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Fun Trivia on Appointed Senators and Special Elections

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:20 pm - December 21, 2008.
Filed under: American History,Congress (111th)

As it becomes increasingly likely that Democrats in the Illinois legislature will not amend state law to call for a special election to fill the Senate seat of the President-elect, it appears we will have to wait until Governor Rod Blagojevich either resigns or is impeached for current Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn to select Obama’s replacement.

Should that happen, the 111th Congress would contain two Senators appointed by governors who took office when the elected governor resigned.  So, I wonder if that has ever happened before, two Senators serving simultaneously appointed by men elected as Lieutenant Governor, but not Governor.

Some other interesting tidbits.  In November 2010, both New York Senate seats will be on the ballot.  We’ve seen a similar phenomenon in the two previous mid-term elections following the inauguration of a Democratic President.  In 1978, following the election of Jimmy Carter, both Minnesota Senate seats were up for grabs.  Sixteen years later, following the election of Bill Clinton, both Tennessee seats were.

To note:  those were the home states of the then-incumbent Democratic Vice President.  Both times, both seats were held by Democrats.  Both times, Republican won both seats.*  Will we see a repeated pattern in the (adopted) home state of the Democratic Secretary of State?  Let’s hope so.  Ridding the Senate of New York’s less prominent (but more partisan) Senator would be a good thing for the nation.

Or maybe to fit the pattern, Delaware’s soon-to-be-senior Senator Tom Carper will resign so Governor Jack Markell (who will take office the same day as Barack Obama) can appoint a Senator intended to be more than a bench-warmer.

Okay, I wouldn’t bet on that one.  So, we’ll have to hope what happened in previous Democratic Administrations in the home states of the incumbent Vice President takes place in the home state of the Secretary of State.


*This year (2008) may have been one of the few times when two states had both Senate seats up for grabs, with all four seats held (and retained) by the same party (this year, the GOP).  All four incumbents, two previously elected (Thad Cochran and Mike Enzi) and two recently appointed (Roger Wicker and John Barrasso), were returned to office, in Mississippi and Wyoming, respectively.

McCain, Lieberman: Iraq Is Won, Praise Obama’s National Security Team

With the symptoms and root cause of Bush Derangement Syndrome ending in a month, and the GOP moderates gellin’ behind Obama on foreign policy… is a consensus of Victory in Iraq possible?  And will bipartisanship on the Global War On Terror be reborn?

For the past several years, Iraq has divided and polarized our parties, our policymakers and our people. The debate over the war has often been disfigured by politics and partisanship, precluding the national consensus so important to American security in a dangerous world. President-elect Barack Obama has the opportunity to end this destructive dynamic and rebuild a bipartisan consensus on American foreign policy, including the way forward in Iraq. In naming talented, principled and pragmatic leaders to his national security cabinet, the president-elect has already demonstrated that he wants to set aside foreign policy politics as usual.

Now the very capable leadership team of Defense Secretary Bob Gates, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton and Gen. Jim Jones, the incoming national security adviser, can apply their bipartisan credentials to help the president-elect forge an Iraq policy that will garner the support of Democrats and Republicans alike.

This outcome is not yet guaranteed, even with all the success we have seen over the previous two years in Iraq. That is what makes it all the more important that Republicans and Democrats put aside the differences over Iraq that have divided us in the past. The president-elect has the chance to repair this breach in our politics by adopting a set of policies, resting on the best judgments of our commanders and diplomats on the ground, that all of us — Democrats and Republicans alike — will be able to support. We have high hopes that he will do so.

Only time will tell.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)