Thursday, December 08, 2005

N.Y. Daily News: Lieberman Could Replace Rumsfeld

Lieberman Considered for U.N. Job Last Year, Report Says

Suddenly, it's becoming more than just a rumor:

White House officials are telling associates they expect Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to quit early next year, once a new government is formed in Iraq, sources said yesterday.

Rumsfeld's deputy, Gordon England, is the inside contender to replace him, but there's also speculation that Sen. Joe Lieberman - a Democrat who ran against Bush-Cheney in the 2000 election - might become top guy at the Pentagon.

That's not as farfetched as it might first appear.

The Daily News has learned that the White House considered Lieberman for the UN ambassador's job last year before giving the post to John Bolton, a Bush adviser said.

"[Bush] thought about it for a week or so and finally said no," the adviser recalled. (DeFrank)

ConnecticutBlog already has this story up, as well as a report that Lieberman had breakfast over at the Pentagon this morning.

If this story is true, and if Lieberman is nominated and accepts (we have to believe he'd be easily confirmed by his fellow senators), then next year's U.S. Senate race suddenly becomes very interesting to watch. Blumenthal would be running the race of his life against a Rell-appointed Republican incumbent.

It would be a bizarre way for Lieberman to end his career... yet considering how he got to the Senate in the first place (that is, on the back of William F. Buckley), an oddly fitting one.

Source

DeFrank, Thomas and Kenneth Bazinet. "Rummy exit rumored; Lieberman eyed for job." New York Daily News 8 December, 2005.

39 comments:

Mr. Reality said...

Are you sure Rell would appoint a Republican? At the rate she's going, she would probably appoint Dan Malloy!

Weicker Liker said...

This from Reuters.....Rummy says he is not going to retire

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the craftsman of U.S. Iraq war strategy and a magnet for criticism, said on Thursday he had no plans to retire from the post more than 2-1/2 years into the conflict.
"Those reports have been flying around since about four months after I assumed my post in 2001," Rumsfeld, 73, told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about a New York Post report that White House officials are telling associates they expect him to quit early next year.

"I have no plans to retire," added Rumsfeld, who has been criticized over the conduct of the Iraq and the treatment of detainees in U.S. military custody.

The New York Post reported that Gordon England, the No. 2 official at the Pentagon, was the "inside contender" to replace Rumsfeld, but that Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, also was a possibility.

In fact, the Defense Department said Rumsfeld held an early-morning meeting at the Pentagon on Thursday with Lieberman. The senator's views of the Iraq war, in contrast with many other Democrats, have been quoted approvingly in recent speeches by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld himself.

"He has breakfast with members of Congress all the time," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "Senator Lieberman just returned from Iraq and he had some interesting observations. And he's been very outspoken about what he's seen and the progress that he thinks is being made there."
Rumsfeld has been criticized for the conduct of the war, with some prominent Democrats including Massachusetts senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry demanding his resignation. Rumsfeld also has had frosty relations even with fellow Republicans in Congress.
A combative former collegiate wrestler and Navy fighter pilot, Rumsfeld has established himself as the most powerful Pentagon chief since Vietnam War era defense secretary Robert McNamara. He was the youngest man to hold the job when President Gerald Ford appointed him in 1975 and now, in his second stint in the post, is the oldest.

Rumsfeld said in February that he twice offered his resignation to Bush last year over the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, but both times was asked to stay in the job.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

Genghis, how is it more than just a rumor now? bc it was reported in the new york daily news? bc leiberman, who is on the armed services cmte, had breakfast at the pentagon? also, i know you have a love for weicker, but clearly it is inaccurate to say that leiberman won in 88 on the back of buckley. i dont think bickley was the one who missed the votes allowing for the sleeping bear ad. certainly, buckley played a role, but to suggest that the race was won on his back is not accurate.

ThemDems said...

Hey where is everyone today? I thought people would be talking about the historic campaign finance reform bill signing yesterday. What a day! I didn't think it would ever happen. Funny thing I thought some of you might find kind of cute...I talked to my friend in Wisconsin last night and when he answered the phone I said to him "Greetings from CONNECTICUT!!! Big deal you ask? Not when you've been saying CORRUPTICUT for the last 18 months!!! Congratulations to everyone who rolled up their sleeves (mostly Democrats I might add) who worked tirelessly to make this happen! Job well done!!!

Kerry Guy said...

Rell can always appoint herself, and give Kevin Sullivan his well deserved shot at the top. Or maybe she can tab her son, if the job comes with a Jet-Ski....There are no Republicans with the stature to be named, or without a tie to the past scandals. And I figured Lieberman was a better choice for the Supreme Court than the DoD - Still could happen if Alito gets shot down.

And Them Dems, it's nice to be living in the cleanest state in the union, for sure. Kudos to all responsible.

Anonymous said...

If Lieberman wanted the job im sure his good friends bill buckley,william bennett,sean hannity and others would go to bat for him....lets see how much support they give him if he has a challenger here for Senate that is credible, unforetunatelt for him...they can't vote in a democratic primary here....

Anonymous said...

Ghengis....blumenthal wouldnt be the only credible democrat interested..id bet there would be a primary.....secondly...absent some info its obvious Rell has never had an interest in a Washington DC career...my best guess is she appoints a moderate Republican in her tradition...thirdly..many democrats would give money to send Joe to Iraq permantely..

ctkeith said...

Anyone know Blumenthols position on Iraq or any other national issue?

I believe the fact that Dick didn't have the courage to take the fight to Joe himself is going to put Rosa as the #1 contender for the Senate seat should he vacate it.

Senate seats are taken not given as gifts.

Anonymous said...

ctkeith--

why do you think Rosa should get the Senate seat? you are only talking nonsense-- The AG didn't have the courage to take on JOE? And who did?

OK, Joe-haters- did we forget that Weicker was the blow hard that gave us the state income tax? And the state has done so well since then....

ctkeith said...

Anon 5:12,

Lowell instituted the income tax because my party,the Dem party,lied their asses off about the amount of the states dept.

O'Neil cooked the books, and when Weicker was elected and had an honest accounting of the books done the states dept was over 3 times the figure O'Neil was admitting.

I'm also old enough to remember that it was Weicker who was the only Republican on the Senate Select Committee investigating Watergate to vote to give the investigators subpoena power.Since select committees are made of even numbers of Ds and Rs it is that vote that allowed this country to find out just how crooked Nixon was.Country before party is something I appreciate.

I think Nixon was an angel compared to the current occupant of the Whitehouse and it going to take brave men like Weicker to expose just how low these people went in our name.

As far as Rosa I know her Record and it's one of a true fighting Dem and thats something this country needs now more than ever.

Anonymous said...

the more Rosa fights , the more her hubby makes in consulting fees from other Democrats. Could someone point to what she has accomplished over 15 years in Congress?

Being the flip side of Ann Coulter should not be a reason to promote someone to the U.S. Senate

Chris MC said...

I have no beef with Rosa. She represents her constituency (New Haven dominates the 3rd) well. Having been acquainted with her since she was Dodd's right hand, there is no fault to be found, in my view.

That said, with the exception of the 2nd where she could be competitive and the liberal precincts in the 1st like maybe McCluskey's and Fleischman's districts for example; maybe Meriden and Bridgeport - pick either one, not both; Bristol I doubt; I doubt she could beat Shays or Johnson outside of her District.

She'd get creamed in the burbs and unless the Italians get ethnic about it, blown out in Waterbury and Middletown. Forget Stamford, Danbury, Torrington, New Britain.

If Blumenthal wants the job (and I'd about bet my car he does), he'll take it. And he'll have more than enough support within the state party and otherwise.

He'd demolish her in a primary fight. He's here, she needs to be in DC. He's perpetually on the ground all over the state, she's probably got 20% name recognition statewide if you include New Haven. He could spend her into the ground without breaking a sweat. And on and on.

And I doubt we'd have to wait long for him to make a decision about this one, so you can save that line of argument.

