Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008 | noon
WASHINGTON — No news is not necessarily good news after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with renegade Sen. Joe Lieberman this afternoon.
Lieberman, the Independent Democrat, riled his party with his support of Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, and his speech at this summer's Republican convention.
Lieberman stopped attending weekly Democratic meetings this fall, and some Democrats want him more severely reprimanded. Meanwhile Republicans, including Nevada Sen. John Ensign, are wooing him to switch sides.
Reid told us on election night that he and Lierberman would talk today.
As the afternoon meeting broke, Reid issued a statement saying "no decisions have been made," and talks will continue.
Democrats may be less inclined to harshly punish Lieberman after Tuesday's election failed to deliver the 60-seat majority that would allow bills to be passed with less Republican interference.
Even though Democrats gained seats in the Senate, with 56 or more now in Democratic control (a few races remain undecided), Reid may want to avoid driving Lieberman to the Republicans. Reid has often said Lieberman votes with Democrats on every issue, except the Iraq war, which is generally true.
Here's Reid statement for now:
"Today Senator Lieberman and I had the first of what I expect to be several conversations. No decisions have been made. While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus. I expect there to be additional discussions in the days to come, and Senator Lieberman and I will speak to our caucus in two weeks to discuss further steps.”