Sen. Joseph Lieberman played a central role in rallying votes for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," but his advisers likely realized that this was too little, too late to entirely redeem him.
Connecticutters on the right and left are less than charmed by Lieberman these days, and his health-care stance didn't help. It's not clear that he would have lost if he'd run as an independent again, but it is clear, according to Nate Silver, that Democrats, as things stand now at least, have a good shot without him; Silver puts the odds at the Democrats being about 3-to-1 favorites. That's in part because the Dems have a deep bench of potential candidates there -- there were a lot of state Democrats vying for the governor's seat this November -- and because the likeliest Republican candidates -- Tom Foley, who lost the governor's race, and Linda McMahon, who lost in her bid for a Senate seat -- aren't the strongest.
The Times probably put it best:
Referring to Mr. Lieberman’s plan to forgo re-election, Bill Curry, a prominent Democrat who served with Mr. Lieberman in the State Senate, said, 'It’s the first thing he’s done in 10 years to make Connecticut Democrats completely happy.'
-- Monica Potts