Despite assurances to the contrary from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic insiders are certain Sen. Joseph Lieberman next year will be kicked out of the party's caucus and lose his Senate chairmanship if he addresses the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., as planned.
Lieberman's Democratic colleagues willing to accept his support of Sen. John McCain for president consider speaking to the GOP convention as the last straw. Lieberman was re-elected from Connecticut as an independent in 2006 after losing the Democratic nomination because of his support for the Iraq war.
Earlier, The Hill reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was mum as to what role Lieberman would play in the Senate next year:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday did not rule out removing Sen. Joe Lieberman from his coveted chairmanship in 2009, but he pleaded for critics to leave the Connecticut Independent alone.
Asked whether he plans to retaliate against Lieberman next year by stripping him of his chairmanship on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Reid said, "Let's talk about this year" and stressed Lieberman's importance to the Democrats in the 110th Congress.
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have launched a petition drive that would have Democrats strip Lieberman of his committee assignments: