For a while, Al Gore liked to introduce himself by saying, “I used to be America’s next president.” We don’t know if Joe Lieberman ever told anyone he was once America’s next vice president, but he did hang on in the Senate after that 2000 campaign, most recently as an independent. That party switch in 2006 was the result of a loss in the primary to Ned Lamont. In 2008, he supported John McCain in his campaign for president.

It’s not surprising, then, that in his final speech on the Senate floor this afternoon, Lieberman called for more cooperation across the aisle and cited political polarization as the greatest obstacle to progress in Washington. How well did that message play with observers? It seems there still are plenty of hard feelings to go around.

So that’s what reaching across the aisle gets you, huh? There’s a lesson in there somewhere.