Lieberman says leaving the Democratic Party is a "very remote possibility." But even that slight ambiguity — and all his cross-aisle flirtation — has proved more than enough to position Lieberman as the Senate's one-man tipping point. If he were to jump ship, the ensuing shift of power to Republicans would scramble the politics of the war in Iraq, undercut the Democrats' national agenda and potentially weaken their hopes for the White House in 2008. Those stakes are high enough to give Lieberman leverage with both parties no matter how slim the chance of his crossing the aisle. Which means Senate leaders aren't worrying only about whether Joe Lieberman will switch parties. They're wondering what, if anything, he plans to do with the power that comes from keeping that possibility alive.UPDATE: Lieberman's been reminded that he repeatedly assured voters that he'd stay with the Democrats, and maybe now he's back in his cage.
February 22, 2007
How delicious and apt: