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Here’s what I’d like you all to remember about my dear friend Sen Joe Lieberman

Like all of Joe Lieberman’s family and friends, I have been contending with the news of his sudden passing. To say it was a shock is an understatement. As I join so many in grieving his loss, I am also reflecting on his wonderful life.

He was a deeply principled man, guided by faith, and grounded by family and his sense of duty beyond the political moment. A quiet man with a witty and charming disposition, he was full of kindness and had a steely determination to make sure that we would learn from the mistakes of the past.

To have known Joe is to understand at a base level: There is no Joe without his dear wife, Hadassah. Hadassah and Joe were a wonderful example of a loving couple who cherished each other’s opinion and always had each other’s back. Their children and grandchildren were his North Star.

I’ve read so many accolades since Joe’s passing, from prominent political figures on both sides of the aisle. To see that people, in remembering his life, understood who Joe Lieberman was at his core and to hear every person eulogizing him, regardless of their political stripes, attest to Joe’s character, intellect, and kind disposition has been a great comfort.

As if almost mirroring the closeness of his family in his outer life, Joe brought people together.

Any reasonable analysis of Joe’s political record would show that he was unashamedly a social liberal. As was common in his party at the time, he was always strong on the military and believed in a robust, Scoop Jackson-Ronald Reagan foreign policy. He personally understood that the forces of evil had to be confronted early on and what happens if we don’t – Hadassah’s parents were Holocaust survivors.

Joe Lieberman was Al Gore’s running mate on the 2000 presidential ticket. He came within 537 votes in Florida of being Democratic vice president of the United States. Only a few years later, Joe was Sen. John McCain’s wingman in 2008, breaking with his party to endorse John for president.

I don’t think that would happen in today’s hyper-partisan environment. But it can be explained, in my view, by one event.

Missing from the discussion of Joe’s life and legacy – and what was so evident from our travels together – is how he was deeply affected by Sept. 11, 2001. My small contribution in honoring my dear friend is to point out how committed he was to protecting his nation and his beloved Israel by being strong in the face of evil.

He wholeheartedly supported President Bush’s effort to deal with the extremist regimes in the Mideast, and to go on the offensive when it came to radical Islam.

His decision to support the surge in Iraq was very unpopular among Democrats and the public at large. The Three Amigos – as me, John and Joe came to be known – fully supported President Bush’s efforts as we were losing ground in Iraq.

This put Sen. Lieberman at odds with his party and a majority of Americans. But through that, Joe formed an unshakeable bond with John. And I was fortunate to have been in the presence of two real American heroes, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who in different ways sacrificed for our country and always put the nation first above any politics.

Sen. Lieberman saw a determination in Sen. McCain to win a war that we could not afford to lose. This reinforced Sen. McCain’s belief that America has to be strong in the face of aggression, not just from radical Islam, but from bad actors like Putin and the Iranian ayatollah. 

Sen. Lieberman later vigorously opposed President Obama’s withdrawal of forces from Iraq and President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. Joe realized that radical Islam, left unattended, will come back. He knew that it is better to fight them over there than to fight them on our soil. 

Joe also always believed the Iranian ayatollah was the Great Satan. Through his leadership of United Against Nuclear Iran, which he co-founded, he constantly reminded us how the world would change for the worse if the ayatollah had a nuclear weapon.

Sen. Lieberman was guided by these firm principles, and they have informed my views in the Senate. Now, the best thing I can do to honor and remember Joe is to stay in the fight.

I will, to the best of my ability, continue the fight, taking on those on the Left who wish to marginalize the Jewish state and weaken us at home. With equal vigor, I will confront the isolationist wing of the Republican Party, which seems not to understand the threat we face from radical Islam, Putin, Iran and China, and would have us withdraw from the world at our own peril.

My last conversation with Sen. Lieberman was about how impressed I was with the younger generation of Republicans and Democrats who seem to understand that The Squad is off base and that calls to retreat from the world do not make us safer.

I’m glad I had this conversation before Joe passed. I was able to tell him that what he had accomplished and what he was continuing to do was making a difference to younger generations.

What better legacy could one have as a public servant? Rest in peace, my dear Amigo. Until we’re all together again.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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