Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.
Born in Stamford, Connecticut, Lieberman is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School. He was elected as a "reform Democrat" in 1970 to the Connecticut Senate, where he served three terms as Majority Leader. After an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, he served as state Attorney General from 1983 to 1989. Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker in 1988 to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. In the 2000 United States presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2004 presidential election.
During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label "Connecticut for Lieberman". Lieberman was officially listed in Senate records for the 110th and 111th Congresses as an "Independent Democrat" and sits as part of the Senate Democratic Caucus. But since his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in which he endorsed John McCain for president, Lieberman no longer attends Democratic Caucus leadership strategy meetings or policy lunches. On November 5, 2008, Lieberman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss his future role with the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucus voted to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats. Lieberman announced in January 2011 that he will not seek re-election in 2012.