If you are easily surprised, you will be surprised to learn that former senator Joe Lieberman (
D-I-Conn.) has taken a position with a conservative think tank in Washington. Daniel Strauss at The Hill reports:
Lieberman will serve as co-chairman of the American Internationalism Project, alongside former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). …
Lieberman, who opted in 2012 not to run for reelection, said there is currently an "urgent need to rebuild bipartisan — indeed non-political — consensus for American diplomatic, economic, and military leadership in the world."
"That's why I am grateful to AEI for initiating and sponsoring this project and why I look forward to leading it with my friend Jon Kyl," Lieberman said.
Congratulations to the one-time Democrat who received 51 million votes as that party's nominee for the vice presidency. Now, Lieberman will get to pow-wow on important foreign policy issues with AEI senior fellow John Bolton, America's U.N. representative during the Bush administration. Bolton pulls in about $190,000 in salary and benefits from the AEI, so one can assume Lieberman will make close to his $179,000 Senate salary.
But, money aside, it is hard to believe that Lieberman would find palatable a position with a conservative group. I mean, this is the man who was selected to run with Al Gore in part because he slammed Clinton over the Lewinsky affair, who supported warrantless wiretapping even before Bush came to office, who steadfastly supported the Bush administration's push into Iraq, who was literally kissed by the Republican president, who left the party in 2006 after getting demolished in the primary, who supported a guy named John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador, who advocated for a form of internet kill switch, who in 2008 endorsed John McCain, and who took McCain's side on basically every foreign policy issue that came up during his last term in office.
Nonetheless, we're optimistic. First, Lieberman's partnering with Jon Kyl will provide a real burst of birpartisanship on international issues, almost as if someone were able to convince John Kerry to work with Chuck Schumer. And, second, we've gone ahead and compiled the following list of all of the groundbreaking policy innovations and accomplishments created by former elected officials who transitioned to Washington think tanks. Feel free to suggest any we've missed.
(Note: this list does not actually exist.)