Inouye Pulls Lieberman Endorsement [Updated]

When Joe Lieberman gave the middle finger to Democratic voters in Connecticut after they selected Ned Lamont as their Senate nominee and promptly jumped into an ill-advised independent bid for the Senate, my guess was that the whole thing would run its course and begin to unravel by the end of September.

It looks like it's starting a month early.

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), a longtime Lieberman supporter, has announced that he is pulling his endorsement of Lieberman's independent candidacy. The Honolulu Advertiser reports that Inouye was under fire by Hawaii Democrats for his steadfast support of Lieberman and that there is precedent in Hawaii for Democrats facing disciplinary action within the party for backing a third-party candidate over the voters' choice.

The newspaper also reports that Inouye became disenchanted with Lieberman after he made a speech critical of the party. "I told some of my friends after he gave his speech saying the party isn't the party he knew that he doesn't get my support," Inouye said in an interview.

I have a call and an e-mail in to Inouye Communications Director, Mike Yuen, and I will update this post when I get confirmation and further information.

This leaves Tom Carper (DE), Mark Pryor (AR), Ken Salazar (CO), Ben Nelson (NE) and Mary Landrieu (LA) as the only Senate Democrats still supporting Lieberman's trashing of both the party and the will of Connecticut voters.

Stay tuned...

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Update: Inouye Dropping Lieberman and Supporting Lamont

I promised I would update you on my post earlier today on Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) dropping his support for Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senatorial race and I just heard from Mike Yuen, Inouye's Communications Director, who confirms that Inouye has indeed dropped his support for Lieberman.

"I can confirm for you that Senator Inouye was quoted accurately in Dave Shapiro's blog entry of Aug. 28," said Yuen.

"Senator Inouye tried his best to help ensure a victory by Senator Lieberman in Connecticut's Democratic primary. Unfortunately, that did not happen," said Yuen, in a formal statement. "After the primary, Senator Inouye was most disappointed and unhappy when Senator Lieberman remarked that the Democratic Party no longer represented the mainstream of America, and that the Democratic Party had lost its values."

"I am a proud Democrat," Yuen quotes Inouye as saying.

Equally important, is Yuen's confirmation that Senator Inouye will support Ned Lamont as the Democratic voters' choice in the general election. Yuen verified Inouye's statement -- also quoted in Shapiro's column -- that, while he hasn't yet communicated directly with either candidate, "if people ask I'll tell them I back Lamont."

Look for more developments on Democratic support for Lieberman's independent candidacy when the Senate comes back from August recess on September 5.