WHAT HAPPENS IF A SENATOR BECOMES PRESIDENT?
Yesterday CongressDaily brought up an interesting point to consider. There's a good chance that the next president of the United States is going to be someone who is will have an unexpired U.S. Senate term to fill. The last sitting senator to have been elected president was JFK in 1960. This time it would be the case with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or that crazy old Republican kook from Arizona. And some of the hometown pols pushing these guys the hardest are the ones interested in replacing them. The most optimum scenario would be Obama winning the presidency and solidly progressive Jan Schakowsky succeeding him. The nightmare scenario in Illinois would be ultra-sleazy and corrupt Rahm Emanuel getting into the Senate. There are also 3 progressive African-American congressmen who would like to follow Obama: Bobby Rush, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Danny Davis. Then there are Chicago's just re-elected Mayor Richard Daley, a potential embarrassment to the Democratic Party in terms of egregious and unbounded corruption on a scale as wide as a Tom DeLay or Jerry Lewis.
It's far more likely, though, that a Senate replacement will have to be found in New York since it's hard to fathom that Hillary won't be the next President of the United States of America. Best scenario: very progressive-- far more than Hillary-- upstate Congressman Maurice Hinchey. Other Democratic congressmembers who would like to move to the Senate include progressive Jose Serrano (from the Bronx) and two moderates, Gregory Meeks (from Queens), and Nita Lowey (from Westchester). And of course there's always Hillary's husband (from Harlem).
In the extremely unlikely event that McCain becomes president, Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano would be bound by Arizona law to name a Republican and it isn't likely she would appoint anyone but a caretaker to just ride out the remainder of McCain's term, setting up an open race for 2010. Three far right exremists, Jeff Flake, John Shadegg and Trent Franks, are all eager to get their hands on that seat as would moderate Democrat Ed Pastor. And then there's the state's wildly popular governor...