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Obama is Smart to Keep the Traitor

November 12, 2008

With Harry Reid ready to give Joe Lieberman the boot and take away his Homeland Security chairmanship, President-elect Obama sends signals that maybe it’s okay if Joe sticks around awhile. Lieberman, who stood with a stupid grin on his face behind McCain at campaign events and attacked Obama in the media, would ordinarily be disciplined by a strong party leadership and I would be all for it.

I’m not surprised that Obama is not pressed to kick Lieberman out. It isn’t because of the “No-Drama” stuff, it’s because if it becomes clear that not but for Obama Lieberman would be out, Lieberman becomes beholden to Obama, not to Reid, not to Senate Democrats. Yes, it is very Ghandi-an, King-like, quite New Testament to turn that cheek away. It is also a smart play. Lieberman set himself up as a VIP by going Independent, thinking himself a potential tie-breaker in close votes in the Senate Chamber. Should Reid and the Senate Democrats turn to thinking as Obama does, and Reid has signaled as much, Lieberman would play a much different role — Obama’s own personal overseer.

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