Joe Lieberman Won't Seek Reelection

"That's a Good Question" The phrase "that's a good question" isn't always problematic - sometimes, after all, questions are actually good. But it is often little more than a stalling mechanism - "A phrase usually indicating that the speaker has absolutely no idea how to answer said question," as the Urban Dictionary puts it. It also gets used by those who want to signal openness to a controversial position without actually fully embracing it. Senator Joe Lieberman angered supporters of Barack Obama in 2008 when he was asked about a claim that the then-candidate is Marxist. "I must say that's a good question," he responded. Though Lieberman later added "I'd hesitate to say he's a Marxist," the non-answer sounded something like a tacit endorsement of the claim. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Lieberman.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Updated 6:18 p.m. ET

Sources tell CBS News that Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman will announce Wednesday that he will not seek reelection in 2012.

Several other media outlets are also reporting the news Tuesday afternoon, including the New York Times, Politico, the Hartford Courant and the Washington Post. All cite anonymous sources.

Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, is holding an event in Stamford tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time to announce his plans for 2012.

The controversial senator and former presidential and vice presidential candidate would face a tough campaign if he does seek a fifth term. The former Democrat, who ran successfully as an independent after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont in 2006, has angered liberals with his moderate policy positions on a number of issues. They include his opposition to the "public option" in health care reform, his strong support for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and his support for GOP Sen. John McCain in the 2008 presidential contest.

Republicans, meanwhile, are not necessarily eager to embrace the man who joined Al Gore in the Democratic presidential ticket in 2000 and recently shepherded "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" reform through the Senate.

Former secretary of the state Susan Bysiewicz announced today that she would seek the Democratic nomination next year, and House Democrats Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney are also considering running. Former Senate candidate Linda McMahon may run for the GOP nomination. Lieberman indicated last month that if he did run again it would likely be as an independent.

An October survey by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm that conducts automated polls, put Lieberman's approval rating at just 31 percent. Sixty-six percent said they planned to vote to replace him, while just 24 percent said they would vote to reelect him.

Lieberman, who is 69, would be the third senator to announce in recent days that he or she will not run in 2012, joining Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchisonand North Dakota Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad.

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