In today's increasingly divisive political times Former Senators Joe Lieberman and Olympia Snowe offer a refreshingly balanced, and substantive look at today's top issues.
Lieberman and Snowe have both established themselves as thoughtful political leaders heralded for their exceptional bipartisanship, advocacy for centrist policies, and ability to reach across the aisle to break partisan gridlock and get things done. In this compelling program they bring their balanced take and extensive experience in Congress to issues ranging from healthcare and tax policy to the future of the Democratic and Republican parties and the upcoming election. Bringing some much-needed civility back into our political discourse, Snowe and Lieberman leave audiences hopeful about our political process and deeply informed.
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A thoughtful legislator. A principled man. An effective leader. This is the reputation that Joe Lieberman earned himself after four terms as the representative of Connecticut in the United States Senate.
Perhaps best known as the Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000, Senator Lieberman established himself as a national leader — one who works across party lines to find common ground, a person who speaks his conscience and who gets things done for the good of all people in America.
Olympia Snowe is recognized as a policy thought-leader in Washington. She is also an inspiration for the barriers she overcame to become one of the most powerful women in Washington. The Washington Post summed up Senator Snowe's powerful legacy as a politician, "with several historic distinctions to her name: She is the first woman in U.S. history to serve in both chambers of a state legislature and both chambers of Congress. She was the first Greek American woman to serve in Congress, the youngest Republican woman elected to the House and the first Republican woman to serve on the Senate Finance Committee."
She made the decision not to seek a fourth term in the United States Senate when she arrived at a stark reality: that the excessive political polarization in Congress would not diminish in the short term. As a result, she joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, to take her fight for bipartisanship in a different direction. At the BPC, she serves as a Senior Fellow where she is able to harness her insider’s knowledge to promote change from outside of Congress.
A thoughtful legislator. A principled man. An effective leader. This is the reputation that Joe Lieberman earned himself after four terms as the representative of Connecticut in the United States Senate. He retired in January 2012.
Perhaps best known as the Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000, Senator Lieberman has established himself as a national leader — one who works across party lines to find common ground, a person who speaks his conscience and who gets things done for the good of all people in America.
That reputation is based on a long and distinguished record. Senator Lieberman was one of Congress's most influential voices on security issues. He was the Senate's leading champion of legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security to better protect the nation from terrorist attacks. He has been at the forefront of efforts not only to increase our investment in defense, but to transform our armed forces to better meet the threats of the 21st Century. Senator Lieberman has been a strong and consistent advocate for using America's military might to defend America's interests and values when they are seriously endangered.
Here at home, Senator Lieberman has believed in equal opportunity for all Americans. He supported economic policies that spark business growth, encourage innovation, open the doors of opportunity for all, expand markets for American products, and keep the government's budget books in balance. He has also been a champion for the ordinary investor and consumer, fighting to ensure that public and private watchdogs meet the highest standards of independence and integrity. Moreover, he led the successful legislative effort to repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibits patriotic gay and lesbian Americans from serving openly in our armed services.
Throughout his more than 20 years in the United States Senate, Senator Lieberman proved himself a true environmental champion. From helping to negotiate the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, to consistently working to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska from oil and gas drilling and exploration, to fighting to better fund conservation efforts along Long Island Sound and authoring several bills to combat climate change – including the first one to ever make it to the Senate floor for a vote, Senator Lieberman has committed himself tirelessly to the preservation of our air, land and water.
Senator Lieberman has been a strong advocate for investing in our public schools, empowering parents, and challenging all students to meet higher academic standards. He sought to give all Americans, regardless of income, the chance to go to college and develop the skills they needed to succeed in our global information economy. He works to expand quality and affordable healthcare to all Americans and to safeguard Medicare and Social Security for future generations.
Senator Lieberman has been a vocal advocate for campaign finance reform and has written extensively on the dignity and nobility of public service. He urged America to be true to its tradition of tolerance by giving faith and its practitioners a place at the national table. Senator Lieberman was dedicated to strengthening America's families and renewing our common values by working with parents to improve the culture in which they raise their children.
Senator Lieberman was Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Airland and sat on the Personnel and Seapower Subcommittees; and the Small Business Committee.
Senator Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 24, 1942, and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. Senator Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for ten years, including the last six as Majority Leader. In 1980, he returned to private legal practice for two years, and from 1983 through 1988, he served as Connecticut's 21st Attorney General. As Attorney General he took on polluters of Connecticut's environment, went after deadbeat dads by strengthening child support enforcement, and earned a strong reputation as a defender of consumers' rights.
Senator Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, scoring the nation's biggest political upset that year by a margin of just 10,000 votes. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. In 2000, Senator Lieberman was elected by another overwhelming margin to a third term.
In 2006, Senator Lieberman was elected to a fourth term as an Independent, because of the strength of his record and his accomplishments for the state. He won the general election by more than 100,000 votes.
Olympia Snowe’s dedicated work in the U.S. Senate garnered her nationwide recognition as a leading policymaker in Washington. In 2005, she was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006, Time magazine named her one of the top ten U.S. Senators. Calling her “The Caretaker,” it wrote of Snowe: “Because of her centrist views and eagerness to get beyond partisan point scoring, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe is in the center of every policy debate in Washington, but while Snowe is a major player on national issues, she is also known as one of the most effective advocates for her constituents.”
With her election in 1994, Olympia J. Snowe became only the second woman Senator in history to represent Maine, following the late Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, who served from 1949-1973. In November 2006, she was re-elected to a third six-year term in the United States Senate with 74 percent of the vote.
Before her election to the Senate, Olympia Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for sixteen years. Senator Snowe is only the fourth woman in history to be elected to both houses of Congress and the first woman in American history to serve in both houses of state legislature and both houses of Congress. Elected in 1978 at the age of 31, Olympia Snowe is the second youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman ever, to be elected to Congress. She has won more federal elections in Maine than any other person since World War II.
Focusing her attention on efforts to build bipartisan consensus on key issues that matter to Maine and America, Snowe has built a reputation as one of the Congress’ leading moderates. In 1999, she was cited by Congressional Quarterly for her centrist leadership, and was co-chair with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) of a bipartisan, consensus building group in the Senate called the Common Ground Coalition, a forum for communication and cooperation between Senate Democrats and Republicans.
During her time in the Senate, Senator Snowe worked extensively on a number of issues, such as budget and fiscal responsibility; education, including student financial aid and education technology; national security; women’s issues; health care, including prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients; welfare reform; oceans and fisheries issues; and campaign finance reform.
During her tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives, she co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s issues for ten years, and provided leadership in establishing the Office of Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health. She also served as a member of the House Budget Committee; of House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she was Ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on International Operations; and of former House Select Committee on Aging, where she was Ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Human Services.
She served in both Houses of the Maine Legislature, first elected to the Maine House, representing her home town of Auburn, in 1973 to the seat left vacant by the death of her first husband, the late Peter Snowe, in an auto accident. She was re-elected in 1974, and was elected to the Maine Senate representing Androscoggin County in 1976.