Obama, Kos and others react to Lieberman

“I want to congratulate Senator Joe Lieberman on an extraordinary career in public service. Joe has spent four decades fighting for what he believes in on behalf of the people of Connecticut. From cracking down on polluters and deadbeat dads as Connecticut’s Attorney General to his years of work defending our nation’s security on the Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees to his relentless efforts in recent months to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, his work has touched countless lives in his home state and across the country. Even if we don’t always see eye to eye, I always know Joe is coming from a place of principle. I know he will carry with him that integrity and dedication to his remaining work in the Senate and to whatever he chooses to do next.”

— President Barack Obama


“It’s the first thing he’s done in 10 years to make Connecticut Democrats completely happy.”

— Bill Curry, former state comptroller, as quoted in The New York Times.


“Joe Lieberman has been a steadfast and ardent advocate on behalf of the people of Connecticut throughout his career, and I know he’ll continue to help lead the delegation over the next two years. When you’ve worked in politics for as long as Joe and I have, you very rarely come across the kind of person who is never afraid to tell you where he stands – no matter the polling or the popularity of the issue at hand. I have never had to wonder where Joe stands or in what he believes. His body of work across his time in public service is to be commended, and in his retirement, Connecticut is losing an effective voice on its behalf.”

— Gov. Dannel P. Malloy


“He couldn’t leave the Senate fast enough as far as I’m concerned. He’s not only driving Democrats nuts down here, but he’s become a right-wing extremist on everything except the environment and gay rights.”

— Ralph Nader, as quoted in The Hartford Courant


“For 22 years, Joe Lieberman has been an independent voice for the people of Connecticut and has served in the Senate with distinction. Democrats will win this seat next November. Connecticut is one of the few states in the country that withstood fierce Republican headwinds last cycle. With President Obama at the top of the ticket and a galvanized Democratic electorate, this seat will stay Democratic in 2012.”

— Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee


“It’s amazing how quickly he’s moved into the realm of irrelevancy. Yeah, he’ll be a thorn on the side of Senate Dems for the next year and a half, and yes, he’ll be obnoxious on Fox News after his term is up. But I just don’t care anymore.”

— Markos Moulitsas, founder the Daily Kos


“This is a great loss for the state and the nation, not only in service and experience, but in terms of tone, temperament and humor. Senator Lieberman has always kept the best interests of Americans in his mind and in his heart. Coming on the heels of the retirement of Senator Chris Dodd, today’s announcement will leave a huge experience gap in both Connecticut and the U.S. Senate.”

— U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District


“My corner of Connecticut was covered in ice today, until news broke of Sen. Joe Lieberman’s impending retirement. Magically, a warm glow spread. It was a delicious feeling: the end of the reign of the politician I despise most.”

— Emily Bazelon, writing in Slate in a piece titled, ‘Good riddance, Joe Lieberman’


“To Sen. Lieberman, it was always about his country. Sen. Lieberman also demonstrated a sense of decency and generosity to others, regardless of party or position. Sen. Lieberman was a proud liberal and he supported many policies that Republicans strongly oppose – cap and trade, Obamacare and tax policy. But you always knew where Sen. Lieberman stood and he tried to be bipartisan in the process.”

— Chris Healy, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party


“He will leave behind a long list of achievements, from helping to consolidate the nation’s intelligence gathering services in a way that appears to make it more difficult to gather intelligence, to threatening to filibuster the health care reform act until it had been watered down to suit his own high principles. You will find it all in my upcoming book, ‘Everything Bad Is Joe Lieberman’s Fault.’ “

— Gail Collins, writing in The New York Times


“Joe Lieberman has dedicated a lifetime to public service and I thank him for his service to our state and country. His 40-year body of work is replete with Democratic successes, the most recent of which was his leadership on the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” As Democratic Party Chairwoman, I wish him the best in his future endeavors, and as a lifelong Democratic activist, I thank him for all that he has done for our state and our country.”

— Nancy DiNardo, chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party


“I wish Senator Joe Lieberman and his family all the best. Although we disagreed on certain issues, I have deep respect for his decades of public service.”

— Susan Bysiewicz, the first declared Democratic candidate to succeed him


“Senator Lieberman deserves our respect and appreciation for bringing a strong, independent and principled voice to Washington. While running for the U.S. Senate in 2012 remains an option for me, I will spend the next few months focusing on how I can best serve the people of Connecticut.”

— Linda McMahon, a potential Republican candidate to succeed him