|67th United States Secretary of State|
|Assumed office |
January 23, 2009
|Preceded by||Condoleezza Rice|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1989 – November 10, 2008
|Preceded by||Lowell P. Weicker.jr|
|Succeeded by||Chris Shays|
|Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate Majority Leader|
January 4, 2007 – January 23, 2009
|Preceded by||Susan Collins|
|Succeeded by||Susan Collins|
|Political party||Independent Democrat|
Caucuses with Democrats in Senate
|Spouse(s)||1) Elizabeth Haas (div.)|
2) Hadassah Lieberman
|Alma mater||Yale University (B.A.)|
Yale Law School(LL.B.)
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the 67th Secretary of State and former junior United States Senator from Connecticut. Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, and was elected to his fourth term on November 7, 2006. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. He and his running mate won the popular vote, but ultimately failed to gain the electoral votes needed to win the heavily controversial election. Lieberman ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate while he was also Gore's running mate, and he was re-elected by the voters of Connecticut. He attempted to become the Democratic nominee in the 2004 Presidential election, but was unsuccessful.
During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election, but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label "Connecticut for Lieberman." Lieberman is now officially listed in Senate records for the 110th Congress as an "Independent Democrat", and sits as part of the Senate Democratic Caucus in the 110th Congress. But since his speech at the 2008 Republican Convention endorsing John McCain for President, Lieberman no longer attends Democratic Senate Caucus leadership strategy meetings or policy lunches. On November 5th, 2008, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) and Joe Lieberman met to discuss his future role with the Democratic Party.
Lieberman remains a registered Democrat and continues to vote with the Democrats in the Senate most of the time. He has been one of the Senate's strongest advocates for continued prosecution of the war in Iraq. He is also a consistent supporter of Israel. On domestic issues, he strongly supports free trade economics. He has also opposed fillibustering Republican judicial appointments. With Lynne Cheney and others, Lieberman co-founded American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). Lieberman is a supporter of abortion rights and the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt children and be protected with hate crime legislation. Lieberman has also voted with Republicans on some ethical issues, and is one of the Senate's leading opponents of violence in video games and on television. Lieberman describes himself as being "genuinely an Independent," saying "I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."
On November 10th, Lieberman would be announced that he would be then President-Elect McCain choice for Secretary of State. The wildcard choice would have Congress confirm Lieberman on the 23rd of January as the 67th Secretary of State.
Lieberman announced in January 2011 that he will retire after the end of McCain's term in 2012.
Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Marcia (née Manger) and Henry Lieberman. He received his BA in politics and economics from Yale University in 1964 and was the first member of his family to graduate from college. At Yale he was editor of the Yale Daily News and a member of the Elihu Club. He then attended Yale Law School, receiving his LLB law degree in 1967. After graduation from law school, Lieberman worked for a New Haven-based law firm, Wiggin & Dana LLP.
A spokesperson told The Hartford Courant in 1994 that Lieberman received an educational deferment from the Vietnam War draft when he was an undergraduate and law student from 1960 to 1967. Upon graduating from law school at age 25, Lieberman qualified for a family deferment because he was already married and had one child, Matt.
Marriages and children
Lieberman met his first wife, Betty Haas, at the congressional office of Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), where they worked as summer student interns. They married in 1965 while Joe Lieberman was in law school. They had two children – Matt and Rebecca. Betty, who is also Jewish, later worked as a psychiatric social worker. In 1981, the couple divorced. When asked about the divorce in an interview with New York Magazine, Lieberman said, "one of the differences we had was in levels of religious observance," adding, "I'm convinced if that was the only difference, we wouldn't have gotten divorced."
In 1982, he met his second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, while he was running for Attorney General of Connecticut. Hadassah Lieberman is the child of a Holocaust survivor. According to Washington Jewish Week, Lieberman called her for a date because he thought it would be interesting to go out with someone named Hadassah. (Hadassah is the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America). Since March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm based in New York City, as a senior counselor in its health and pharmaceuticals practice. She has held senior positions at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO), Pfizer, National Research Council, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Lehman Brothers.
Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a daughter, Hani. Lieberman also has a stepson from Hadassah's previous marriage, Ethan Tucker. Matt Lieberman graduated from Yale University in 1989, and from Yale Law School in 1994. He is former Head of School of Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca Lieberman graduated from Barnard College in 1991, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997. She is married to Jacob Wisse. Ethan Tucker, son of Gordon Tucker, graduated from Harvard College in 1997 and received his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Lieberman is also related to Disney Channel star Raviv Ullman of Phil of the Future.
Lieberman was an Orthodox Jew, but he was excommunicated by a Council of Rabbis, who accused him of "misrepresenting and falsifying to the American people the teachings of the Torah against partial birth abortion, against special privileges and preferential treatment for flaunting homosexuals, and against religious intermarriage of Jews."
He was less observant in 1965 when he married Betty Haas, a Reform Jew. Since the death in 1967 of Lieberman's grandmother, a deeply religious immigrant, he found renewed interest in religious observance. His second wife, Hadassah, is also an observant Orthodox Jew. "Hadassah calls herself my right wing," says Lieberman. In Lieberman's 1988 upset of Republican Party incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker, his religious observance was mostly viewed in terms of inability to campaign on Shabbat. This changed when Gore chose Lieberman as the running mate; a Lieberman press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:
|“||He refers to himself as observant, as opposed to Orthodox, because he doesn't follow the strict Orthodox code and doesn't want to offend the Orthodox, and his wife feels the same way.||”|
The Liebermans keep a kosher home and observe Shabbat, but do not adhere fully to the requirements of Halakha.
Lieberman has said that there is currently "a constitutional place for faith in our public life", and that the Constitution does not provide for "freedom from religion." He attends Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol - B'nai Israel, The Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut. He also attends Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford.
Lieberman was elected as a "reform Democrat" to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, where he served for 10 years, including the last six as Majority Leader. He suffered his first defeat in Connecticut elections in the Reagan landslide year of 1980, losing the race for the Third District Congressional seat to Republican Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, a state senator from suburban Hamden with whom he had worked closely on bipartisan legislative efforts. From 1982 to 1988, he served as Connecticut Attorney General and emphasized consumer protection and environmental enforcement.
U.S. Senate tenure
In 1988, Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.
Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in the 1988 election, by a margin of 10,000 votes. He scored the nation's biggest political upset that year, after being backed by a coalition of Democrats and unaffiliated voters with support from conservative Republicans, who were disappointed in three-term Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker's moderate voting record and personal style. During the campaign, he received support from the Connecticut's Cuban-American community which was unhappy with Weicker. Lieberman has since remained firmly anti-Castro. Six years later, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.
In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Bill Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment. In 2000, while concurrently running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third Senate term with 64 percent of the vote easily defeating the Republican Philip Giordano.
When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. He was also a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chaired the Airland Subcommittee and sat on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.
In the 110th Congress, Lieberman is Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.
- Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Airland (Chairman)
- Subcommittee on Personnel
- Subcommittee on SeaPower
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Chairman)
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In August 2000, Lieberman was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States by Al Gore, the Democratic Party nominee for President. Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket. The announcement of Lieberman's selection may have resulted in an increase in support for Gore's campaign. The Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but they were defeated in the Electoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.
Like Democratic VP candidates Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960, and Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, and later John Edwards in 2004 and Joe Biden in 2008, Lieberman's Senate term was due to expire during the election cycle. He decided to run for reelection to maintain his seat.
On January 13, 2003, Lieberman announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election.
Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to voters. Indeed he initially led in polls of primaries, but due to his political positions he failed to win a support of liberal Democratic voters, who dominated the primaries. Prior to his defeat in New Hampshire, Lieberman famously declared his campaign was picking up "Joementum". On February 3, 2004, Lieberman withdrew his candidacy after failing to win any of the five primaries or two caucuses held that day. He acknowledged to the Hartford Courant that his support for the war in Iraq was a large part of his undoing with voters.
Lieberman's former running candidate Al Gore did not support Lieberman's Presidential run, and in December 2003 endorsed Howard Dean's candidacy, saying "This is about all of us and all of us need to get behind the strongest candidate [Dean]."
Finally Lieberman withdrew from the race without winning a single contest. In total popular vote he placed 7th behind eventual nominee, Massachusetts senator John Kerry, future Vice Presidential nominee, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, retired General Wesley Clark and Reverend Al Sharpton.
2006 Senate election
Lieberman sought the Democratic Party's renomination for U.S. Senate from Connecticut in 2006 but lost to Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman and antiwar candidate.
Lieberman was officially endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Convention, which met in May. However, Lamont received 33 percent of the delegates' votes, forcing an August primary.
In July, Lieberman announced that he would file papers to appear on the November ballot should he lose the primary, stating, "I'm a loyal Democrat, but I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party, and that's my loyalty to my state and my country." He stated that he would continue to sit as a Democrat in the Senate even if he was defeated in the primary and elected on an unaffiliated line, and expressed concern for a potentially low turnout. On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures for the newly formed Connecticut for Lieberman party ballot line.
On August 8, 2006, Lieberman conceded the Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont, saying, "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," and announced he would run in the 2006 November election as an independent candidate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, against both Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.
Polls after the primary showed Lieberman ahead of Ned Lamont by 5 points. Later polls showed Lieberman leading by varying margins. Alan Schlesinger barely registered support and his campaign had run into problems based on alleged gambling debts.
