Lieberman’s Insurance-Policy Call For A Presidential Alternative

Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, national co-chair of No Labels, has authored a commentary for CNN that makes the case for a third-party option to America’s divisive politics.

Lieberman earned his stripes as a moderate Democrat whose criticism of Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions landed him as the running mate to Al Gore in 2000. Eight years later, following his war-hawkish 2006 Democratic primary loss to Ned Lamont resurrected in the general election as the de facto Republican candidate on a third party line, he was GOP presidential candidate John McCain’s preferred running mate.

McCain capitulated to Republican insiders warning of a convention revolt for tapping an independent who caucused with Democrats. He selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who gaffed her way to humiliation en route to the ticket’s loss to Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

No Labels plans a potentially hybrid presidential ticket in all states in 2024 that Lieberman claims benefits left and right leaning interests while meeting a happy middle for the “commonsense majority.”

From Lieberman:

When Ralph Nader ran for president in 2000, he offered a simple rationale for a bid that would ultimately help “spoil” the election for the Democratic ticket I was privileged to be on with Al Gore. In Nader’s view, the two parties were ideologically indistinguishable.

That argument was baseless. There were significant differences in policy between the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney ticket–which ended up victorious, in part thanks to Nader–and ours. For Nader, this wasn’t really about the “two-party duopoly,” as he coined it. This was about his desire to push Gore and the Democratic Party to the left.

Today, of course, no one can reasonably argue that the two parties aren’t ideologically distinct. The core problem in Washington, DC, is that they’re too divided to get much done.

Though a majority of Americans long for the era when Republicans and Democrats worked together to find bipartisan solutions to big problems, many members of Congress refuse to work together on immigration, the debt ceiling and other issues critical to the nation, even when bipartisanship is the way to restore our common prosperity and security. Indeed, today, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats the Senate, bipartisanship is the only way to pass any legislation.

While undoing the divisions plaguing our political system will not be simple, there is one step that can be taken–and it begins with giving voters a real alternative in the 2024 presidential election.

Most often, when Americans cast their votes for president and vice president, their ballot has only two viable tickets: one nominated by the Democratic Party and the other by the Republican Party. But what would happen if they had a third viable option?

The process for adding that third viable option is not only arduous and time-consuming, but it varies from state to state and in the District of Columbia.

Today, No Labels, a nonprofit organization that I co-chair, is laying the groundwork for such a campaign in 2024. Since early 2022, our team has been diligently working across the country to obtain ballot access for a potential No Labels ticket, typically by collecting a certain number of petition signatures from voters in each state.

If we are successful, a unity ticket–comprised of one Democrat and one Republican–could be presented to voters right next to the Republican and Democratic nominees.

We think of this as an insurance policy for the country–an option to be deployed if, and only if, both of the two major party nominees fail to offer voters a choice of candidates they’d like to vote for or a way out of the partisan divisiveness that now dominates in the nation’s capital. We will be consistently monitoring the sentiment of Americans through our own research and polling, as well as public polling, to make that determination.

In this and several other ways, No Labels’ effort could not be more different from the “spoiler” campaign that Nader attempted two decades ago.

First, if No Labels were to lend its ballot lines to a presidential ticket, the presidential candidate would be a Democrat and the vice presidential candidate would be a Republican, or vice versa. As such, it would appeal to some voters who might otherwise have voted for the Democratic ticket, and other voters who might otherwise have voted for the Republican ticket. And it would appeal to still other voters who would not have voted for either.

These nominees would be selected by a diverse and distinguished group of citizens serving on a committee–and would be ratified by delegates who would gather at the No Labels National Convention planned for April 2024. This convention will occur about six weeks after the March 5th “Super Tuesday” primaries, a day which historically has clarified who the major party nominees will be.

Second, No Labels’ 2024 effort is not designed to push the Democratic nominees to the left or Republican candidates to the right. Rather, it’s intended to force one or both parties to appeal to America’s growing commonsense majority. If they don’t, our ballot line will create the opening for a unity ticket that will.

According to recent polling by CNN, the number of individuals who identify as independent is on the rise, now comprising 41% of the electorate–compared to only 28% who described themselves as Democrats and 31% who described themselves as Republicans. These numbers are more evidence that there could be a potential path to victory for an independent ticket in 2024.

