Lieberman May Get Away With Endorsing McCain

Sources say the Democratic leadership may let Lieberman keep his committee chairmanship.

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With President-elect Barack Obama indicating that he would like to face a Senate at peace on Inauguration Day, there are growing expectations that the Democrats won't punish renegade Sen. Joe Lieberman, the independent who backed Sen. John McCain in the presidential race. Insiders say that Obama's team has sought to push a compromise that would let Lieberman keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The sources say that the Senate Democratic leaders may let that happen, though they would like Lieberman to make some kind of statement or apology regarding his McCain support. "People understand that Obama is trying to be a statesman on this stuff and he doesn't want to walk into a lot of drama," said a Senate leadership aide. However, the compromise that would let Lieberman keep his chairmanship does anger some senators and their aides, none of whom are willing yet to publicly express it. "It seems like Lieberman is going to get away with it, and that has a lot people angry," says an aide to a senator pushing for Lieberman's ouster from the chairmanship.

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