Joe Lieberman

Merrisa Brown / Iowa Presidential

Hailing from New Haven, Conn., Joe Lieberman's political career has included positions as a state senate majority leader, state attorney general, and most recently, vice-presidential nominee. As Al Gore's running mate in 2000, Lieberman became the first Jewish candidate on a major party ticket.

Since 1988, he has represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate and is currently in his third term. As a member of the Democratic Leadership Council, Lieberman has a centrist reputation; he is liberal on some issues but also supports business and strong defense. He has campaigned against violence in entertainment.

Lieberman's interest in government affairs earned him the nickname "the Senator" while he was in college. After graduating from Yale University, he was a practicing attorney, then entered politics. Lieberman and his second wife, Hadassah, have four children and three grandchildren.

Lieberman Campaign Web site:

Issues, Strategies and Key Quotes

Top three issues:
Health care: Lieberman wants to spend $53.5 billion per year for five years to provide coverage for about 31 million Americans who are uninsured. His two main focal areas in this plan are children to age 25 (under a plan called MediKids); and workers, the self-employed and unemployed who don’t have access to group health insurance (MediChoice).
Homeland security: Lieberman believes that under the Bush administration, we are vulnerable to future attacks. He wants to pass the SAFER Act, which provides $7 billion over six years to communities to hire thousands of additional firefighters. Lieberman would also like to establish a National Homeland Security Academy, under the Department of Homeland Security, to cultivate future leaders in domestic defense.
Helping small businesses:
Lieberman wants to expand access to capital, provide greater support to small manufacturers, and help small businesses flourish in disadvantaged areas. He says that as president, he will make growing small business a top priority rather than an empty platitude.

Official strategy statement: "Basically, he'll be laying out his message. He's strong for unions, strong for the environment and always has been, and he can beat George Bush. He's done it already, and he is confident he can do it again." - Jon Kott, assistant Iowa press secretary

Campaign's assessment of its own strength: “Some people think Democrats are weak on family values, but Lieberman is the moral conscience of the Senate. Bush won’t be able to knock him there. Lieberman’s also strong on national security, and we feel these are the areas that George W. Bush claims to be strong in. Lieberman can also beat Bush on what he’s weak on: social policies, civil liberties and the economy.” - Kott

Quotes from Lieberman: “I know that I can beat George W. Bush in 2004. Why? Because Al Gore and I already did it." -- stump speech

“I want to be fiscally responsible. We've got so many things that Bush hasn't done.” -- The Des Moines Register, 09/22/03

“It’s a justifiably ambitious plan, which will make ... health care accessible to every child and every American adult that doesn't have it now.” -- The Des Moines Register, 09/03/03

“This whole business of Dean and Gephardt wanting to repeal all the Bush tax cuts would mean an increase of middle class taxes at a time when the middle class is really stressed. To me that's wrong and not what the economy needs.” - The Des Moines Register, 08/07/03

Potential Vulnerabilities

Critiques from others: “Senator Lieberman is showing once again that his voice is only raised to attack other Democrats and not focus on the real issue here. And that's the flaws of the Bush administration.” - Kym Spell, press secretary for Wesley Clark (The Des Moines Register, 09/22/03)

“Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq, his more deliberate approach to health care and his position on other issues don’t naturally appeal to many caucus voters even though they could play well with moderates in both parties come November.” - Blair Claflin, political editor, The Des Moines Register, 07/07/03

Our own assessment of Lieberman's vulnerability: Lieberman is no longer campaigning in Iowa, focusing his efforts on New Hampshire and other nominating events.

Iowa Campaign Information
Main Iowa campaign office:

2605 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 309-5505

Iowa campaign manager
Rep. Kevin McCarthy
(515) 309-5505
[email protected]
Iowa press secretary:


Eastern Iowa contact:
Number of Iowa Offices:

1 (Des Moines)

Number of Paid Iowa Staffers:
National Campaign Information
National campaign manager:
Craig T. Smith
(703) 894-2004
[email protected]


P.O. Box 967
Arlington, VA 22216
(703) 894-2004


111 Founders Plaza
10th Floor
East Hartford, CT 06108
(860) 282-VOTE [8683]
National press secretary:
Jano Cabrera
(703) 894-2004
[email protected]
National media consultant:
Mandy Grunwald
Grunwald Communications, Washington, DC
(202) 338-5075
National pollster:
Mark Penn
Penn, Schoen & Berland, Washington, DC
(202) 842-0500
Campaign fundraising to date:
Amount raised: $11,690,561
Amount spent: $7,605,486
Cash on hand: $4,082,580
As of 10/15/03 financial report
Copyright © 2003 by Iowa Presidential This site produced by the "Presidential Politics" class in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa.