Four term Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said Monday," I haven't made a decision" on whether or not to seek a fifth term in the U.S. Senate, but during the interview the senator definitely sounded more than a little intrigued by the possibility of opening a new "chapter" in his life and is clearly toying with the idea of following his friend and fellow home-state senator, Sen. Chris Dodd, who recently hit the exits after five terms.
"I've got to decide at this stage of my life, as much as I like this job and feel privileged to be a senator, do I want to do it again, or do I want to try one more career chapter that's different," Lieberman told WFSB's Dennis House on Face the State. "It's a hard decision, because I really love this life and feel privileged to be a senator and feel proud of the things I've been able to do."
The senator has said many times recently that he is "leaving all options on the table," including a party switch. On Monday, however, it was his talk about a possible exit from Congress that seemed to put the biggest twinkle in his eye, as he spoke of a combination of "a sense of excitement and also the natural anxiety, because you don't know what the next chapter will be."
In a sign that the road is wide open for a change of careers, the senator said his wife, Hadassah, whom he jokingly called "the Commander in Chief" of their household, has given him the green light to make a change. "She basically said, 'You do what you feel you want to do, and I'll be supportive.' ," Lieberman recounted.
Lieberman, once his party's vice presidential nominee, has had a troubled history with Democrats for his strong support for the war in Iraq and the presidential candidacy of his closest friend, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., against then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
In 2005, his steadfast support for the Iraq war and for military action in Afghanistan brought him an ardent anti-war, liberal opponent in the well-financed Ned Lamont, a successful cable television businessman. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary, ran as an Independent, and the rest is history, as he snatched victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat to take on a fourth term.
The senator's most recent legislative success, leading the charge to repeal the military's ban on gays serving openly, that he called "one of the most satisfying legislative experiences" of his career, has put him back in good stead with many on the left. But Lieberman acknowledged, "I know it will be difficult, for a lot of reasons, but I've never shied away from difficult races in the past because they're difficult."
Indeed, in 1970, he captured a state Senate seat against the incumbent state Senate majority leader, and in 1988, he won against another incumbent, this time the maverick GOP Sen. Lowell Weicker who would go on to vociferously support Lieberman Democratic opponent in his 2006 campaign.