Joseph Isadore Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the first Jewish man to run for Vice President of the United States as a member of a major political party in the United States and is a US Senator from Connecticut. He was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in 1988, scoring the nation's biggest political upset that year by a margin of just 10,000 votes after being backed by a coalition of conservative Democrats, allied with moderate Republicans who were upset with Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker's stance against President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. In 2000, while also running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third term, garnering 64 percent of the vote.
When control of the Senate switched from the Republicans to Democrats hands in June 2001, Lieberman became Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities over a broad range of government activities. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on AirLand Forces and sits of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.
Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for 10 years, including the last 6 as Majority Leader. From 1982 to 1988, he served as Connecticut's 21st Attorney General.
Lieberman is amongst the most conservative of prominent Democrat politicians, sometimes described as a "Republicrat" from those on the left of the party. He has been a strong supporter of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and his criticised the left of his party (including some of his opponents for the Democratic nomination for the 2004 presidential election) for their opposition to the war.
He is the author of five books: The Power Broker (1966), a biography of the late Democratic Party chairman, John M. Bailey; The Scorpion and the Tarantula (1970), a study of early efforts to control nuclear proliferation; The Legacy (1981), a history of Connecticut politics from 1930-1980; Child Support in America (1986), a guidebook on methods to increase the collection of child support from delinquent fathers, and In Praise of Public Life (2000), a spirited defense of public life that draws on personal experience.
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Lieberman has come under friendly fire during the 2004 election for his support of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Rival campaigns of cite that he is "Bush-Lite".
In December 2003, Al Gore, Lieberman's former running mate, endorsed Howard Dean. This caused a rift due to the fact that Gore did not call Lieberman to tell him of his endorsement. However, after the fact, it turned out Gore was to call all the candidates the night before, but the news was leaked to the media.
Lieberman has been criticized by some computer and video game players for his stance on video games. As a Senator he inspired the advent of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. The Entertainment Software Association is against governmental regulation of or restriction on video games. Therefore, the organization opposes Lieberman.
On the question that we're celebrating today, Howard Dean throughout this campaign has said he wasn't sure that Saddam really represented a threat to us. At one point he said, "I suppose the Iraqis are better off with Saddam Hussein gone." I would say this, and this is a choice the voters have to make in the primaries. If Howard Dean had his way, Saddam Hussein would be in power today, not in prison.
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