WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman noted his "barrier-breaking" vice presidential candidacy in announcing his decision not to seek re-election.
Lieberman (I-Conn.) announced his decision Wednesday in Hartford in the presence of four of his children and six of his grandchildren.
He noted to applause from his followers that an 11th grandchild is due next month, and then said he couldn’t help but recall his four grandparents "and the journey they traveled a century ago."
They found freedom, Lieberman said, but they would never imagine that "their grandson ended up a United States senator and incidentally a barrier-breaking candidate for vice president of the United States."
Lieberman became the first Jewish nominee on a major presidential ticket when Al Gore chose him as his running mate in 2000.
Lieberman lost favor with Democrats over his support for the Iraq war. He lost the Connecticut primary in 2006 but ran as an independent and won.
He caucused with the Democrats, but backed the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.