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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Norton: Lieberman's exit a loss for the District

By Ben Pershing

With Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) announcing Wednesday that he will not run for reelection in 2012, plenty of members of his old party and liberal commentators are happy to see the Democrat-turned-Independent go.

But at least one Democrat is sorry to hear the Connecticut lawmaker's decision -- Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.).

Lieberman may have left the party after losing the Senate Democratic primary in 2006 -- he was reelected anyway as an Independent -- and he may have backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential race. But he was also the Senate's leading advocate for D.C. voting rights, and that earned him very warm words from Norton.

"The people of the District of Columbia have no senator of their own, but they have had in Senator Joe Lieberman an unfailing champion of their rights," Norton said in a press release. "Senator Lieberman has been the lead sponsor of virtually every bill for our rights since I have been a Member of the House. As conditions allowed, he was always there for this city, first for statehood, then for seats in the House and Senate, and finally for the House vote. Beyond sponsorship, Joe Lieberman has been our chief advocate and strategist in the Senate."

Lieberman helped lead the fight for voting rights in the last Congress, when a measure granting the District a full House member actually passed the Senate with 61 votes before stalling in the House. "It's time to right this injustice, just as this Congress historically has righted so many other voting injustices that stretched back to the very founding of our nation," Lieberman said on the Senate floor in 2009.

Norton and Lieberman didn't always see eye to eye on local matters. Lieberman was also a strong advocate for the District's Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides money for low-income students to attend private schools, while Norton has supported allowing the program to end. Obviously, they also disagreed on some national issues: Norton backed Obama in 2008, as did 92 percent of her fellow District residents, and Lieberman was also a strong supporter of the war in Iraq that Norton opposed.

Yet his voting rights advocacy was enough for Norton to say Wednesday that Lieberman "will have the abiding appreciation of the citizens of the nation's capital, who will never forget his principled determination to help deliver them from second-class citizenship in their own country."

By Ben Pershing  | January 19, 2011; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  Ben Pershing, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Voting Rights  
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Comments

Thank G*D we will be rid of that two or three face Lieberman. Tomorrow would not be to soon for his resigning. Yesterday would have been better, but this Jack**S will suck the last bit of blood out of the people!

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 19, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

In 2012 he will have company - Obama and if we are lucky Palin , whats her name?

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 19, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans will be the only ones to miss him, which says a lot about his claim to be a "Democrat".

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 19, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Which District? West Bank Settlement, I presume. Or maybe Big Insurance District of course.

If Lieberman was just half as loyal to DC as he was to Israel perhaps, DC could have been a full fledged State by 10 years ago.

Lieberman is a conniving weasel and a shameless traitor.

Posted by: dressypink | January 19, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If DC voting rights had ever hung in the balance so that only Joe Lieberman's vote spelled the difference between victory and defeat, I guarantee you that Eleanor Holmes Norton would be singing the blues with the rest of us, and just as glad to see him go after one more betrayal.

Posted by: Hawthorn | January 19, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Its appalling and disgraceful that a man that contributed so much to Bush domestic spying, torture and illegal war policies has to receive a glowing saintly article like the piece above. Shame on this writer.

In Lieberman madness to protect Israel, he and the crazy Bush policies he supported have not made US or Israel safer.

Posted by: dressypink | January 19, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Public Option Health Care and Speaking At GOP 2008 convention, are two most un-pardonable sins of Joe Lieberman.

No Senator has ever collected more bribe money from Insurance companies than Joseph Lieberman. Bar None.

Maybe he will be the CEO of Hartford Insurance without shame.

Posted by: dressypink | January 19, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman stands for absolutely NOTHING.
He has no representation for any Americans.
A total back stabbing turn coat self absorbed politician who has done nothing for anyone in his entire career.
What a blessing that this kind of criminal is leaving office.

Posted by: dylan915 | January 19, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Note to Eleanor: With the GOP, thankfully, in control of the House, your influence/significance/purpose of being in the House is nill. With this being the case, what do you do to deserve your pay check??

Posted by: rpcv84 | January 19, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Eleanor Holmes-Norton and many of her colleagues are over 70 years old. They too need to retire. There should be a retirement age for Congresspeople. Senator Robert Bryd worked until his death at the age of 100. This was ridiculous. The man was too old to be working.

Posted by: JonBonJovi | January 20, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Siya in the funny papers Joe!

Posted by: UnknownHenson | January 20, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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