Monday, November 17, 2008

Sources: Joe Lieberman to keep chairmanship

NBC First Read reports that Democratic sources believe that Senator Joseph Lieberman will likely keep his chairmanship.
Tomorrow, Senate Democrats gather to decide if Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-D) should keep his position as chairman of Homeland Security Committee, and it looks like he just may. Several Democrats and Democratic-leaning groups were calling for Lieberman to stripped of his chairmanship for not only supporting John McCain's candidacy for president -- but also criticizing Barack Obama in the process.

According to sources familiar with negotiations, Democrats are expected to vote in favor of letting the Connecticut senator keep his chairmanship and seniority, but give up the gavel on a subcommittee he chairs. The vote happens tomorrow morning by secret ballot.

The tide turned in Lieberman's favor, sources say, after two events in recent weeks. First, President-elect Obama told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he wanted Lieberman to stay in the Democratic caucus. Later, in a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Lieberman told him it would be "unacceptable" for him to give up his gavel. That was considered by some as a veiled threat that Lieberman would jump to caucus with Republicans if he was forced to give up the gavel.

Obama tipped the scales in Lieberman's favor, one source said. The source essentially explained it like this: If the wrath was directed at Obama and got over it, shouldn't the Democratic caucus do the same?

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