U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman gave his final speech on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon after being a senator for more than 20 years.
Next month, his term comes to an end and he bid an emotional goodbye to the chamber that made him a national figure.
"I leave this chamber as full of faith in the dream called America as I stood here nearly a quarter century ago to take the oath of office for the first time," said Lieberman, who served four terms in the Senate.
Lieberman said he had "mixed emotions" with his time in the Senate coming to an end. He also called it a "sentimental" time for him and he had "no second thoughts about not running again."
"During my time here in Washington, we have had our first female secretary of state nominated and confirmed and our first African American president elected and re-elected. It will forever remain one of my deepest honors that thanks to Vice President Gore, I was given the opportunity to be the first Jewish American nominated by a major political party for national office," Lieberman said. "And incidentally, thanks to the American people, grateful to have received a half million more votes than my opponent on the other side. But that's a longer story."
The speech was emotional for him and his close friend U.S. Sen. John McCain.
"It was a very wonderful statement and we thank him for it," McCain said.
Following Lieberman, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal gave a speech thanking him for his service to Connecticut and the United States.
Democrat Chris Murphy will be replacing Lieberman after winning the November election over Republican Linda McMahon.
"Throughout his remarkable career, he has been a steadfast and ardent advocate, and I've always admired his commitment to the people of the United States, and in particular to the people of Connecticut," said Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a statement.
He called Lieberman's speech "the end of an era."
"Whether fighting for civil rights in the 1960s, human rights over the course of his career, or on a daily basis for his constituents as a state Senator, state Attorney General and U.S. Senator, Joe Lieberman has devoted a lifetime to public service," Malloy said in a statement Wednesday. "It's also safe to say that many Connecticut residents, and Jewish Americans across the nation, felt an enormous sense of pride when the Democratic Party made him our nominee for vice president in the year 2000."
In the statement, Malloy wished him well as he "began a new chapter in his life."
Lieberman delivered his speech to a relatively small audience that included his family and staff as well as only six of the 100 senators including Murphy, Jim Himes and Blumenthal.
He plans on selling his Washington D.C. home and moving to Stamford full-time. Lieberman said he is leaving politics, but plans to contribute to other causes.
Lieberman will be Dennis House's special guest on Face the State on Sunday morning at 11 a.m.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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