Senator Palin?

Imagine this scenario:

Barack Obama and Ted Stevens both win.
Because Stevens is a convicted felon the Senate gives him the boot.
Governor Palin gets to appoint a replacement for Stevens.
She appoints herself and resigns as governor.

Implausible? Absolutely. But would it be legal?

Want a more plausible version of the question?

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich could appoint himself to Obama’s seat.


No. This is detailed in some of the threads in GD about Stevens’ conviction. The last governor of Alaska (Frank Murkowski) infuriated voters by doing the same thing in reverse: he was elected governor, resigned his Senate seat, and appointed his daughter to serve out his term. So now, Senate seats have to be filled by special election.

Blagojevich doesn’t face that restriction, as far as I know.

If what I read in GD is accurate, Palin can’t appoint. They’d need to call a special election.
I suppose she could always run for the office.

edit: whoops! got beat to the punch by two others who read GD, too.

And a federal office would be a good move if she has plans for 2012.

God help us.

Why are people saying “no”? She can still appoint herself, but only for a maximum of 90 days until the special election is held.

Nine governors in American history have either appointed themselves, or resigned and had themselves appointed by their lieutenant governor, to fill Senate vacancies. The list is in this column.

Ummm . . . nope (that is not why Alaska has special elections for vacant Senate seats) and nope (Blagojevich will need to be elected to be the permanant Senator).

Interesting question. But why would she take a step down to be a Senator when she’s already a Governor?

The legislature changed Alaska law, however, so that the election follows much more quickly than before. Before, they would wait until the next two-year election, so there would be no special election at all if there were fewer than two years remaining in the term (as there was when Murkowski resigned).

If Stevens were reelected but declined to serve (unlikely), under the old law, Palin could have appointed a replacement until November 2010. Now, she can only do so for 90 days, plus however long it takes to count the votes.

Her cult of personality has potential to expand more on a national scale as a Senator than as Alaska Governor. Few had any knowledge of her prior to her candidacy. Most senators tend to have more of a national spotlight than Governors, unless you happen to be “The Governator” of course.

I can name a number of senators, but I would be hard pressed to name more than a few Governors outside my own state.

For instance, I knew who Ted Stevens was prior to his recent troubles, but I had never heard of Governor Palin until very shortly before her candidacy. I had only heard of her in a discussion of possible VP candidates.

I would have thought Palin would want the executive job over the Legislative job because A) Her ambition knows no bounds and governors generally have a much easier road to winning the white house (compared to senators) and B) Being a governor for four more years (that makes 6 years as opposed to 2 being an executive . . . I’m not counting mayor of Wasilla as actual experience) might convince more people of and help Republicans flaunt her “executive experience” (of one of the least populated states in the Union)

Unless of course she thought she wouldn’t be able to get re-elected. hmmm . . . .

“Cult of Personality”? Does Obama have a cult of personality?

As Magiver said, Governor is already a much more powerful position than Senator. And historically, being in the Senate does not make for a good launching bad to the White House. Governorships do.

If she wants to make a national splash, she can. She can become head of the Republican National Committee, or work with the National Governor’s Association, or write books, or just make herself available as a ‘talking head’ on the Sunday talk shows the way Joe Biden and John Kerry have. Or, she could represent a think tank, or become the spokesperson for any number of causes, just take it upon herself to comment on current events and give speeches. Fred Thompson has done a pretty good job of staying in the spotlight in Republican circles, and he doesn’t even hold elective office.

Or, she could just do a damned fine job in Alaska for the next four years and let the record speak for itself.

Becoming a Senator means giving up executive power, a Governor’s mansion, and all the other perks that go with it, in favor being just another of 100 yammering politicians horsetrading deals from small Senate offices.