Tuesday, November 18, 2008


First, what Matt said. Apparently the AP sent out a misleading correction earlier, because while Merkley did speak out against Lieberman in the meeting he didn't want to actually reveal what his vote was in a secret vote and the AP went all "does not compute" and got confused.

Merkley was one of the 3 people who spoke out against Lieberman retaining his important gavel in the meeting.


WASHINGTON - Six weeks before taking office, Oregon's senator-elect Jeff Merkley gained some notice on Capitol Hill Tuesday by forcefully expressing disappointment bordering on anger with Sen. Joe Lieberman's vocal support for John McCain during the presidential campaign.

Merkley made the comments during a closed-door meeting of all incumbent Democrats and those elected on Nov. 4 to determine what action to take against Lieberman. The Connecticut senator who is an independent who votes with Democrats abandoned his traditional allies during the campaign and strongly questioned Barack Obama's fitness to be president.

``Sen. Lieberman's choices for this last election cycle were very difficult for me personally. I felt a lot of personal pain,'' Merkley said.


`I expressed these sentiments because I felt that citizens who work in a grass-roots capacity should share their voice and my voice on this,'' he said.

Merkley stopped just short of saying Lieberman should be stripped of his committee chairmanship. But he suggested that chairmen are party of a party's leadership and should be held to higher standards.

``Folks who are priviledged to serve as a chair are part of the leadership of this team and much is expected of them,'' he said.

...and here's the AP in an updated update:

Senator-elect Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was critical of Lieberman at the caucus and said afterward in a statement that he was "very personally disappointed by his conduct during the campaign." He wouldn't say how he voted on the resolution.

"Serving as a committee chairman is a privilege, not an entitlement and I expressed those views during today's meeting," Merkley said. "Beyond that, I hope we can move forward as a caucus to do the work we were elected to do."