Joseph Lieberman

U.S. Senator

Born: 24 February 1942
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut
Best known as: U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 1988-present

Name at birth: Joseph Isadore Lieberman

Joe Lieberman became the first-ever Jewish candidate on a major party ticket when Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore chose him as his running mate in 2000. Joe Lieberman has been politically active for most of his adult life: he served in the Connecticut Senate from 1971-1980 and as the state's Attorney General from 1983-88. In 1988 he was elected to the U.S. Senate, narrowly defeating incumbent Republican Lowell Weicker. He was re-elected in 1994 and again in 2000 (when he ran for senator as well as for vice-president). Like Bill Clinton, Joe Lieberman also served as chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. Al Gore and Joe Lieberman lost the disputed 2000 elections to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Lieberman then ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, but dropped out of the race after poor showings in early primaries. His support for George W. Bush's occupation of Iraq cost him the anti-war vote, and in 2006 he lost to challenger Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary for his Senate seat. Lieberman then ran for re-election as an independent and won the general election. Though he continued to caucus with Democrats, Joe Lieberman endorsed Republican John McCain for president in 2008 and campaigned for him against Barack Obama. Lieberman announced in January of 2011 that he would retire when his existing term ended at the end of 2012.

Extra credit: Joseph Lieberman graduated from Yale (1964) and Yale Law School (1967)... He married the former Hadassah Freilich Tucker in 1983; it was the second marriage for both. They have a daughter, Hana; Lieberman also has two children, Matthew and Rebecca, from his first marriage to Elizabeth Haas (1965-81), and Hadassah has a son, Ethan, from her first marriage... Joe Lieberman did not serve in the military; he received an educational deferment while in school, then a family deferment (as a father) upon his law school graduation in 1967... Joe Lieberman ran parallel campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the vice-presidency in 2000; though he and Gore lost, Lieberman was re-elected as Connecticut's senator.

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