Anonymous said...

Kevin O'Connor was mentioned as an R who could get the nod were Rell to appoint someone to replace Joe...

Chris MC said...

BTW

The Daily News has learned that the White House considered Lieberman for the UN ambassador's job last year before giving the post to John Bolton, a Bush adviser said.

No kidding? I think the Bargain News had that one when it was going on last year. Great scoop guys.

Weicker Liker said...

Kevin O'Connor is nothing but an empty suit. He is a wooden indian. Has ZERO people skills.

Weicker Liker said...

Donald Rumsfield also told Jim Lehrer tonight on PBS that he is not leaving or retiring.

MikeCT said...

Lieberman met with Rumsfeld this morning. Both refused to divulge details about their discussion.

Moderate Repub said...

If this happens, Rell appoints Johnson-- who creams anyone but Blumenthal (which would be a competitive race). Fifth District then becomes a jumpball.

O'Connor is a possibility as well--- but look for him as Lt. Gov, not as Senator.

ctblogger said...

I'd bet the house on Rummy leaving next year. The only person who has a bigger dark cloud over his head when it comes to this war is Cheney and Bush can't afford to get rid of him at this point (unless the CIA case gets uglier) but he could easily drop Rummy after the Iraq elections on Dec 15th (many senators believe that the major missteps in this war were caused by Rumsfeld and I don't think you'll see many Republicans upset if he resigns).

The Daily News is not the only one reporting about Lieberman rumor as this move has been long rumored in the D.C press core and the talk of all the cable networks.

Believe me, Lieberman wouldn't just come out and support the President regarding a war which is becomming more unpopular by the minute (especially among his fellow Democrats).

While I agree that this is just a rumor, it seems very possible.

Now, if Lieberman is offered and accepts the position, 2006 will be a very interesting year indeed. Rell would obviously appoint a Republican but the question is who would it be? Chris Shays? Rob Simmons? (they would give up their Congressman post in a heartbeat to become senator).

Whoever it is, it would have to be a moderate (the last Republican senator from CT was Weicker and he was anything but a hard core conservative) or else the Democrats will definately win in 2006 and be rid of Lieberman in the process.

Wow, it's great to be a political junkie in Connecticut right now.

Chris MC said...

ctblogger is right. Rumsfeld declares victory and splits. Maybe he can take over the IMF, since Wolfowitz already got the World Bank, God help us.

Well, Johnson has seniority, and would be the first woman Senator from Connecticut. And we are about to eject her from her seat over here. Arguably - no definitely - the best shot the R's have. Wanna see a $60MM Senate race in CT?

Blumenthal crushes her in the general nevertheless.

Given that, Shays has the next best shot, and Diane Farrell is breathing down his neck. Maybe he chucks it so he can be Senator for like six months before Dick retires him?

Nah.

Giving it to Simmons is six in one half a dozen in the other, since he's history next fall, and nobody knows him nor will want to outside of his own backyard. Rell does that if she can't do any better, which probably she can't.

BTW, mod rep, Larson beats Johnson, too, as well as Shays and Simmons. But Blumenthal is our candidate.

Johnson can't relish a fight with Blumenthal, but let's say for the sake of discussion she takes it. Then who will the Republicans get behind for the open seat?

Capiello v Boughton, methinks.

Nobody else in the District has been around long enough to trump them, with the obvious exception of Rohraback, who literally has Republican blood running in his veins, but I've never heard about him wanting it.

DeLuca?...nah.

Anne Ruwet's gonna be too busy helping her son find the men's room in Torrington.

Too soon for Williams, although they've got big plans for him, I imagine.

Noujaim & D'Amelio, nope. Herlihy, Miner, Piscopo, Witkos - fuggetaboutit.

Waaaaaaait a minute. Hey, can convicted felons run for Congress?
Just kidding.

DeanFan84 said...

With the Radical Right running Rampant in DC, it's really hard to believe any New England state would add another Senate seat to Cheney/Frist/Bush & Co.

