Dean: Keeping Lieberman As Chairman Is Shrewd Move
DNC Chair Howard Dean welcomed the decision to keep Senator Joseph Lieberman as head of the Homeland Security Committee and, consequently, in the Democratic Caucus, saying the move was pragmatic, magnanimous and politically shrewd.
Speaking to the Huffington Post just moments after it was announced that Democrats in the Senate had voted to keep Lieberman as committee chair, Dean said the party had done the right thing by not giving into urges for retribution.
"You know, the desire of revenge is great, of course. But the truth is public policy doesn't run on revenge very well," he said. "And when you see the trouble this country has gotten into in terms of foreign policy, where Bush basically ran a foreign policy based on petulance because he was mad at, for example, Mexico, for abstaining on the Security Council when the Iraq War came up, if you have to actually run the country, it is best not to do it based on feeling of anger towards your enemies."
The Democratic Party chair, who will be leaving his post this January, went on to applaud Barack Obama for putting hurt feelings aside and welcoming the Connecticut Independent back into the party fray. He also predicted that the caucus would benefit from keeping Lieberman, who spent the past year campaigning alongside John McCain, often criticizing Obama and the Democratic Party.
"My point of view is that Barack won," Dean said. "He can afford to be magnanimous. And if we happen to win both recounts and Georgia, Joe is the 60th vote. And the truth is -- and I certainly don't have to defend Joe Lieberman because, you know, we have an interesting history -- but the fact is, he does vote 90 percent of the time with the Democrats. And no, he shouldn't have said all those things. But why not clean the slate? Why not start all over again? Why not allow him to vote with us on the 90 percent of the stuff? He will be a good vote on climate change -- and this matters. He may be a good vote on election reform, which I hope we will get to. So, you know, he may end up - though it is a little against the odds -- he may end up being the vote that allows us to conduct business when Mitch McConnell decides we shouldn't."