"I must say that's a good question," replied Lieberman, before stepping back to say that he would "hesitate to say he's a Marxist." The feud goes back to 2006, when Lieberman was Obama's mentor and close friend in the Senate.
According to an AP story, Obama was the keynote speaker in front of 1,700-plus party members who gathered in a ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center for the $175-per-head fundraiser.
Obama was a rising star in the Democratic Party and was being hailed as a future presidential candidate. He wasted little time getting to that point, calling it the "elephant in the room," but also carefully praised Lieberman's intellect, character and qualifications:
"The fact of the matter is, I know some in the party have differences with Joe. I'm going to go ahead and say it...I am absolutely certain Connecticut is going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the U.S. Senate so he can continue to serve on our behalf."
At the time, Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, was challenging pro-Iraq war Lieberman for the party's nomination. Legions of supporters of both Lieberman and Lamont were in attendance the dinner.
Yet, seven months later, in October, Obama changed his tune.
The Illinois senator and potential 2008 presidential candidate sent out an e-mail message praising Lamont.
"Ned Lamont has waged an impressive grass-roots campaign to give the people of Connecticut a choice in the November Senate election," Obama wrote. "Please join me in supporting Ned Lamont with your hard work on-the-ground in these closing weeks of the campaign."
The Lamont campaign said Obama's e-mail went to about 5,000 Connecticut residents, according to an AP Story.
At the time, Lamont aides said they welcomed the support of Obama, who was enjoying a surge in popularity-- due to renewed interest in the senator's 2002 anti-war speech as speculation about his national ambitions mounted. And it wasn't just words... Obama also gave $5,000 to Lamont's campaign through a political committee.
It was unexpected, but it made sense. Lamont had become a viable candidate, and his fervent opposition to the Iraq war could certainly help the presidential hopeful burnish his anti-war creds...
No wonder Lieberman is pissed.