Lieberman Gets Hero's Welcome In Senate -- From GOP

UPDATE: Harry Reid's spokesman says Joe Lieberman was not kicked out of Democratic lunches; he decided to stop attending on his own:

"While it is no secret that the Democratic caucus is disappointed in Senator Lieberman's attacks on Senator Obama, the irresponsible report that Senator Lieberman has been excluded from caucus meetings is completely untrue. Senator Lieberman has chosen to not attend Democratic caucus lunches, and that is his choice."

Lieberman came back to Capitol Hill and got a hero's welcome from the GOP -- but a less warm reception from Democrats.

Roll Call reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided that Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) -- one of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) top supporters -- can no longer attend Democrats' weekly caucus lunches or the biweekly chairmen's lunches used to formulate policy, senior Democratic aides said Tuesday.

The decision comes in the wake of Lieberman's attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at the GOP convention last week, and essentially formalizes a deal Reid and Lieberman had cut earlier this year under which Lieberman would not attend meetings that included discussions of sensitive campaign or political issues.

Lieberman for weeks has voluntarily forgone the weekly caucus lunches and weekly policy lunches on Thursdays.

Lieberman's legislative director quit yesterday, reportedly in protest over his boss' RNC speech:

Joe Lieberman's legislative director Joe Goffman resigned yesterday in protest of his boss's support of John McCain, according to a former Lieberman staffer with knowledge of the situation.

"Goffman is the biggest loss, he was really the guy who held the whole office together," said the former aide. "Goffman, like most of them, was very disturbed by Lieberman's behavior -- Lieberman hasn't consulted with any of them or told them what he planned to say... If you're a Democrat and you stay in Lieberman's office too long, there could be the perception that you are buying into his positions, so these poor guys are being put in a terrible spot."

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