U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman visited Norm’s Diner in Groton on Wednesday, one of four stops planned as part of his farewell tour to thank voters.
Lieberman turns over his seat after 24 years on Jan. 3 to U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy.
“The emotion I feel is really gratitude to the people of the state,” Lieberman said.
Lieberman said he had to go back to Washington, and this was the first time in 24 years that Congress had been in session after Christmas.
“Frankly, to me, it’s an embarrassment,” he said. Lieberman said more work must be done on the budget as the fiscal cliff looms and on gun control in the wake of the Newtown school shootings Dec. 14.
Lieberman has been visiting diners across the state since his election to the senate in 1988. He said he wanted to be accessible to people and talk to them about their everyday concerns.
Frank Rowe, a senior congressional aide, picked Norm’s in Groton as a stop. Lieberman also planned to stop at diners in Bridgeport, New Haven and Manchester, although he said he might not get to them all due to his need to travel.
“Norm’s is kind of the last of it’s breed,” Rowe said. The 24-hour diner has been in Groton since 1960, and with its metal siding, booths, jukebox and bar-stools running along the Formica counter, retains the flavor of the past.
Walt Lesko, of Groton, eats there about three days a week. He said he figured Lieberman was saying goodbye, and he liked the idea of him stopping at diners.
“Not many will do that,” Lesko said.