Well dammit, I was working on a lengthy article about why, much as I loathe him, Lieberman might still have a place at the Democratic table, but The Rude Pundit pretty sumaarized my feeling in his indomitable, rude way. (Warning, raw language)
I can add, that this is probably pretty much what is going through Obama's mind as well which is why he's urging senators to keep Lieberman on as the Chair of the committee on Homeland Security, despite his failure to use it to exercise any kind of oversight against the Bush Administration, especially in the wake of the massive failures to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Obama knows there's still a chance to hit 60 senators. Alaska is going the Democrats way, and Minnesota is still too close to call. Georgia can go either way, depending on turnout, and we won't know how that falls until December.
Obama knows Lieberman pretty well. He was assigned Lieberman as a mentor when he entered the senate in 2005. Lieberman pretty much got on his hands and knees and begged Obama to campaing for him in 2006 during the primary, which Obama did, though he stopped after Lieberman lost the primary, and endorsed Ned Lamont. Lieberman has probably conveniently forgotten that favor Obama did for him, and only remembers that Obama failed to help him in the general election.
Obama hasn't forgotten, and moreover he has Lieberman's number. Political Junkies like me will remember this story from earlier this year. Obama basically backed Holy Joe into a corner, and quietly, but forcefully told him to cut the crap. And Joe folded, taking his revenge later in the year by campaigning for McCain. Obama knew that wouldn't help McCain any, and only tarnished Joe's battered image even more.
Though Lieberman may think he has the ace if he's Number 60, he's wrong. It's the other way around. He only gets to hold onto his committee chair, AS LONG AS HE STAYS MR. 60. The minute he breaks with the party, that Chairmanship is gone, and so is all his relevance. Obama knows this. I've been studying Obama's style for a year now, ever since I heard him speak in person last September. He uses politics like judo, turning his enemy's strengths against them. Lieberman thinks that as 60, he has the advantage. He does not, and if he steps out of line, he'll see that he was the one being used.