On August 9, 2006, Hillary Clinton affirmed her pledge to support the primary winner, saying "voters of Connecticut have made their decision and I think that decision should be respected", and Howard Dean called for Lieberman to quit the race, saying he was being "disrespectful of Democrats and disrespectful of the Democratic Party".
On August 10, in his first campaign appearance since losing the Democratic primary, referencing the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, Lieberman criticized Lamont, saying:
|“||If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.||”|
Lamont noted Lieberman's position was similar to George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's position. Lamont said, “That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney’s comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That’s a false premise.” Lieberman's communications director replied that Lamont was politicizing national security by "portraying [Lieberman] as a soul mate of President Bush on Iraq".
On August 17, 2006 the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated that they would favor a Lieberman victory in the November election over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. The NRSC did state, however, that they were not going so far as to actually support Lieberman.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Lieberman at a South Carolina campaign stop on August 18, saying he was "a really exceptional senator." Other Republican supporters of Lieberman included Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, former Representative and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Five Democratic Senators maintained their support for Lieberman, and Lieberman also received the strong support of former Senator and Democratic stalwart Bob Kerrey, who offered to stump for him. Democratic minority leader Harry Reid, while endorsing Lamont, promised Lieberman that he would retain his committee positions and seniority if he prevailed in the general election.
On August 28, Lieberman campaigned at the same motorcycle rally as Republican Congressman Christopher Shays. Shays told a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, "We have a national treasure in Joe Lieberman."
Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, helped organize a reception that raised a "couple hundred thousand dollars" for Lieberman, who was personally in attendance. Sembler is a prominent Republican who chaired I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's legal defense fund. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a fundraiser for Lieberman at his home in November, co-hosted by former mayor Ed Koch and former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato. Koch called Lieberman "one of the greatest Senators we've ever had in the Senate."
Despite still considering himself a Democrat, Lieberman was endorsed by numerous Republicans who actively spoke out in favor of his candidacy, such as conservative political commentators Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Lieberman was also the focus of websites such as ConservativesforLieberman06.com.
On November 7, Lieberman won re-election with 50% of the vote. Ned Lamont garnered 40% of ballots cast and Alan Schlesinger won 10%. Lieberman received support from 33% of Democrats, 54% of independents and 70% of Republicans.
Following the election, Lieberman struck a deal with Democratic leadership allowing him to keep his seniority and chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee. In return, he agreed to vote with the Democrats on all procedural matters unless he asked permission of Majority Whip Richard Durbin. He is free to vote as he pleases on policy matters. Along with Bernie Sanders, Lieberman's caucusing with the Democrats gave them a 51-49 majority in the Senate, leaving a slim one Senator majority to control the Senate in the 110th Congress.
2008 presidential election
On December 17, 2007, Lieberman endorsed Republican Senator John McCain for president in 2008, contradicting his stance in July 2006 where he stated, "I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008." Lieberman cited his agreement with McCain's stance on the War on Terrorism as the primary reason for the endorsement.
On June 5, Lieberman launched "Citizens for McCain," hosted on the McCain campaign website, to recruit Democratic support for John McCain's candidacy. He emphasized the group's outreach to supporters of Hillary Clinton, who was at that time broadly expected to lose the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. Citizens for McCain was prominently featured in McCain team efforts to attract disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters such as Debra Bartoshevich.
Lieberman spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on behalf of McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Lieberman was alongside McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham during a visit to French president Nicolas Sarkozy on March 21, 2008.
Republican vice president talk
Lieberman was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee on a McCain ticket, although Lieberman had denied interest. ABC News reported that Lieberman was McCain's first choice for Vice President until several days before the selection, when McCain had decided that picking Lieberman would alienate the conservative base of the Republican Party, due to his left-of-center positions on social issues. Lieberman had been mentioned as a possible Secretary of State under a McCain administration.
Fallout and support from Barack Obama
Many Democrats wanted Lieberman to be stripped of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs due to his support for John McCain. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached out to Lieberman, asking him to caucus with the Republicans. Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucus voted 42 to 13 to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship (although he did lose his membership for the Environment and Public Works Committee). Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats. Lieberman credited Senator Barack Obama for helping him keep his chairmanship. Obama had privately urged Democratic Senate majority Leader Harry Reid not to remove Lieberman from his position. Reid stated that Lieberman's criticism of Obama during the election angered him, but that "if you look at the problems we face as a nation, is this a time we walk out of here saying, 'Boy did we get even'?" Senator Tom Carper of Delaware also credited the Democrats' decision on Lieberman to Obama's support, stating that "If Barack can move on, so can we."
Liberal members of the Democratic caucus were reportedly angry at the decision to not punish Lieberman more severely. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (who is also an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats) stated that he voted against Lieberman "because while millions of people worked hard for Obama, Lieberman actively worked for four more years of President Bush's policies."
