Lieberman announces presidential bid

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., the outgoing chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, announced Monday he is running for president in 2004 as "a different kind of Democrat."

In an appearance at his old high school in Stamford, Conn., Lieberman-his party's 2000 vice presidential candidate-declared, "Two years ago, we were promised a better America, but that promise has not been kept."

Lieberman, a 60-year-old moderate, led the fight in the Senate to create the Department of Homeland Security. He was a strong supporter of the Gulf War, and has remained an advocate of removing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Lieberman-who, if nominated, would be the first Jewish American ever to head a national party ticket-joins a crowded field. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and North Carolina Sen. John Edwards are running. Among others considering a bid are Connecticut's senior senator, Sen. Christopher Dodd; Sens. Bob Graham of Florida and Joseph Biden of Delaware; former Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, a New York City civil rights activist.

Asked about Lieberman's comments, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: "There are many things many Democrats are going to say in order to stand out in the Democratic primary. The president looks forward to welcoming whoever wants to run."

Meanwhile, allies of Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, think he is also seriously considering a 2004 bid for the White House, Cleveland's Plain Dealer reported. "The issues that I have been debating in Congress … are resonating with people across the country," said Kucinich, who sits on the House Government Reform Committee. "As a result, I am hearing from thousands of people … about running. I am listening." An announcement could come this winter or early spring.