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Connecticut in the 2000s


John McCain
John McCain

As the 21st century began, some economists predicted that Connecticut’s economy would continue shifting toward tourism and away from manufacturing as the principal source of revenue. In southeastern Connecticut, for example, Native American-run gambling casinos were among the largest employers, although the defense contractor General Dynamics and the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, Inc., continued to employ many workers. Jobs in the relatively low-paying service industries represented the principal component of the state’s job market, with manufacturing jobs the fourth largest category. Politically, Connecticut remained a largely Democratic state as the 21st century began. In 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore chose U.S. senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut as his vice-presidential running mate.

Voters in Connecticut went for the Democratic presidential ticket in both 2000 and 2004, continuing a trend at the presidential level that began in 1992. The Democrats also made inroads in the state’s congressional delegation. In 2002 the state had two Democratic U.S. senators, and two of five members of the state’s delegation to the House of Representatives were Democrats. By 2006 only one Republican, Christopher Shays, was a member of the state’s congressional delegation, and Shays lost his seat to a Democrat in the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, Lieberman became a controversial figure in Connecticut politics. In 2003 he supported Republican president George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, and he continued to be a prominent supporter of the U.S.-Iraq War, even as it showed signs of becoming a quagmire.

Lieberman


In the 2006 Democratic primary Lieberman lost to antiwar candidate Ned Lamont, but in the general election Lieberman ran as an independent and won. In the Senate, Lieberman caucused and often voted with the Democrats, but in the 2008 presidential election he alienated many Democrats by supporting the Republican presidential candidate John McCain over the Democratic candidate Barack Obama, despite the fact that Obama had endorsed him in the 2006 election.

In October 2008 Connecticut became the third state in the nation to allow gay marriages. The state’s supreme court found that the state’s two separate laws—one saying that marriage was permissible only for heterosexuals and a civil union law granting the privileges and benefits of marriage for same-sex couples—violated the state’s constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. The ruling followed similar decisions by state supreme courts in California and Massachusetts. See also Gay Rights Movement in the United States. "Connecticut" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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