Stamford plays host today (the Marriott) to city son Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent who has represented Connecticut in the U.S. Senate since 1988, way back when Notre Dame football went undefeated (12-0) and Rick Astley had a top-10 hit ("Never Gonna Give You Up" — video: raincoat, bad dancer).
Here's all the press release inviting media members to the briefing at the Marriott says: "STAMFORD, CT – U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) will announce his plans for 2012 at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut."
Some news outlets are reporting, by hearsay or inference, that Lieberman will not seek re-election, raising the prospects of his replacement with Hulk Hogan-esque enthusiasm. Regardless of how this news conference turns out, we at Patch will present "5 Things" today to note Stamford's own Lieberman, the first Jewish person to rise to the presidential ticket:
- In 1994, Lieberman drew 67 percent of the vote and beat Republican Gerald Labriola by more than 350,000 votes — the largest such margin of victory in Nutmeg State history. The University of Connecticut women's basketball team this year is averaging a margin of victory of aobut 30 points.
- "I’m deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place today in Tucson, Arizona and strongly condemn this senseless act of violence. We cannot tolerate threats or violence against our public servants or those who are simply engaging in our democracy." — part of Lieberman's statement following the shooting of his Congressional colleague, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. That tragedy is central to this week's "You Said It!" interactive video feature on Stamford Patch.
- Lieberman was born in Stamford Feb. 24, 1942 — 78 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Others born on Feb. 24 include Apple chief Steve Jobs (1955), actress ("Sex and the City" — the prettyish one) Kristin Davis (1965), actor Billy Zane (1966) and tennis star Lleyton Hewitt (1981). Postscript: The 2001 film "Pearl Harbor" has grossed nearly $450 million.
- Lieberman was preceded on the Committee on Governmental Affairs by Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who also played a bit part in "In the Line of Fire" — the Clint Eastwood movie that's playing on "Encore Mystery" (channel 352 for Cablevision subscribers here in Stamford) right now.
- The senator's second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, is the child of a Holocaust survivor. Historians say that — unless their grandparents had converted away from Judaism prior to Jan. 18, 1871 — Jews in occupied Europe with three to four Jewish grandparents would be killed by Nazis as a matter of practice.