This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.
Democrats in the Senate made the right move by letting Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman keep his position as chairman of a powerful committee even though he campaigned hard for Republican presidential nominee John McCain. There could hardly have been a better way for Democrats to signal they really believe that "change" is more than just a catchy political slogan.
Sen. Lieberman, an independent, aligns himself with the Democratic caucus. That entitles him to perks that come with seniority and identification with the majority. Yet he not only backed the GOP ticket and gave a strong supporting speech at the Republican Convention, he also often attacked Democratic nominee Barack Obama from the stump. Democrats who saw this as a betrayal demanded that he be punished by removal as chairman.
Fortunately, the caucus voted 42-13 to approve a resolution condemning statements made by Sen. Lieberman during the campaign, but allowing him to keep his job as chairman. Credit goes primarily to President-elect Obama, who set the tone early on by saying that he thought Sen. Lieberman should keep his job, and Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, who was the guiding hand on the caucus vote.
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