I love the fact that CT Republicans think Nancy Johnson could hold a Senate seat against a Larson or DeLauro. And I'd hope that R's would spend a lot of money pursuing that pipe dream.

The most favorable Republican to hold the seat would be Chris Shays. And he's already said he's wouldn't accept a Rell appointment, b/c he doesn't think he could hold it. (When Diane Farrell-D, almost beat him in FFLD County, that should tell you something.)

mod.dem.like.jfk said...

Why would a senior member on the House Ways and Means Committee want to give up her seat to be a junior Senator? Makes no sense for her...nor the Republicans party in CT. There is a reason why Nancy Johnson is a fundraising machine folks.

Either way, apparently they are ending the speculation, Lieberman had a quote on WTIC around 5 tonight that the only job he wants is "the Senate seat he is running for again in 06." (or something along those lines). You may not agree with the guy, but a liar he is not.

ctblogger said...

Being a Danbury native, I can tell you that Boughton tackling the immigration issue has increased his political capital among Republicans and I would bet the house that he makes a run for the 5th in 2008 (unless Johnson is offered Lieberman's senate seat which I think is unlikely).

Boughton will be the poster boy for the Republicans in the future. A Republican mayor in a mostly Democratic city for three terms is pretty impressive and you can bet he will use that as political capital in the future (which might be sooner that you think if Lieberman gets the DOD post).

Again, it's great to be a political junkie in CT right now...stay tuned.

Weicker Liker said...

I wouldn't characterize John Larson as a moderate rep.

He is QUITE liberal.

Anonymous said...

amidst all the insults some lefties do provide some unintended wisdom.

1. The GOP does have a pretty good bench in the 5th District. You guys left off Brian Flaherty (who would ditch selling bottled water to go to Congress) and Sam Caligiuri.

2. A Congressperson is unlikely as the GOP in DC feels its majority is tenuous and wouldn't want to risk seats.

3. Nancy Johnson might be Chair of Ways and Means next session. This would make it dumb for her to trade that for a senate seat on the backbench. It also begs the question of why CT should pitch this economic resource for a nomadic Generation Y Dem who will have zero impact in DC for years.
4. Look for a Bloomberg clone. A gazillionaire with no visible ideological baggage

MikeCT said...

Lieberman is rounding up the cavalry from his own party to defend him - the Republican Party, that is. "Joe Lieberman is one my heroes," says Joementum groupie Chris Shays.

Anonymous said...

Lieberman is like McCain is the true believers can't stand that he has bipartisan support

Moderate Rep said...

Gang,

Excellent point on Johnson and the Ways and Means Committee...I stand corrected. She would probably stay put.

That probably means O'Connor, as Shays and Simmons seats are vunerable if they leave them. (Sorry Dems, Simmons is air-tight safe this year because of the sub base. Shays will have a tough race, but win again unless Diane gets a real strategy instead of linking Shays to DeLay).

Don't assume Blumenthal wins in a landslide. He hasn't had a real opponent for AG, um, ever. A moderate R backed by lots of $$ would be a competitive race.

But, as many people said, Joe probably isn't going to accept anyway.

Just fun to play out the scenarios!

Anonymous said...

The best thing that could happen to Shays is for Rell to make him Senator. There are lots of Republicans in the Foourth who could beat Diaaaaaaane without the war issue. Rummy was always leaving in early 2006 but it's just hard to fathom Lieberman taking his palce. This rumor sounds like Kerry saying he wanted McCain to be his veep

ThemDems said...

I haven't heard the name Bill Curry in quite some time. What is he up to these days? Considering that he was right about the whole Rowland debacle does anyone think he may have it in him to make a comeback of some sort? I think he has a lot of credibilty on ethics since he was the first (and only for awhile) public official to point out the Rowland flaws. Also, the guy is a policy wonk. Unlike the other times he ran, I think people in Connecticut have greater respect for him now. Just a thought.

MikeCT said...

Bill Curry may have his heart in the right place and was certainly prescient about Rowland. But he was unable to articulate a compelling, coherent, inspiring, and positive message. He was one of the most boring public speakers I've ever seen. He had his chance - he should move on and apparently has.

