WASHINGTON (AP/CBSNewYork) — Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman has decided to retire in 2012, according to Democratic officials, who requested anonymity.
Those officials said the 68-year-old independent would not seek a fifth term in 2012.
WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports University of Connecticut Professor Ken Dautrich is among those who do not believe Lieberman could survive another election to office.
“There have been lots of polls done, internal and public, that show that he would have a very hard time successfully winning back a seat that he’s held for a long time. He probably doesn’t want to go through the embarrassment of a campaign where he’s far behind,” said Dautrich.
Lieberman won his fourth term in 2006 as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to businessman Ned Lamont, but he continues to side mostly with Senate Democrats.
Connecticut Democrats have been upset with Lieberman since his appearance at the Republican National Convention in 2008 and his endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.
They’ve also criticized his strong support of the Iraq war, although they were pleased when he led the fight to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
“I say most people here in Connecticut should appreciate what a decent man Joe Lieberman is. I don’t agree with a lot of his politics, but he certainly put his country first many times, and I know he’ll try and continue to do a good job for the remainder of his term,” said Chris Healy, Chair of Republican Party in Connecticut.
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