So it begins…
From Michael O’Brien at The Hill:
GOP would ‘welcome’ party switch by Joe Lieberman
Cornyn, the head of Senate Republicans’ campaign efforts, floated the possibility that the GOP might target Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, or another Democratic senator if Republicans come close to winning a majority but fall short.
“I think he votes like a Republican on those areas, and we would certainly welcome him or any other Democrat who wants to switch sides of the aisle and caucus with us,” Cornyn said of Lieberman during an Election Day appearance on Fox News…
The GOP might look to other Democrats like Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) or even an incoming Democratic senator like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, should he prevail, to cross over to the other side of the aisle.
Those Democrats have sometimes tangled with their party’s leaders on big issues like healthcare reform and climate change legislation. Lieberman was almost stripped of a key chairmanship after having supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the 2008 presidential election.
If the GOP picks up 8 seats to leave the Senate with a 51-49 Democratic majority, the game will be afoot.
With four Democratic Senators in play, and only two needed to flip the majority, these Senators will be on the horns of a classic Prisoner’s Dilemma. As long as all stay Democrat, they’ll retain their chairmanships and privilege. But the first two to switch can guarantee their chairmanships, and two laggards will be out in the cold. What to do???