As he retires, Lieberman quotes Ecclesiastes, ‘to everything a season’

In a prepared text, U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman quotes scripture as he explains a decision not to seek re-electon to a fifth term in 2012.

“The reason I have decided not to run for re-election in 2012 is best expressed in the wise words of Ecclesiastes: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.’ At the end of this term, I will have served 24 years in the U.S. Senate and 40 years in elective office. For me, it is time for another season and another purpose under Heaven.”

Lieberman is scheduled to formally announce his retirement at 12:30 p.m. in a crowded conference room at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, the city where he grew up. His staff says he will not take questions from reporters after delivering his statement, but will conduct a press conference call Thursday.

“I do not intend today to be the end of my career in public service,” he says in his speeech. ” Having made this decision not to run enables me to spend the next two years in the Senate devoting the full measure of my energy and attenton to getting things done for Connecticut and for our country.”

“I will keep doing everything in my power to build strong bridges across party lines – to keep our country safe, to win the wars we are in, and to make sure America’s leadership on the world stage is principled and strong. I will keep doing everything I can to keep our economy growing and get our national debt under control, to combate climate change, to end our dependency on foreign oil , to reform our immigration laws.”

He is to acknowledge the difficulty of his political situation, while insisting that was not the reason to retire.

“I know that some people have said that if I ran for re-election, it would be a difficult campaign for me. But what else is new? It probably would be. I have run many difficult campaigns before, from my first one in 1970.”

“I’ve never shied from a good fight and I never will.”