Bill Andersen var Joe Liebermans medarbetare i tio år fram till 2003 - och har således på nära håll följt Joe Libermans tid, från när han var Demokraternas stora hjälte och Al Gores vice-president 2000, till hans bannlysning från det Demokratiska partiet i och med hans endorsande av John McCain 2008.
For 10 years, I had the privilege of serving as Sen. Joe Lieberman's chief of staff, until I left his office in 2003. I've been running through some of the senator's greatest hits during that decade.
I'm remembering that hot day in August 2000 when a small group of Lieberman staffers joined a cheering crowd of thousands in Nashville to watch Vice President Gore and Lieberman appear together for the first time as a ticket.
Since that trip, I've left Capitol Hill, and Lieberman has run two difficult campaigns. His 2004 presidential bid didn't get far. And in 2006, under the unrelenting attacks of left-wing bloggers and a liberal, novice opponent with essentially unlimited personal money to spend attacking him, the Democratic voters of Connecticut narrowly denied the senator renomination to the Senate from the state that he had served essentially his entire adult life. This blow to such a decent man and capable senator was deeply disappointing.
The senator who just eight years ago had played a critical role in helping Al Gore close a double-digit gap in the polls, in a campaign that won the popular vote, spoke at the Republican convention on behalf of John McCain. This same senator who couldn't walk though an airport without being mobbed by Democratic supporters is now less popular in my party than a former Democratic senator who had a high-profile affair. When a reporter asked Democratic convention-goers who would be less welcome in Denver, Joe Lieberman or John Edwards, the unanimous conclusion was my former boss. The notion that his transgressions were more egregious than Edwards' speaks volumes about today's political culture.
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