But if there doesn’t appear to be such a path in the months ahead, No Labels will stand down, focusing instead on the work we have done over the last decade to elect and organize members of the House and Senate who have demonstrated the courage to reach across the aisle–including members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

It seems the Biden administration already may be beginning to recognize the imperative of appealing to the commonsense majority. President Joe Biden recently signed into law a Republican measure to strike down a Washington, DC, crime bill reducing penalties for those who commit violent crimes, and he announced more stringent border control policies.

Our hope is that the Republicans jockeying for their party’s nomination will similarly see the need to reach out beyond their base instead of appealing to divisive policies and politics.

In the end, No Labels hopes not to have to offer our ballot line to an independent unity ticket. We want the parties to come to their senses. But judging from the angry and apocalyptic reactions of strategists in both parties at the thought of No Labels’ insurance policy, it is clear that party leaders now know that there could be a political cost to ignoring the commonsense majority. And that’s a reason to hope for a better future for our government and our country.



  1. “…In the end, No Labels hopes not to have to offer our ballot line to an independent unity ticket. We want the parties to come to their senses. But judging from the angry and apocalyptic reactions of strategists in both parties at the thought of No Labels’ insurance policy, it is clear that party leaders now know that there could be a political cost to ignoring the commonsense majority. And that’s a reason to hope for a better future for our government and our country….”

    Well; this reader can only comment that — as an independent or summarizing paragraph — the above is just about the most convoluted, contradictory piece of expository gobbledygook that that I’ve read in quite some time…

    A No Labels “insurance policy?” Insurance for whom? Insurance for the voting public that the right, right-wing, war-monger candidate gets elected?… Really; who is Joe Lieberman to be trying to “correct” the electoral politics and the foreign and domestic policy of the US?! He is a champion of war and right-wing domestic policy; he represents the worst of both worlds and the most that someone such as he can broker for us is “more of the same” if he is successful in drawing some potential MAGA Republicans away from the MAGA base. At worst, he is capable of drawing enough non-Maga Republicans and moderate-to-right Democrats away from the Democrat candidate to assure a Maga Republican win…

    And he speaks of a “commonsense majority.” The commonsense majority has no taste for war and would like to see US society uplifted and brought to the level that our economic power would indicate. That includes universal medical care and vocational, post-secondary educational opportunities appropriately available to all qualified Americans. We know that Joe wouldn’t recruit No Labels candidates of that ilk — therefore his version of No Labels has no meaning for the “commonsense majority” of Americans (just as Richard Nixon’s “silent majority” had no taste for what he had to offer).

    No Labels — especially with the likes of Joe Lieberman as front-man for such a non-party party — can’t do much good for the US at the present time, and could potentially take us further into the abyss.

    The Joe Lieberman, No Labels effort, if we were lucky, would serve to create an atmosphere of discontent in US politics that would cause the “commonsense majority” to realize that their interests won’t be served by any mainstream or farther-right Democrat or Republican candidate, and that they really need to look for an independent, social-minded “rebel” candidacy that seeks to nurture domestic tranquility and prosperity even as they seek to use US economic power and technological preeminence to uplift the many, many places in the world that need a gentle friend to eliminate the privation and hunger that otherwise feeds strife, chaos, and suffering in those places. This type of policy change is presently antithetical to both parties and their presumable candidates, and is certainly antithetical to anything that would be fronted by Joe Liberman… Therefore, a Joe Lieberman, No Labels effort isn’t what the doctor ordered for our US or world ills at this juncture.

    How about a “Bernie”, Independent effort?! (It’s only a scary thought if you think that the US is headed in the right direction now, or would be if a Maga Republican gained the office of POTUS in 2024…)

  2. I’m disappointed about the fact that I live in the state that spawned the likes of Joe Lieberman. What a dope this guy is. His not-so-subtle attempt to divide and control us is just the latest example of his treachery. I wish Lieberman would just stop trying to foist his agenda on us, which is actually, probably hidden. Who do you work for really Joe. We have our own sneaky bastard named Joe around here. I’m starting not to trust people named Joe.

