Mark Levin on Lieberman: 'He was the last moderate…'

 March 28, 2024

The United States has lost one of its most dedicated public servants, Joe Lieberman, at the age of 82. Joe Lieberman, a figure celebrated for his bipartisan efforts and historical vice-presidential candidacy, passed away due to complications following a fall.

Conservative commentator Mark Levin remarked on X that Lieberman was the "last moderate" upon his death on Wednesday.

Born on February 24, 1942, in Stamford, Connecticut, Lieberman's journey in public service commenced after graduating from Yale Law School. His early career saw him serve as Connecticut's attorney general, setting the stage for a lifetime of dedication to public service. Lieberman's national political prominence began with his election to the U.S. Senate in 1988, where he unseated Lowell Weicker, signaling a new era of bipartisan and moderate politics.

Lieberman's 24 years in the Senate were marked by a commitment to bipartisanship and a moderate stance on various issues. His approach to governance was evident in his collaboration with members across the aisle, particularly on foreign policy and national security matters. This commitment to cooperation was further highlighted when he became the first Jewish American to run for vice president on a major party ticket in 2000 alongside Al Gore, a nomination that challenged and changed perceptions of Jewish candidates in American politics.

A Career Defined by Bipartisanship and Principle

In the 2000 election, despite the Gore-Lieberman ticket's narrow loss, Lieberman's vice-presidential run left an indelible mark on the political landscape. His candidacy was not just a personal milestone but also a symbol of America's evolving political inclusivity. Following this, Lieberman sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, although his bid was unsuccessful. However, his influence within the political sphere only continued to grow, particularly through his foreign policy initiatives.

Lieberman's tenure in the Senate was notably marked by his hawkish stance on foreign policy, contributing significantly to the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security after the 9/11 attacks. His cooperative efforts with Republicans, especially on military policy in Iraq, demonstrated his prioritization of national security over party lines. This dedication to bipartisanship, however, led to challenges within his own party, resulting in his loss of the Democratic Senate nomination in 2006. Despite this setback, Lieberman was reelected as an independent, affirming his commitment to his principles and the constituents of Connecticut.

Throughout his career, Lieberman collaborated with senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham on various international issues, underscoring his belief in the importance of bipartisan governance. McCain, who had considered Lieberman as a vice-presidential running mate in 2008, later expressed that such a ticket would have symbolized a genuine effort to unite the country.

A Legacy of Service and Unity

After retiring from the Senate in 2012, Lieberman continued to influence American politics through his association with the American Enterprise Institute and his support for specific policies of Donald Trump, such as the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. His later involvement with No Labels, an organization aimed at providing a third-party option to voters, reflected his enduring commitment to transcending partisan divides for the betterment of the country.

Lieberman's personal life, particularly his observance of the Sabbath, played a significant role in shaping his public and private personas. His dedication to his faith and principles was admired by colleagues and constituents alike. Hadassah Lieberman, his wife, highlighted how his Sabbath observance was a "centering factor" in his life, bringing balance to his demanding public service career.

At the time of his death, Lieberman was surrounded by his family, including his wife, Hadassah, showcasing the importance of family throughout his life. Tributes from former colleagues and friends, including Al Gore, who described Lieberman as "a man of deep integrity dedicated to serving his country," underscored the broad respect and admiration he commanded.

Remembering a Trailblazer in American Politics

The impact of Joe Lieberman's career extends beyond the legislation he helped pass or the positions he held. His pioneering vice-presidential candidacy and his steadfast commitment to bipartisanship and national security have left a lasting legacy. Authors of "Jews in American Politics" noted the significance of his candidacy, stating it changed the perception of what is possible for Jewish candidates in America.

John McCain's reflections on his relationship with Lieberman, describing their shared travels and bipartisan efforts, highlight the deep personal and professional bonds formed across party lines. Lieberman's own words on his election night victory in 1988 and his advocacy for progressive ideas and stronger national security reflect a career dedicated to public service and the betterment of the nation.

Lieberman's involvement in significant policy decisions, from the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security to advocating for the end of restrictions on gays in the U.S. military, demonstrates a commitment to forward-thinking and inclusive policies. His work with No Labels in his later years continued to emphasize his belief in the need for a political middle ground in an increasingly polarized environment.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Dedication and Bipartisanship

In conclusion, Joe Lieberman's life was a testament to dedicated public service, characterized by his bipartisan approach, his historic vice-presidential run, and his commitment to national security. From his early days in Connecticut politics to his influential role on the national stage, Lieberman navigated the complexities of governance with a principled commitment to what he believed was in the best interest of the country. His legacy, marked by significant legislative achievements and a steadfast dedication to bipartisan cooperation, will continue to inspire future generations of American politicians. Joe Lieberman's passing is a poignant reminder of the impact one individual can have on the nation's political landscape and the importance of service above self.

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