Proud Moderate Dem said...

this is all fun speculation, however, i don't really put much faith in new york daily news sources.but if johnson was appointed, let's not forget a scenario where jim maloney makes an attempt to take back his seat....

Chris MC said...

1. The GOP does have a pretty good bench in the 5th District.
Lefties? Unintended?

You guys left off Brian Flaherty (who would ditch selling bottled water to go to Congress) and Sam Caligiuri.
Brian who? Sam who?

2. A Congressperson is unlikely as the GOP in DC feels its majority is tenuous and wouldn't want to risk seats.
Agreed, however the chance to pick up a seat from Connecticut in the Senate, if the odds were better of holding it... But under the circumstances you're right.

3. Nancy Johnson might be Chair of Ways and Means next session. This would make it dumb for her to trade that for a senate seat on the backbench.
Probably won't get the gavel, but she is definitely after the job, and in any case a safe second on W&M is better than a long shot at being the junior Sen from Connecticut.

It also begs the question of why CT should pitch this economic resource for a nomadic Generation Y Dem who will have zero impact in DC for years.
Two problems with this point of view. First, while as a practical matter it seems to make sense, she is also directly responsible for the so-called "Medicare Modernization" Act of 2003. This has been deleterious to the state of Connecticut and to many individuals in CT05. MMA03 represents an ideological point of view (see Johnson forced out of HMO and Pharma closet!) and impliments a program to which a majority of people in CT05 are opposed. And there are other glaring examples - this is just the largest.
Second, the tablescraps that come into CT05 and the State serve only as window dressing. They provide fodder for her targeted approach to self-promotion that consists of these small "Congresswoman Pothole" things (Al D'Amato was the master of this) and her numerous going-nowhere-and-ain't-gonna-matter-if-it -does legislative initiatives that are the fodder for her press releases, local meetings, and taxpayer funded website and direct mail campaign.

In plain language, she sucks, and we should get rid of her because she sucks.

4. Look for a Bloomberg clone. A gazillionaire with no visible ideological baggage.
Excellent point. Snafu is if an R name brand (see my earlier post) really wants the job.

Maybe, to riff off your idea, Rell will send the redoubtable Jack Orchulli to take the Senate seat. After all, he did put his marker down - in a silly seat-warming kina way - last year against Dodd. He's almost a gazillionaire.

Anonymous said...

Last poster:

Chris who..the guy who's moved into the district three weeks ago?...v. a former Mayor of the largest district city(Caligiuri) and a former legislative leader(Flaherty)?

Murphy and co. seem to think they can whine about Medicare and drug companies to victory. I've yet to see an election where anyone won on that issue.

Besides, the district was a dead heat between Bush and Kerry. It's not like a moderate R is a bad fit

Chris MC said...

A reasonable response.

Nevertheless, the point is that she's not a moderate, she just plays one on her website and local PR gigs. Meanwhile, back in WDC....
(I posted to the new "Open Forum" thread a bit more on this subject)

As to Caliguri - he was Mayor of Waterbury? Sheesh, I really haven't heard of him. Flaherty neither.

In a race for an open seat, my money's on any of the the three likely D's they would face. The Fifth, as Johnson's misrepresentation of herself attests, is a moderate D district, not a Bush/Cheney Inc. district.

And for the record, I barely know Murphy, haven't even spoken to him in about six months.

And I have nothing to do with either D's campaign.

Aldon Hynes said...

For a fun look at this, I would encourage you to read Colin McEnroe's blog post about this topic.

Quinn said...

I have yet to see any evidence that Nancy Johnson will lose a race in the 5th District, ever. Have you seen the election results from the last go around?

And, if Lieberman is appointed, which I find eminently likely if Rummy retires, there stands a good chance that Nancy Johnson will be appointed. What other CT Republicans are prominent enough? Ann Coulter? John Rowland for Senate, anyone?

No. And Shays and Simmons cannot leave their seats to almost certain doom. A Republican in the 5th has a fighting chance.

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