A scary thought for the Senate's new Democratic leadership: Joe Lieberman says he could still jump ship. On Sunday's "Meet the Press," host Tim Russert asked Lieberman about the example of retiring Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, who crossed party lines in 2001, giving Democrats control of what had been a divided body. According to the official transcript, Russert then asked Lieberman,
"You're, you're not ruling that out at some future time?
Lieberman, who has said he will caucus with the Democratic Party despite having lost Connecticut's Democratic senatorial primary to Ned Lamont, not to mention the Democratic vote in the midterm election, wouldn't commit unequivocally to his party: "I'm not ruling it out," he said, "but I hope I don't get to that point."
A Lieberman defection would erase the slim Democratic majority in the Senate, leaving it at a 50-50 tie. Since Vice President Dick Cheney holds the tie-breaking vote, that would essentially give control to the Republicans.