Following his announcement that he would not run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, Joseph Lieberman talked about his decision and his career with NPR’s Liz Halloran. Some highlights:

  • On losing the Democratic primary in 2006, then winning re-election an independent: “Losing the primary in 2006 was painful. Winning the general election in 2006 was probably the most gratifying, satisfying day, night of my political career.”
  • On his leadership in repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which he describes as one of his major legislative successes: “I got a kick out of the fact that there has been a certain amount of speculation here that I had taken this leadership role for the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell so I could be better suited to run for re-election. I knew at that time that I had decided not to run for re-election.”
  • On his biggest legislative disappointment: “One of the biggest disappointments I’ve had was the failure of Congress and the federal government to take a leadership role in fighting climate change, which I think is a real and present danger to the United States and the entire world.”
  • On Democrats’ reaction to his appearance on behalf of John McCain at the 2008 GOP convention: “I totally understand why Democrats were unhappy that I was at the Republican convention speaking for Sen. McCain. Look, they were unhappy that I [had previously] endorsed John McCain, so it was just a deeper level of unhappiness.”
  • On McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008: “Look, it was John’s choice. Whatever feelings I had or have, I’m going to keep, out of respect to my friend John McCain, within myself.”

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