Who will replace Obama & Biden in the Senate?

Just wondering. Every state seems to have different procedures for mid-term replacement of a U.S. Senator.

I haven’t heard any names other than Tammy Duckworth or Lisa Madigan for Illinois. Madigan may want to run for IL governor in 2010 so I think Duckworth will be the choice.

I don’t know about Delaware.

I’ve heard Jesse Jackson Jr.'s name thrown around as well.

Madigan would be a fool to take the Senate spot. Blagojevich’s approval rating is so low I could probably defeat him in an election, and the Republican party in Illinois is a joke. With her father’s* machine behind her she’s a shoo-in in 2010.

Duckworth does make sense–it gives her two years to build a resume until the next election. It also gives her a chance to distance herself from Blago.

I believe in Illinois the governor can appoint someone to the Senate without a special election if there is less than two years remaining on the term.

  • Mike Madigan is Speaker of the Illinois House and Chairman of the Democratic Party in Illinois. He is also a thorn in the side of Blago.

If you do some searching you’ll find some other discussions about this too. But to recap - add in Jan Schakowsky and Emil Jones on the Obama replacement list but Jesse Jackson Jr is a likely top contender. Yeah, Lisa Madigan is planning on being Governor and who knows maybe a national contender someday. Blago’s trying to get her out of the way by putting her in Senate would be not likely taken up upon. Duckworth has stated that she’d be happy to take the Senate seat or serve an Obama administration and Jackson is actively lobbying for the spot. Schakowsky is a bit liberal and would likely be a harder sell across the state in the next election cycle. A liberal Jewish woman from the Northern suburbs is going to neither appeal to the Southern Illinois vote or drive enough urban turnout to have an easy win.

In Delaware I’ve heard that the governor also appoints and that speculation includes a caretaker for the spot until Beau Biden gets back from Iraq and can run next time … but that’s a whole term away. It isn’t even clear whether the replacement will be picked by the current governor, Ruth Ann Minner, or incoming Governor elect Jack Markell (both D).

This is correct. Blago has already formed a search committee. I think Duckworth, Madigan, or Congresswoman Jan Schakovsky would all be excellent choices. Which means they have almost no chance of being selected by Gov. Dumbass.

Someone, don’t know who, is actually asking people their opinion. The other night I got a call from a Zogby pollster asking for opinions about Obama’s replacement. The poll lasted about 10-15 minutes and asked for opinions about all the people mentioned in all the posts above and more. Stuff like [paraphrasing because I don’t remember the specific exact wording] “How familiar are you with _____?” [Very familiar, somewhat familiar, somewhat unfamiliar, not at all familiar]" “How would you rate _____?” [Highly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove, highly disapprove] and several others. The money question was something like “If you had your way, who would you choose to replace Barack Obama in the Senate?” then went through the long list of names. I said Tammy Duckworth. Several specific questions were asked about Jesse Jackson Jr. so maybe his people commissioned the poll, or maybe that’s a hint that his name is at the top of the list.

I’ve never been polled before for anything, so it was interesting.

Obama’s term doesn’t expire until January 2011. Does that mean Blagojevich would wait until after the Senate convenes to appoint someone?

Lisa Madigan was on some radio show a few months back (Don & Roma on 890AM here in Chicago) saying bluntly that she wasn’t going to be rewarded for her opposition to Blagojevich with a Senate seat. I doubt it’d be offered to her and I doubt she would take it.

If I was to pick a card out of a hat, I’d guess Tammy Duckworth. Blagojevich likes her so he’d be favorable to helping her, she’s fairly well liked in the state from what little anyone says about her, she has a compelling story with her wounded veteran status (no questioing her patriotism), had considerable support in the 2006 elections (lost, but her run was well known and financed throughout the region) and there’s no real opposition information about her because she’s so new and hasn’t served in elected office. People might grouse about that last part but, after a few years in the Senate, she’d be well positioned to retain the seat and keep it in Democratic hands which is a prime requirement for whomever Blagojevich appoints. If she’s appointed and manages to do at least fairly well, and with the weak IL GOP, she’d probably keep the spot in 2010. Also, what should go without saying, she’d be favorable to Obama’s policies.

That’s just my shot in the dark guess, though. I don’t think anyone has a real good grasp yet on who Blagojevich might appoint.

Sorry, I should have said two years or less.

Obama has until Jan. 20 to resign his Senate position. I think the Senate comes back from their holiday recess at the beginning of January. So if Obama resigns effective Jan. 1, Blago can appoint a replacement who then takes the oath of office with the rest of the “newbies.” This would give the appointee a term of two years, avoiding the need for a special election.

As a side note, it should be noted that who would get the appointment would more or less certainly differ. Markell had defeated Minner’s preferred candidate (Carney) in the Democratic primaries.

Obama wants to be replaced by Valerie Jarrett. (No, I never heard of her either.)

She was one of his top advisers during the campaign.

Does she have any particular qualifications other than her role in his campaign and her being Obama’s ally? How would she do in a statewide election?

Even for cronyism’s sake, Jesse Jr. stepped up to the plate for him … supporting someone else is unseemly.