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Calling RFK Jr. & Joe Manchin! - Ex-Sen. Lieberman Wants 3rd-Party Candidate

By Belal Awad · July 17, 2023

Sen. Joe Lieberman tours USS Mississippi - Wikimedia Commons  SSN 782, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Senator and No Labels Chair Joe Lieberman said he’s increasingly certain the nation must have a third-party presidential candidate for the upcoming 2024 elections. Known for his centrist views, Lieberman, the Democratic Party’s 2000 VP nominee, bemoaned the failures of the two major parties and their increasing emphasis on loyalty to themselves rather than to the nation.

Lieberman told WABC Radio, “The two parties have just repeatedly been failing the country by demanding more loyalty to themselves and not to the country, and not working together to get things done. That’s been the No Labels story for the past 12 or 13 years that we’ve been in existence.”

Lieberman drew parallels between the current political landscape and the historic 1968 presidential elections when Senator Eugene McCarthy’s entry into the New Hampshire primary and subsequent strong showing led to the withdrawal of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Reflecting on the possibility of a similar development in 2024, Lieberman said, “Can something like that happen this year? It’s possible.”

The former Senator also highlighted the momentum behind No Labels, a cross-partisan organization focused on promoting bipartisan collaboration that includes a board ranging from former NAACP Chair Ben Chavis to billionaire businessman Andrew Tisch. 

He announced plans to release a common-sense policy agenda in New Hampshire at Saint Anselm College, with prominent moderate independents, Senator Joe Manchin and Governor John Huntsman, playing leading roles. Lieberman expressed optimism about their efforts, stating, “This is a policy agenda that neither party would put out because we’re trying to really be common-sense centrists.”

Lieberman raised concerns about the current state of politics, noting the stark contrast to the past when opposing politicians could engage in friendly dialogue. “Politics has become really like war. In the good old days when you’d have an argument on the floor of the Senate, you’d go out for a drink together. It just doesn’t happen anymore,” he lamented.

Recalling the 2008 presidential race when nominee John McCain considered putting Democrat Lieberman on the GOP ticket as Vice President, Lieberman said, “The country really is so fed up with the partisanship. It would be great…Maybe No Labels…has hit the moment when the country is really ready to whack the two major parties, because they are not delivering.”

Lieberman pointed to the softness in support for President Joe Biden to underscored his point: “The fact that RFK Jr. is now polling at almost 20% against Biden and…Marianne Williamson is getting 8% shows you that the disaffection [is significant]…You’re now approaching 30% who say they prefer another candidate” within the Democratic Party.

As the 2024 elections approach, Lieberman believes calls for a third-party and the growing prominence of No Labels could lead to an alternative voice for voters disenchanted with the two-party system.

Light Wave commentary

Former Senator Joe Lieberman’s call for a third-party presidential candidate in the 2024 elections reflects the frustration of millions of Americans with the failures of the two major parties, which seem more focused on the pursuit of power over principle. Lieberman’s No Labels organization, which promotes bipartisan collaboration, continues to gain traction. Unfortunately, the history of third-party presidential campaigns has been characterized by failure. Lieberman’s quest, though noble, will be challenging. While the road ahead for him and his group is uncertain, we wish him godspeed.