Simmons Won’t Rule Out Senate Run

by Brian Bolduc

Rumor has it that Sen. Joe Lieberman will announce his retirement at the Stamford Marriott tomorrow. In response, former Republican congressman Rob Simmons tells NRO he would “not be the least bit surprised if he decided not to run for reelection.”

Although Simmons cautions the press to wait until Lieberman makes his statement, he lists many reasons Lieberman has to retire. “He was rejected by his own party a few years ago,” Simmons says, referring to Ned Lamont’s triumph over Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic primary. Furthermore, Lieberman’s relationship with his party has significantly declined since then. “In the last few years,” Simmons notes, “he’s been in Never Never Land with Bernie Sanders [the only other Independent in the Senate]. That’s enough to convince you to leave the Senate.”

Simmons thinks Lieberman showed “courage to campaign with John McCain” in 2008 — despite howls from the Left. Finally, Simmons observes, “And so when you consider the toxic environment in which people have to run these days, at some point public servants like Joe Lieberman say ‘I’ve done my duty.’”

Besides, Lieberman would have a much harder campaign this time . In 2006, Republicans nominated a placeholder candidate, so many of the rank-and-file flocked to Lieberman when the anti–Iraq War Lamont won the Democratic nod.

In fact, when asked if he — the 2010 primary opponent of Linda McMahon – would try for the Senate again, Simmons responds, “I haven’t ruled it out.”