The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reports that Democrats are in such a tizzy about Sen. Joseph Lieberman's support of John McCain — and his criticism of Sen. Barack Obama — they are threatening to take punitive action against him in the U.S. Senate.
Lieberman won re-election to the Senate as an independent in 2006, but still caucuses with the Democratic majority. Senate Democrats have allowed Lieberman to keep his seniority, as well as his chairmanship of the powerful Homeland Security committee.
But Roll Call suggests that could change.
The paper reported, "Obama loyalists were quick to express their frustration with Lieberman's decision and warned that if he continues to take a lead role in attacking Obama it could complicate his professional relationship with the caucus."
Lieberman also annoyed Obama backers Wednesday by participating in a McCain campaign conference call with reporters. On the call, Lieberman sharply criticized Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC.
"I appreciate many of the very good intentions to Israel and Israeli security that Senator Obama express today," Lieberman said. He added, "I thought in the speech there was a disconnect between things Senator Obama said today, particularly in regard to Iran, and things he has said or done earlier either in the campaign or the Senate."
The paper observed Lieberman and Obama on the Senate floor today, and suggested the pair engaged in some verbal jousting.
"Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation," Roll Call reported.
"While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating."
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