Secretary of State
Nomination and confirmation
After working tirelessly campaigning for McCain in the 2008 presidential election, President-elect McCain and Lieberman discussed the possibility of him serving as U.S. Secretary of State in his administration in reward for his endorsement and support during the presidential campaign. On November 10, President-elect McCain formally announced that Lieberman would be his nominee for Secretary of State.
The appointment required a Saxbe fix, passed and signed into law in December 2008. Confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began on January 13, 2009, a week before the McCain inauguration; two days later, the Committee voted 16–1 to approve Lieberman. On January 23, 2009, Lieberman was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 99–1. Lieberman took the oath of office of Secretary of State and resigned from the Senate that same day.
In January 2009, Lieberman stood by President-Elect McCain, focusing the blame for the conflict on Hamas, while reasserting the United States' support of Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza. He also called for Israel to consider humanitarian issues and, “to avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas in Gaza".
After taking the oath of office on January 23, Lieberman spent his initial days as Secretary of State telephoning dozens of world leaders, and within less than a week in his new position, he had already called almost 40 foreign leaders or foreign ministers. He would stress the importance of alliances and friendly foreign relations, saying that "there will be some changes in American foreign policy. We can not single-handedly solve the problems we face, but he have to solve them in concert with partners around the world who shares our values and interests".
In February 2009, Lieberman made his first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Israel, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and China, on what he could call an “way to gauge the issues on the international stage". He continued to travel heavily in his first months in office, often getting relatively enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace, but also meeting negative responses in certain countries.
On March 5, 2009, Lieberman attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. Here he advocated his support for a "missile defence to counter the growing Iranian threat, provided the technology is proven and it is cost-effective" with the consultation and cooperation with NATO and Russia.
In early April 2009, he followed President McCain on his trip to Europe, visiting the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Russia. During the visits he met with the Foreign Ministers of their respective countries; David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Karel Schwarzenberg and Sergey Lavrov. On April 3-4, he attended along with President McCain the Strasbourg–Kehl Summit commemorating the 60th anniversary of NATO.
On July 10, 2009 he met with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who agreed on a U.S.-backed proposal to begin talks with the Micheletti government. On July 27-28, he co-chaired the high-level U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. and lead the Strategic Track for the United States.
In October 2009, Lieberman's intervention overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.
In late May and early June 2009, Lieberman made his first major trip to the Middle East, visiting Israel and newly-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi-Arabia, Iraq and Egypt. During his visit to Israel he re-affirmed the McCain Administration's support of Israel's right to defend itself, and announced that the McCain Administration would work closely with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian National Authority to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During his visits to Jordan and Egypt he invited the two countries to cooperate with Israel and Palestinian National Authority to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Afghanistan and Pakistan
In May 2009, Lieberman embarked on his first trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan. On May 3-4, 2009, he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani for a security conference in Karachi, Pakistan. During the conference they discussed the several issues related to the threat of the Taliban, including the increasing strength of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the threat of the fall of the Pakistani government to the Taliban, the threat of Taliban gaining the Pakistani nuclear arsenal and whether the Pakistan could substain itself.
He also staged numerous public appearances, in which he let students, talk show hosts, and tribal elders repeatedly complain about and criticize American foreign policy and American actions. He would push back in a more blunt fashion than usual for diplomats, explicitly wondering why Pakistan had not been more successful in combating al-Qaeda and the Taliban “if they wanted to.” Member of Parliament and government spokesperson Farahnaz Ispahani said, “In the past, when the Americans came, they would talk to the generals and go home. Lieberman's willingness to meet with everyone, hostile or not, has made a big impression.”
On May 6-8, Lieberman visited Afghanistan, meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as his main opponent in the upcoming Afghan presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah. While meeting both candidates the assured that “The United States and the rest of the international community will remain commited to help and protect the Afghan people against the insurgents”, and expressed his wish for the election to be carried out without major incidents.
United States Secretary of State
Served under: John McCain
Since January 20, 2009
|United States Senate|
Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
United States Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
1989 – 2009
Served alongside: Chris Dodd
Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
2001 – 2003
Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee
2007 – 2009
|Party political offices|
Anthony T. Moffett
Democratic Party nominee for United States
Senator (class 1) from Connecticut
1988, 1994, 2000
Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee
Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council
Carl R. Ajello
Attorney General of Connecticut
Clarine Nardi Riddle
|Order of precedence in the United States of America|
(while at their posts); otherwise
George W. Bush
Former President of the United States
|United States order of precedence
United States Secretary of State
Since January 20, 2009
Ambassadors Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiaryof foreign states
(in order of tenure), otherwise
Widowed Former First Lady
|United States presidential line of succession|
President pro tempore of the Senate
|4th in line
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury