I thought as a nice break from all the primary squabbling, I thought I might spark some discussion about something else: the race to replace Obama. There was a very neat discussion about this on the National Journal's wonderful HotlineTV v-blog the other day, and so I thought I'd share it with everyone.
The problem: Should Obama win the presidency, he'll need someone to fill his seat in the senate. According to this article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it's entirely up to Illinois Governor Blagojevich who he appoints to pick. He doesn't have to specifically pick a Democrat (although he would be certifiably insane not to), or have his pick vetted by anyone. Like much of Illinois politics, anything goes.
The Serious Seven Contenders:
1. Gov. Rod Blagojevich
That's right. He can appoint himself. And, there is reason to suggest he just might. The only catch is, he is intensly unpopular…especially in downstate Illinois. Were he to appoint himself, it puts the seat in serious jeopardy in 2010.
2. Ill. Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan
At 41, Ms. Madigan reigns supreme as the post-Obama rising star of the Illinois Democrat Party. Narrowly elected in 2002 with just a hair over 50% of the vote, her stances against some of Gov. Unpronounceable's policies have made her incredibly popular–as well as the Gov's chief rival. (For proof, see her 2006 reelection with 72% of the vote.) As rumor has it, the Gov. might appoint her for no other reason than to get her out of his well-coifed hair.
3. Sen. Rahm Emanuel
A man with serious skills, Sen. Emanuel is nothing if not politically savvy. He's a powerhouse in the House and connected out the wazoo; with those connections, could become a more influential senator than even his predecessor. And if the decision comes down to who's worked the hardest, it's a lock for Sen. Emanuel.