March 18, 2012

Senate's 'I's: King will have to choose

Sens. Joseph Lieberman and Bernie Sanders say, if elected, the Maine independent would confront some limitations.

By Jonathan Riskind jriskind@mainetoday.com
Washington Bureau Chief

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Angus King

Bernie Sanders
click image to enlarge

Bernie Sanders

Additional Photos Below

King said he understands the joys of being an independent and the reason why, practically, he still may have to take a side.

While his goal is to maintain independence as a way of trying to break the gridlock in Washington, he wants to be the most powerful voice for Maine possible, he said.

So while his preference is not to join either caucus, "that may not be possible," King said.

Analysts have speculated that the socially liberal and fiscally conservative King is more likely to join the Democrats' caucus if he wins in November. While King supported George W. Bush in 2000, he endorsed Democrat John Kerry in 2004 and has backed Barack Obama in 2008 and this year.

John Baughman, a Bates College associate professor of politics, said King will find himself forced to caucus for practical reasons if he defeats the Democratic and Republican nominees and wins the Senate seat -- and predicted he is likely to caucus with the Democrats.

Baughman said it is "harder for an independent centrist to justify caucusing with the GOP."

As the center in American politics has evaporated over the past quarter-century, Senate Republicans have moved to the right at about twice the rate that Senate Democrats have moved to the left, Baughman said.

"Unlike a governor, who can remain outside partisan politics to a great degree, a senator does not have that luxury," Baughman said. "(King) will figure out how closely to ally himself with a caucus, but there's no question he'll have to."

MaineToday Media Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Riskind can be contacted at 791-6280 or at:

jriskind@mainetoday.com

Twitter: Twitter.com/MaineTodayDC

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

Joseph Lieberman
click image to enlarge

Joseph Lieberman

  


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)