While Democrats seem likely to lose the House this November, the race for Senate control is close as the dickens. What if it splits 50-50? Joe Biden's tie-breaking vote would preserve Democratic control — until Joe Lieberman joins the GOP!
Lieberman, who would have a tough time winning reelection without complete support from right-leaning independents and at least tacit support from Republicans, may just find it easier to join the GOP and position himself as a moderate Republican for a 2012 primary.
But more importantly, Joe Lieberman would get lots of attention by publicly weighing his options before reaching a decision. Joe Lieberman, in his permanent quest to feel "relevant," has never — not once in his life — turned down an opportunity to milk political leverage for attention and irritate basically everyone. So it's not unreasonable to think that he'd spend a month or two negotiating with Republicans until they finally offer him the chairmanships of every committee, $100 trillion, and a crown, and he reluctantly accepts.
And if he did stay with the Democratic caucus in a 50-50 scenario, Lieberman would still be well-positioned to demand fealty at every turn. From The Hill:
If Lieberman decides to stay in the Democratic caucus next year, he could become one of the most powerful swing votes in the Senate.
"Lieberman and [Nebraska Sen. Ben] Nelson would definitely be the most pivotal" in a closely divided Senate, Ladewig said. "It could come up pretty heavily after [the election]."
It's 2010. What cruel universe still allows Joe Lieberman to hold all the cards during every political impasse?