Joe Lieberman and Lanny Davis

Lanny Davis remembers Joe Lieberman, the "model purple senator"

A life summed up in three personal anecdotes


Alex Pareene
January 20, 2011 4:15AM (UTC)

Of all the Joe Lieberman remembrances that have been written and that will be written over the next two years, this is and will probably remain my favorite: Lanny Davis' heartfelt account of the Senator's years of public service, published at the Huffington Post.

First of all, Davis calls Lieberman "the model purple senator," which is entirely accurate, if not quite in the sense Davis intends it to be. Joe Lieberman is so perfectly bipartisan that he appeals to no one on either side of the aisle besides unprincipled hacks like Lanny Davis. That's why he's quitting the Senate. A majority of Connecticut voters will roundly reject him if he runs again.

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But the best thing about this tribute is its abbreviated history of the Lieberman Era. The story begins at Yale in the '60s, where Joe Lieberman was really awesome. It moves to 1970, where Lieberman helps circumcise Lanny Davis' son Seth. Then we basically skip to Joe Lieberman helping to end "don't ask, don't tell." Did other stuff happen in between? Probably nothing that important.

Yale, Seth Davis' bris, and "don't ask, don't tell": The Joe Lieberman story.


Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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