Joseph Lieberman, Iconoclastic Jewish Senator and VP Candidate, Dead at 82

Former Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in the 2000 election, died on Wednesday at the age of 82, according to The Washington Post.

Lieberman’s family said that he died as a result of a fall.

“His beloved wife, Hadassah, and members of his family were with him as he passed. Senator Lieberman’s love of God, his family, and America endured throughout his life of service in the public interest,” the family’s statement said.

The former Connecticut senator made history in 2000 as the first Jewish candidate chosen by Al Gore for the Vice Presidency. Lieberman was open about his commitment to the Jewish religion.

“Lieberman was a Jew from my hometown. He prayed at the same synagogue my family belongs to in Stamford. He prayed at the same synagogue I went to periodically in college. I saw him walking to the Capitol a few times on Saturday from his home in Georgetown. It was very cool to see a[n] observant Jew in prominent public office,” Jake Sherman, founder of Punchbowl News, tweeted in the former senator’s memory.

Lieberman departed from politics after serving his fourth term in the Senate in 2012.

Since his retirement, Lieberman co-founded No Labels, a controversial centrist political group that is apparently contemplating running a “unity party” ticket as a third-party alternative in this year’s presidential contest.

The Jewish senator held several positions considered heterodox in the Democratic Party. Among these, he supported the death penalty for criminals and school vouchers, while he was critical of violence in the entertainment industry and opposed to affirmative action.

By Melinda Davies
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