Top Lieberman staffer quits

On his boss's first day back on Capitol Hill, Joe Lieberman's legislative director turned in his resignation; he doesn't have another job lined up.

Published September 9, 2008 1:56PM (EDT)

Here's something curious: On the day Joe Lieberman returned to the Senate after speaking to the Republican convention, his legislative director, Joe Goffman, resigned. And Goffman doesn't have a new job lined up yet.

If he did resign because of his boss's most overt move to the Republican Party to date, Goffman isn't saying. But it is peculiar to see a top staffer leave without giving a reason or having his next move in mind. And Goffman, who was promoted to the position before Lieberman lost the 2006 Democratic primary for his Senate seat to Ned Lamont, has some liberal credentials to protect. He was, for 12 years, a senior attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Update: Politico's Glenn Thrush reports that Goffman did in fact resign in protest, at least according to another former Lieberman staffer. Goffman himself didn't return calls for comment. But the unnamed former Lieberman aide who's Thrush's source says, "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."

Goffman is reportedly the sixth person to leave Lieberman's Senate office recently.

Update 2: Goffman has now denied Thrush's report that he resigned in protest.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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