News recently broke that President Trump considers former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, 75, the frontrunner to succeed James Comey as FBI director. If the BDS-battling, yarmulke-wearing Lieberman actually gets the job, it would mark a watershed moment, since the FBI has never had a Jew in charge.
But should American Jews celebrate or fear Lieberman, given his rightward shift over the years?
Michael Powell, The New York Times: Lieberman Endorses McCain For President
“Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, not so long ago the Democratic nominee for vice president, has become chief endorser, campaign companion and all-around champion for his buddy Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican presidential standard-bearer.”
During the 2008 presidential election, only eight years after he ran with Al Gore on the Democratic ticket, Lieberman wholeheartedly backed Republican candidate John McCain over Barack Obama. McCain also debated selecting Lieberman as his running mate instead of Sarah Palin.
Patrick Healy and Jennifer Medina, The New York Times: Lieberman Explains His Stance On Iraq
Mr. Lieberman said that while he believed his vote to authorize the war in 2002 was correct, he now felt a “heavy responsibility” to end the war quickly. He said he wanted to withdraw American troops “as fast as anyone,” yet insisted that leaving Iraq now would be a “disaster” that could worsen the sectarian violence there. And while President Bush may share that view, he added, Connecticut voters were free not to.
Lieberman initially supported President George W. Bush’s foreign policies, including the invasion of Iraq.
Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart News: The End Of An Era: Sen. Joe Lieberman, The Last Moderate Democrat
In addition, as Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman, Lieberman reacted strongly two years ago to the Pentagon’s failure to mention “Islamist terrorism” in its report on the Fort Hood massacre.
When Lieberman left the Senate, he received a hearty send-off from Breitbart News. The “alt-right” publication applauded Lieberman’s hawkish national security policies.
J. Taylor Rushing and Alexander Bolton, The Hill: Sen. Reid Bows To Centrists, Will Drop Medicare Buy-in Provision To Pass Bill
“That’s just reality. You play the hand that’s dealt you.” Lieberman told reporters Monday that he still supports passing legislation — on his terms. “The important thing is: I’m for healthcare reform. And if we get together, we’re going to deliver a healthcare reform bill that will provide the ability to get health insurance to 30 million people who don’t have it now,”
In 2009, during the Obamacare debate, Senate Democrats came close to passing legislation that would have allowed Americans between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster, but he managed to wrangle just 59. Only Lieberman — known as the “Senator from Aetna” for his longtime support for Connecticut insurers — stood in the way of a law that arguably would have improved the health of many vulnerable Americans.
Correction: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this article stated that there had never been a Jewish CIA director. In fact, two previous directors, James Schlesinger and John Deutch, had Jewish lineage.