Last year Joe Lieberman proved that he didn't need the Democratic party to win election in Connecticut. Since then, he's been more liberated (if possible) to say and do whatever his conscience tells him. Now he's endorsed the re-election of Republican colleague Susan Collins, in what is sure to be a heavily targeted race:
Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman said he is endorsing Sen. Susan Collins in her 2008 re-election bid and will campaign on her behalf.
Lieberman, a former Democrat turned independent, is returning the favor to Collins, a Republican who supported and campaigned for him in his 2006 election in Connecticut. Although Lieberman is an independent, he continues to caucus with Democrats.
Lieberman's announcement comes amid speculation on who will challenge Collins for the Senate seat in the 2008 election. Democratic Rep. Tom Allen has signaled that he might run for the seat, but has not announced he will do so.
Lieberman told the National Journal's "CongressDaily" on Thursday that he is ready to support Collins even though he doesn't know who the Democratic nominee will be. He said his political action committee has contributed $5,000 toward Collins' campaign.
I wonder how long Senator Lieberman can demonstrate such 'independence' before there is pressure on his Senate colleagues to kick him out of the caucus. Under Senate rules, Republicans cannot force a reorganization that would make Mitch McConnell Majority Leader, so expelling Lieberman might not even cost them their committee chairmanships.
Also see Hotline on Call.