Back in the Fold: The Irresistible Joe Lieberman

Here’s a prediction that, very understandably, won’t go over well with liberals: Joe Lieberman will seek re-election to the Senate in 2012 as a Democrat – and he’ll probably win.

Granted, we are not right now anywhere near the point at which all of the forces required for this to happen will congeal, but the events of the last few months suggest a clear trajectory toward rapprochement in Lieberman’s relationship with Democrats in Washington and in Connecticut.

Consider how dramatically the situation has changed in just the last few months. Back in July and August, it was a foregone conclusion that, one way or another, Lieberman’s days as a committee chairman and a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus would end with the 2008 campaign.

One scenario had John McCain naming him as his running mate, which would have severed Lieberman’s frayed ties with the Democratic Party instantly and permanently. Or, if McCain picked another running mate but still won, there’d be a prominent place for Lieberman – Secretary of Defense, maybe? – in the new Republican administration. And even if neither of those scenarios played out, surely, the thinking went, there’d be no way that Senate Democrats would welcome Lieberman back to their fold after he’d spent the year boosting McCain, blasting Barack Obama and even speaking at the Republican National Convention.

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Back in the Fold: The Irresistible Joe Lieberman