Lieberman's 'Independent' Expenditures
Okay, maybe that question isn't too difficult. Of course, it's Joe Lieberman (Conn.), the self-described Independent Democrat who crossed the aisle (or was he already sort of in the aisle?) to endorse McCain's presidential campaign last month.
Lieberman followed up with a column in the New York Post this week touting McCain's candidacy. And Lieberman isn't just penning op-eds; his Reuniting Our Country PAC donated $5,000 to McCain's campaign in December.
Lieberman's contribution to Clinton is of less recent vintage. Back in September 2000, his Senate reelection committee ponied up $2,000 for New York Senate 2000, a joint fundraising committee run by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for Clinton's first Senate campaign.
Back then, of course, Clinton was still first lady and trying to convince New Yorkers she was one of them, while Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate and none of those three people hated each other yet (at least not publicly).
Lieberman's party-straddling has been well-documented ever since he lost the Connecticut Democratic primary in 2006 to Ned Lamont, and then went on to be reelected anyway as an independent. Since then, his campaign contributions have grown more unconventional, and not just at the presidential level.
For example, ROC PAC gave $10,000 last year to the reelection campaign of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), his good friend on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
But Lieberman's PAC has also kicked in for a few Democratic campaigns, and it sent $15,000 over to the DSCC last year ... the same DSCC that could end up using some of that money trying mightily to unseat Susan Collins, whose race Democrats are targeting as a pick-up opportunity.
Lieberman has at least been monogamous on the presidential front this year, but it will be interesting to see how hard he will campaign for McCain if the Arizonan ends up as the GOP nominee. With their two-vote margin in the Senate, Democrats can't afford to have Lieberman cross all the way over and caucus with Republicans. So they'll probably have to bite their tongues while he -- and his checkbook -- try to keep the White House (and a few Senate seats) in GOP hands.
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