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Beau Biden Will Not Accept Senate Appointment



Vice-president elect Joe Biden and his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, embrace at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden will not accept an appointment to the Senate to replace his father, according to knowledgeable state sources, a decision that scrambles the race to to replace the vice president-elect in the Senate next year.

Beau Biden, the eldest son of Joe Biden, removed himself from consideration even as he prepares to deploy for a year-long tour of duty in Iraq. (Biden is a member of the Delaware National Guard and is currently training in Texas before being deployed to the Middle East.)

What Beau Biden's decision means for the Delaware political landscape is still anyone's guess. Given his military commitment, there seemed to be no way that he could be appointed to the seat in early 2009 anyway, and his decision to pro-actively remove himself from consideration simply affirms that reality.

Biden's decision does not rule out the possibility that he would run for the remaining four years on his father's Senate term in a 2010 special election. And, the specter of Biden -- the son of the vice president returning from his military service to assume the Senate seat -- complicates the decision that will be made by either outgoing Gov. Ruth Ann Minner or incoming Gov. Jack Markell (both Democrats) about who to appoint to the two-year vacancy.

If Biden resigns before Markell is sworn-in as Delaware's next governor on Jan. 20, then Minner, who is term limited out of office on that same day, would likely make the appointment. If Biden waits to resign until Markell's official swearing-in (or if the swearing-in is moved up to accommodate Delawareans who want to attend both ceremonies) then it would be Markell who would make the appointment. (ABC News laid out all of the potential scenarios in a piece penned the day after the election.)

Which governor picks could make a big difference in the identity of the next senator from Delaware and whether or not the door will be open to Beau Biden in 2010.

Minner is personally close to Lt. Gov. John Carney; she endorsed him in his unsuccessful primary fight against Markell. Carney has seemed to indicate he would be interested in the Senate appointment but, at 52 years old and with no obvious next step in politics, it's not at all clear that Carney would want to keep the seat warm for Beau Biden in two years time.

Among the other names mentioned are: Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele.

For Republicans, the strongest 2010 candidate would be Rep. Mike Castle who, after spending eight years as Delaware's governor in the 1980s and early 1990s, was elected to the state's at-large House seat in 1992. Castle has long been interested in the Senate seat but passed on a primary challenge to then Sen. Bill Roth (R) in 2000. It's not clear whether Castle, at age 69 and with some history of health problems, would want to undertake such a bruising statewide race, however.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 18, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

What bothers me about this whole "keeping the seat warm for Beau Biden in 2010" is that basically for 2 years, the taxpayers won't have a senator.

If Joe Biden waits until January 20, then his replacement will have missed 2 whole months to prepare (regards to a spouse and minor children or living accommodations as well as actually being a senator with orientation, furnishing and staffing an office, policy briefings, committee assignments, establishing relationship with fellow senators, etc...)

And if this person, who will be the least senior member of the senator, has no interest is winning election, there's no burden to accomplish anything worthwhile for Delawareans nor to prove him/herself worthy of being a senator for Delawareans.

Maybe this works out well for Beau Biden and he might be a great senator for Delaware in 2010 and maybe not.

Senator affect citizens of the state he/she represents and find it's just unfair and shortsighted that Delaware's voters twiddle their thumbs for 2 years during a worsening economic recession while the Delaware's tax dollars are paying for senator who not only did they vote for, but does not want their vote in 2 years as well. Plus even if this new senator wented to "bring change", he/she is getting stunted from the start in his/her senatorial career by Joe Biden refusing to resign and then having Gov. Minner appoint somebody and getting that person prepared and ready ASAP.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/11/biden-keeping-s.html

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/11/17/1677585.aspx

Posted by: Corey_NY | November 22, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Hunter Biden quit his position as a lobbyist just after Joe Biden was seleted to run with Obama.
Beau will do legal work most likely in Iraq.
Andrew McCain quit his job with a banking company 2 wks prior to an investigation was to begin. After John McCain was campaigning.
When a sitting senator's seat becomes vacant prior to the end of the term the governor of the state appoints someone to finish the term.

aka - the gullible moron vote

what poll? when? how many in poll?
Do you honestly believe that voters did not research the candidates and then choose according to who they believed was the one for POTUS?

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | November 21, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a really bad idea for a child of the Vice-President to be in active service and deployed overseas?

Surely the VP's son would be a special target. How horrific it would be if, a week into his deployment, Beau Biden was taken hostage. It would have to destabilize the US administration. This point - or something similar - was raised during the campaign, referring to McCain's and Palin's sons, as well as Beau Biden. There were concerns about possible lack of objectivity/conflicts of interest if they were elected and their kids were on tours of duty.

Posted by: whatfreshhell | November 19, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

David Plouffe!

Posted by: reglaing | November 18, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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Someone else should have the guts to say this however Eric Holder's performance during the Clinton administration was not held in very high regard. In fact, it was pretty much a joke that he was appointed to the position he was.

Seriously folks, are we kidding here?

This transition is becoming a parade of alternation unqualified and underqualified people intertwined with the Clinton administration, including a Clinton herself !


Is this a joke, or complete insanity.

This is quickly becoming a circus.

Does anyone remember the Clinton administration?

I know who does - the Superdelegates.

They voted to get the Clintons and their cronies OUT.

Obviously these people have NO IDEA what they are doing beyond the smoke and mirrors of the campaign.


What are they going to do - call Joe Biden from the 7 - 11 ???


