US presidential result to touch off Senate scramble
That’s because whoever wins the White House, one or two Senate vacancies will be created.
If Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is victorious, he will have to vacate his Senate seat, as will his vice presidential running mate Joseph Biden of Delaware. If Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona scores a come-from-behind White House win, he’ll do the same.
Minner leaves office on the day the next president and vice president are to be sworn in, Jan. 20. It’s unclear whether she or her successor would fill a Biden vacancy since it’s not certain when Delaware’s new governor will take office that day.
Regardless, the governors’ decisions are not likely to have any impact on the political makeup of the Senate. Minner and Blagojevich likely would name Democrats if they have to replace Obama and Biden, while Arizona state law requires Napolitano to choose someone in the same party as the predecessor, in this case a Republican.
All of the appointments would be for two years. Among the possibilities in each state:
Delaware: Biden’s son, Delaware Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden. He’s currently serving National Guard duty in Iraq, which could be problematic.
Arizona: Gov. Napolitano must name a Republican and ex-Rep. Jim Kolbe is among those who have been mentioned. When he retired from Congress in 2006, he was the only openly gay Republican in the House. In 2010, Napolitano could challenge whoever she appoints, as she reportedly has her eye on the Senate seat.
- Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder