Hit the road.


Thursday, November 6th 2008, 9:34 PM

WASHINGTON - Sen. Joe Lieberman pleaded with Democratic bosses Thursday to keep his job as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee after stumping ceaselessly for GOPer John McCain.

It may be too late for Lieberman (I-Conn.), a former Democrat, whose non-stop campaigning for McCain angered President-elect Barack Obama, insiders confirmed to the Daily News.

"You don't run around the country campaigning for McCain and saying you're afraid the Democrats will get a 60-seat [filibuster-proof] majority, and then beg to keep your chairmanship," said a senior Democratic source.

Another key Democrat called Lieberman's behavior during the campaign, including an appearance at the Republican National Convention, "overly partisan and very insulting."

Although an independent since he ran under his own banner after losing a Democratic primary race in 2006, Lieberman has caucused with Senate Democrats, giving the party a one-seat majority in the chamber. But that dynamic changed on Election Day, when Democrats increased their majority. They no longer needed an alliance with Lieberman to retain power.

Lieberman groveled at a meeting with Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), begging to retain his lofty post, sources said. Reid said Lieberman's "comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus," and floated the prospect of some type of deal being struck over the next two weeks.

Lieberman tried to make an appeal to Obama - who had irked his party's left by supporting Lieberman in the 2006 primary - saying, "I completely agree with President-elect Obama that we must now unite to get our economy going again and to keep the American people safe."

With Thomas M. DeFrank