  3. In the past year, our court system upset standing law that was not under emergency pressure from a majority of the people. And our highest court has been found to be subect to less oversight, from an ethics perspective, than a local City Council from a perspective that disclosure of facts and/or accountability with oversight makes for better overall behavior by those who are otherwise beyond oversight by the people at large for their lifetime work.
    Gun violence continues and examples are weekly available, if not daily, of deaths which for the most part have no general defense. Explanations of mental health issues, non uniform state policies, and a generation of youth forced to an awareness of their vulnerability while learning are slices of this story. When will adults in the room find a way to question why high velocity semi-automatic weapons and ammunition are really necessary to protect one’s home or business? Where are those stories in the news? An 84 year old senior who shoots a youth at the door in the head first with no reported sign of threat and then again in the chest when he goes down. What’s the story here? And people turn around in my driveway locally but how is that a threat? Where is the story line that runs through all of the incidents, or many of them?
    And partisanship Federally may not meet the need to resolve the “debt crisis” in a timely manner. While bi-partisan discussions of budget matters is necessary, why is this holding up a solution to the more immediate matter of ruining financial trust in the US?
    Statewide we find ourselves with an unusual problem. Is CT generating too much revenue for the needs of its residents? When the rainy day fund is in a historically positive pattern, certain attention has reduced debt and long term obligations, why are structural restrictions, erected in less revenue generous times holding up decision making across the aisles?
    Locally, revenues for the City are based on property taxes in the main. If other revenues are derived from sale of City property, or certain one-time adjustments this year how will next year’s administration (Mayor and Council) have any choice but to raise taxes? Perhaps we should have those conversations this year during budget hearings?
    Last year the City Council failed to gain support for staffing to raise info, display data, and place better quality practices for the City Council. That leaves them weaker in pursuing the common good than they otherwise can be. Will they do something about it this year in the extra time they added to budget review?

    Perhaps when all is said and done this is what a closer reading of Joe Lieberman and NO LABELS is about. Preparing for a time when bi-partisanship is so lacking that the percentage of the American public caught in the middle, will be happy to understand that there is a practical alternative, may be considered a brilliant move. Politics is not a game. Chess is a game. What is the meaning of moves that the public can observe but perhaps not quite understand? Why is our response to alternatives to demonize rather than converse, question, listen, and perhaps better comprehend? Time will tell.

  4. John, just because something is in the majority we cannot overlook the impact on its minority,

    While this is the first I am hearing of the gun violence of an 80-year-old senior who shot a youth in Kansas City Missouri. However, closer to home, I heard about a 12-year-old girl who was shot and killed in a drive-by in our capital city, Hartford

    I will not engage in the conversation concerning the current state of Connecticut’s finances. However, as this nation evaluates and has the conversation regarding gun violence and its continuance. I’ll agree with you on the Looney Right’s perspective, hindering some seemingly common-sense gun violence protection/safety laws that should be implemented that are outside of the need for self-protection and the rights granted under the 2nd Amendment, on a national level.

    However, we cannot dismiss, or overlook the looney Left’s” hyperbole that only comes in the form of reactionary conversations based on national news stories, considering the perspective will vary tremendously based on what party occupies the White House.

    Perhaps you observed but didn’t quite understand, but politics is very much a game. A game that is more intriguing than the game of chess because the pieces being moved are people. Though they may not like the place they end up.

    While I did observe, I didn’t quite comprehend your take on Joe L, NO LABELS.

    Jeff takes on it I did though, (I think, you know, having lost my decoder ring in all. ) 🤣

    I think he was on point. Though he lost me on the alternative candidate who’s not in support or LABELED as not being a warmonger, wanting a strong military, and strong national defense. I mean how is that working out for Ukraine whose military is inadequate to defend its nation against such a stronger foreign invader/Russia?

    On a less depressing note, I have to say you got to love the wordplay in this GAME.

    IRS – What is your governing philosophy?

    Joe L – To seek no differences, equality, uniformity.

    IRS – How do we identify and distinguish your “nonprofit tax-exempt status” from those of “for-profit” entities we tax?

    Joe. L – Oh, hmmm! NO LABLE 🤷

    IRS – Your purpose?

    Joe L – To gain power influence and ultimately money. Wait, my bad, I mean the pursuit of quality, honest and fair governance. 🤷

    IRS – OK, Just make sure you LABLE your “tax-exempt forms” according so we know and don’t tax you as we tax the others. In the name of that pursuit of quality, honesty, and fair governance. 😂

    P.S. I came to the conclusion humans, Y’all are the king of the jungle. Simba has shit on you, with you Lion-asses. (coded of course) 😂

    Did you see what I did there, people? Wordplay Good job people, play nice. 🤣


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