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Lieberman to Take Manchin's Spot Leading No Labels

Lieberman to Take Manchin's Spot Leading No Labels

By Adam O'Neal - November 10, 2014

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman will replace Sen. Joe Manchin as an honorary co-chair of the anti-gridlock group No Labels, RCP has learned. 

“What No Labels stands for is what I try to stand for. Given the opportunity to help lead this movement, I really couldn’t say no,” Lieberman told RCP in an interview Monday morning. 

Lieberman, whose appointment will be formally announced later Monday, comes to the group following Manchin’s resignation as co-chair last week. The Democratic senator left No Labels shortly after RealClearPolitics reported in late October that the organization would stage get-out-the-vote operations for Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Colorado.

No Labels approached Lieberman about filling the spot after Manchin resigned. He decided to join after having conversations with his wife, No Labels staffers and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (another honorary co-chair).

“I knew what No Labels was trying to do was critically necessary, but I wasn’t sure that they would be able to make progress,” said the former four-term senator. “And I think you can say, looking back, that they have.” He cited the growing “problem solvers caucus” as proof of the group’s influence on Capitol Hill.

One of Lieberman’s early priorities will be helping the organization develop and promote its National Strategic Agenda, a broad set of goals and accompanying policy solutions that No Labels plans to publicize during the 2016 presidential race. 

Lieberman indicated that he will attend major No Labels events in New York, Washington, and presidential primary states. 

Huntsman said in a statement that the incoming co-chairman’s “vision of a new culture in Washington, D.C. -- where the politics of point-scoring is replaced by the politics of problem solving -- is a great fit with our organizational goals, and I look forward to collaborating with him as we develop our National Strategic Agenda.” 

Lieberman developed an independent streak over his political career: Although he was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, he supported Republican Sen. John McCain for president in 2008. Lieberman ended his Senate career as an independent after losing the 2006 Democratic primary in Connecticut and successfully running for re-election without a party. 

Since leaving the Senate in 2013, Lieberman has become co-chair of the American Enterprise Institute’s American Internationalism Project, which is aimed at fostering bipartisan consensus around internationalist goals. He has also taught at Yeshiva University and practiced law in New York.

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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