed to possess on the center-left, partly thanks to his leading role in eliminating DADT. But I doubt he cares. He is extremely unlikely to create any “bipartisan consensus” around his own national security views. This self-appointed role, however, will give him plenty of opportunity to nurse grudges and settle scores, or if nothing else, to bask in the praise of Republicans who will be happy to help him pretend he represents a significant number of actual Democrats.


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  • JMG on March 11, 2013 3:11 PM:

    This gig allows Lieberman to continue to get to shoot his mouth off on cable TV and the Sunday morning shows, an activity that I honestly believe if he was deprived of he'd die within weeks.

  • c u n d gulag on March 11, 2013 3:36 PM:

    Say it ain't so, Schmoe!

    No surprise.
    Now, this allows him to hang around, like the festering postule on the anus of humanity that he is, working to squash any progress we might actually try to make.

    I've had a pretty deep hatred for Schmoe LIARman ever since he pulled his "Holier-than-thou, Schmoe" routine during the Clinton BJ hearings.

    And after that, he cost Al Gore the Presidency when he practically laid down on his back and purred when he debated Darth Cheney - Schmoe knew he had met an even darker and more war-hungry soul than his own, and just lay there in admiration and adoration.

    I just want to live long enough, to defecate on the graves of W, Cheney, Schmoe, and Rush.
    THAT ought to tell you how low Schmoe is in my regard.

  • punaise on March 11, 2013 4:00 PM:

    Joe Lieberman can rot in hell.

  • Col Bat Guano on March 11, 2013 4:04 PM:

    Lieberman and Kyl as co-chairs? Well, I'm sure that will produce lots of useful policy advice.

  • Josef K on March 11, 2013 4:08 PM:

    if nothing else, to bask in the praise of Republicans who will be happy to help him pretend he represents a significant number of actual Democrats.

    Please name one period that last for more than two minutes when Joe Lieberman actually represented anyone other than Joe Lieberman.

  • Kathryn on March 11, 2013 4:54 PM:

    @ punaise.......short and sweet, I like it.

  • R on March 11, 2013 4:57 PM:

    @Josef K -- Well, my relatives in CT used to refer to him as the Senator from Israel.

  • Bloix on March 11, 2013 5:10 PM:

    "The Projectís focus will be to rebuild and reshape a bipartisan consensus around American global leadership and engagement."

    ie, whatever Netanyahu wants is good for America, and vice versa.

  • rrk1 on March 11, 2013 6:10 PM:

    This is a surprise only insofar as I thought his sinecure would have been at AIPAC or some similar 5th column organization shilling for Israel.

    Why anyone will ever care what Lie-berman has to say from now on is a mystery. He can be as bitter, resentful, and vengeful as he wants, but his time has passed, and so should he.

  • dweb on March 11, 2013 7:27 PM:

    And it won't be long before he is joined by Sens. McCain and Graham under the AEI banner....All Equally Irrelevant!

  • JS on March 11, 2013 9:43 PM:

    Josef: After all, it was the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party, not "Lieberman for Connecticut".

    Such as it was, such as it ever will be.

  • exlibra on March 11, 2013 10:17 PM:

    A-E-I, E-I, no-O (since O represents surprise)

  • cat on March 12, 2013 11:39 AM:

    "How to Bomb Iran for Bibi" by joe leiberman

  • Epicurus on March 12, 2013 1:30 PM:

    Oh, look, another ex-politician I can continue to ignore. As for his bleating about "the party left me behind"? I have a few answers for that, none suitable for a civilized place like the Internet. Good riddance to bad rubbish...

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