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Kaufman Replaces Biden in the Senate

Ted Kaufman, a longtime aide to Vice President-elect Joe Biden, was officially sworn in to the 111th Congress this morning, filling his former boss's seat.

Following Kaufman's swearing-in on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered a statement of welcome. After providing some highlights from Kaufman's education and work history -- Bachelor's degree from Duke University; MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; DuPont Compnay; Biden chief of staff -- Reid continued:

"When Joe Biden was elected to the United States Senate from Delaware at the age of twenty-nine in 1973, Senator asked Ted to take a leave from DuPont to help him set up his new office in Washington. Senator Biden asked Ted for one year - Ted wound up giving him 20. That is a remarkable tenure. It shows Ted Kaufman's extraordinary loyalty to the service of his country.
"In this time of great consequence, Senator Kaufman's 20 years of experience, and the wisdom accumulated over those years, will serve him well as he serves the people of Delaware in the United States Senate. Senator Kaufman, welcome home."

Kaufman was quietly appointed to fill Biden's vacant seat by Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Miner in November. Biden and Kaufman have a long history together, with Kaufman serving for more than two decades on Biden's Senate staff, almost all of it as chief of staff, and more recently, serving in an advisory role during Biden's 2008 White House bid.

Last month, Biden said of Kaufman: "There is no one who knows more about how the United States Senate works and no one who is more ready to do this job for Delaware than Ted Kaufman...Over the years, he has earned the respect of those who have served, like Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey and of those who are still there, like Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. He will make a great partner with Senator Tom Carper."

Kaufman will serve as senator until 2010, when a special election will be held to fill the remaining four years of Biden's term. Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is considered a strong contender for the seat. Beau Biden is currently serving in Iraq with the Delaware National Guard.

In November, Kaufman said that he would be "very comfortable with retiring after 2 years. I don't think Delaware's appointed senator should spend the next two years running for office. I will do this job to the fullest of my ability, and spend my days focused on one thing and one thing only: serving Delaware."

Kaufman joined the Senate one day after Biden officially resigned.

--Sarah Lovenheim

By Washington Post editors  |  January 16, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

Terrific. Joe Biden’s genes will grace the U.S. Senate for another generation or so. All we need.

Posted by: Andrewbl1 | January 16, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

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