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Lieberman Returns Home to Conn.

December 18, 2000

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Joseph Lieberman was given a warm welcome home Monday as he stopped at Connecticut diners to thank voters for re-electing him to the Senate while he ran as Al Gore’s running mate.

At the Stamford Diner, retired FBI agent Jim Trower said he didn’t back the Democratic presidential ticket but did vote for Lieberman for Senate.

``I told him that I thought he was very smart not to give up his day job,″ Trower said. ``He said he thought so, too.″

Lieberman, the first Jew to run for national office on a major party ticket, campaigned in Connecticut only one day but easily won a third Senate term by defeating Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano.

A Gore victory would have opened the door for GOP Gov. John Rowland to name a Republican to replace Lieberman in the Senate.

Lieberman said that after five weeks of Florida recounts and court battles, he had only one regret about the presidential race: the ending.

``I suppose it’s true that defeat is never easy to take. It’s disappointing. It hurts,″ he said.

At the restaurant in Stamford, where Lieberman grew up and his 86-year-old mother still lives, the diner employees broke into applause when he walked in. They also hung a blue-and-white banner that read: ″2004.″

Lieberman would not talk about his future, other than his focus on returning to the Senate next month.

``It’s great to be home,″ he said.

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