Will Senator Joe Lieberman (CT) Join The GOP Caucus? by Gregory Hilton

The new University of Delaware Poll has New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) at 61% and Christine O’Donnell (R) at 37% in the U.S. Senate race. O’Donnell received national attention when she upset Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) in the GOP primary for the nomination to fill Joe Biden’s old Senate seat. Republican had a bad week in Connecticut and Colorado, but West Virginia and Wisconsin have been pleasant surprises for them. This would result in a 50/50 Senate.
This means Senator Joe Lieberman (CT) could remain Independent but if he agrees to caucus with the GOP he will be offered the chairmanship of either Government Affairs or Homeland Security. Lieberman would take Government Affairs and Susan Collins (ME) would then have Homeland Security. Lieberman is outstanding on foreign policy and defense issues, but he is a cap and trade author and is definitely to the left of Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE). He is one of the few people in history to have addressed both the Republican and Democratic conventions.
He is going to ask for a lot more than a chairmanship he could already have with the Democrats. The liberals will understand what is happening and they will make a counter offer involving endorsements, campaign cash and appearances by Obama, Biden, the Clinton’s and the Cabinet. Lieberman will want an NRSC endorsement and a firm commitment regarding fundraising for his campagin.
The Connecticut Republican Party will also have to be part of any deal. If Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to become Majority Leader he will have to talk to Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint (R-SC) on Lieberman’s behalf. The news media will also mention Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) as a potential GOP switch, the problem is the state GOP. The Governor has great power over the state party and is already running 30% ahead of Nelson in a 2012 contest. Christine O’Donnell may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to Joe Lieberman.
If the Senate is 50/50, Lieberman will dominate the news. All of those conservative Republican Senators will want to be powerful committee chairmen. More importantly they will want to control the Senate agenda and stop the Obama legislative program. Many conservatives would be disappointed if it comes down to Lieberman, but the loss of Delaware could give the GOP no choice.

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