Joe Lieberman

On Thursday, Mitt Romney is officially announcing his run for the White House. TNR senior editors and bloggers Jonathan Chait and Jonathan Cohn have both written extensively about Romney’s looming presidential bid: Chait has been pessimistic, keeping a “Romney Death Watch’’ on his blog, while Cohn thinks Mitt is in pretty good political shape. Today, we’ve asked Chait and Cohn if we can take a peek at a head-to-head e-mail conversation they’re having about Romney’s chances.

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When Zvika Kreiger profiled Jon Huntsman two years ago, it not only assumed that Huntsman would not run for president in 2012, it built the case in compelling detail why he could not possibly win the nomination. You should read the entire compelling profile if you're interested at all in Huntsman, but here's the nub of it: Huntsman, who was elected in 2004 as a fairly conventional Republican campaigning on a platform of economic development, first began breaking with his party over environmental issues--for instance, signing the bold Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.

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Intervention

As Americans became transfixed by the violence and chaos in Libya, calls for U.S. military action arose across the political spectrum. Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, among others, advocated the creation of a no-fly zone and arming anti-government forces. Meanwhile, opponents of military action have warned that the use of force is almost never as easy, quick, or cheap as it first appears; Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and U.S. Central Command’s General James Mattis have noted that even establishing a no-fly zone would be difficult and dangerous.

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Rumor Debunked

Herzliya, Israel—For years, American neoconservatives have been accused of being lackeys for Israel, namely the Likud party. In 2008, Time’s Joe Klein wrote, “The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives—people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary—plumped for [the Iraq] war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S.

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Requiem for the DLC

After a good quarter-century run, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) has announced it will close its doors this month. Its original mission has long been accomplished: This small but famous—or, depending on your orientation, infamous—organization was founded in the wake of the 1984 Walter Mondale debacle by two House Democratic Caucus staffers named Al From and Will Marshall, who enlisted an assortment of elected officials with names like Clinton, Gore, Gephardt, Nunn, Babbitt, and Robb.

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It's not surprising that David Brooks would devote a column to praising Joe Lieberman as a paragon of principled moderation. What's surprising is the evidence he summons to make this case: After Barack Obama won the election, the hammer came down. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, told Lieberman that some Democrats wanted to strip him of his chairmanship of the homeland security committee. Lieberman, an independent, said if that happened then he might not be able to vote with the Democratic caucus.

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Holy Joe's retirement closes the book, more or less, on a great question: was the decision by liberals to go all in on the primary challenge in 2006 a good idea? I called it "a reasonable gamble by liberals gone bad" a while ago, but I think I was wrong.  Going back to the gamble...in 2006, Joe Lieberman was a very annoying Senator for many liberals, but he was not the most conservative Democrat in the Senate. He was, however, probably the Democratic Senator farthest to the right compared to his state, which made him a logical primary target, even if he wasn't so personally annoying.

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[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The New York Times' analysis of Joe Lieberman's career includes this comment from John Droney, a Connecticut Democrat described as a "confidante" of the senator: “After [the 2006 primary] happens, Joe’s very upset,” Mr. Droney said.

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Politicians who decide against running for office because they know they can't win almost never admit it. Unfortunately, they have to provide some reason, and that reason is often vague. Here's Joe Lieberman's today: The reason I have decided not to run for re-election in 2012 is best expressed in the wise words from Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.”  At the end of this term, I will have served 24 years in the U.S. Senate and 40 years in elective office.

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I have often found Senator Joe Lieberman’s positions infuriating. I didn’t agree certainly with his unstinting support for the invasion of Iraq, or his support for Israel’s Likud governments, or his sanctimonious denunciation of Bill Clinton’s sexual dalliances, or his endorsement of John McCain in 2008. Still, I rue Lieberman’s departure from the Senate—along with that of Kent Conrad, and the recent departures of Russ Feingold, Byron Dorgan, and Robert Bennett. Some of it has to do with sheer predictability and individuality.

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