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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

to: forgetthis

Your comment sounded homophobic. too much Fox news will do that to you man. Get a grip on your salami and take a hot shower bud...your in deep....way to deep when you see a proud father and his son as a gay picture. Actually your quite sad.

Posted by: dkummer1 | November 18, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

If the State Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele is considered as the Senate appointee then it corrupts the notion of separation of powers.

Whilst holding a judicial office the Judge should refuse to be considered and the Governor should refuse to consider the Judgea as a replacement.

To do otherwise infers a close and active relationship between the judiciary and the administration when they should always be at arm's length.

The Governor and the Judge should explain that the distance that should exist between them should not be suspended for party political reasons.

If they do not recognise the issue that I have raised then someone should take them aside and explain it to them.

Posted by: robertjames1 | November 18, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! That picture is cracking me up! I thought this was a picture of a gay marriage ceremony.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 18, 2008 3:42 PM |
******************************

What I saw in the picture was a loving, proud father and a clearly identifiable son (strong resemblance) appreciating the moment.

As for the poster of the comment: Creep. Sneak back into your closet in which you are clearly hiding. Whenever a guy feels a need to make a statement like yours, it's almost always a giveaway of having something to hide.

Posted by: ExpatAsia | November 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Money is too good as a lobbyist to accept a lousy senate seat.

Posted by: leapin | November 18, 2008 2:39 PM

That would make more sense if you had the right son. Please read up on what you are posting about.

Posted by: gdavis4 | November 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Money is too good as a lobbyist to accept a lousy senate seat."

That's Hunter, not Beau.

I think they should appoint someone to fill out the term and let the Democratic Party of Delaware pick their man in 2010; incumbency is too powerful to just confer it like that.

Posted by: SeanC1 | November 18, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"Survey finds most Obama voters remembered negative coverage of McCain/Palin statements but struggled to correctly answer questions about coverage associated with Obama/Biden ...this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace...


aka - the gullible moron vote."

Ah, you gotta love it when a Bush fanatic refers to others as gullible.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

So Biden's son is going to do his tour in Iraq and give up a seat in the US Senate to do so... Other priorities, indeed.

Posted by: bawrytr | November 18, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"A bruising STATEWIDE race?" You mean to every corner of Delaware, far and wide, north and south, east and west? Yes, I understand. Why would ANYONE want to attempt to campaign in all parts of Delaware?

Posted by: jjedif | November 18, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! That picture is cracking me up! I thought this was a picture of a gay marriage ceremony.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"It's not clear whether Castle, at age 69 and with some history of health problems, would want to undertake such a bruising statewide race, however." A bruising statewide race? You're joking right? We're talking about Delaware here. There aren't even 1 million people in the whole state.

In any event, I'm rooting for Beau in 2010!

Posted by: jasonboothe | November 18, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Survey finds most Obama voters remembered negative coverage of McCain/Palin statements but struggled to correctly answer questions about coverage associated with Obama/Biden ...this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace...


aka - the gullible moron vote."

I refer you to Nate Silver's excellent website fivethirtyeight.com which calls this poll exactly what it is, a push poll. To wit: "a seemingly unbiased telephone survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular candidate and disseminates negative information about an opponent."
Here is the headline you *should* be reading: Zogby Engages in Apparent Push Polling for Right-Wing Website.

Posted by: NewlyLiberated | November 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Survey finds most Obama voters remembered negative coverage of McCain/Palin statements but struggled to correctly answer questions about coverage associated with Obama/Biden ...this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace...


aka - the gullible moron vote.
________________----
1st of all, when you have large pots of money to commit to the race, your message tends to stick. 2nd, when the vast majority of that money comes from small contributors, they tend to already agree with the message. 3rd, when all those people volunteer, and show up at the polls, the other side tends to lose.

Rather than name calling, I'd like to see an apology to those of us who are community organizers, those of us who work against the odds every day to make our communities better. Even Rudy probably knows what a community organizer is now.

By the way, thanks for the compliment of the "gullible moron vote". It's the name calling that is the most effective of all for "us" on the other side. Obama a "socialist?" You better hope so if the economy keeps going the way it has lately. Oh, and with the bailout...what would you call the current administration's policy, anyway?

See, points being made and no name calling. It still works and it's called a healthy political debate.

Posted by: morgangale | November 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Money is too good as a lobbyist to accept a lousy senate seat.

Posted by: leapin | November 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So - what's a senate seat worth? Everybody else has to raise a lot of cash, and battle out a campaign, with all the resultant examination etc. Basically you have to kiss the devil on the lips to win a Senate seat.

But somebody('s) get to waltz on in. I wonder if the appointed guys make better or worse Senators than the elected kind. Having never had to wrestle the seat away from someone - I wonder how effective they can be running a Senate campaign to hold their seats?

Posted by: DonJasper | November 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Love your work...please drop me a note at lionus@theprogressivepolitico.com or drop by the site. I would love to talk about seeing your work, show up on our site.

Lionus

Posted by: lionus | November 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

If Markell makes the appointment, then Minner would be the perfect choice .. She has served the state of Delaware very well, and deserves to continue doing so

Posted by: kdemko | November 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I concur on the hillary to replace Biden notion. why else would she agree to give up a guaranteed job for life in the Senate for one that has limited longevity. a SofS is good for about 3-5 years max. After that it is out to pasture. there is no going back to the Senate. the only deal she can make is that she will be handed the VP slot in 2012 and then the incumbent Pres opportunity in 2016. she will have to finally divorce Bill so she is no longer technically his spouse. that will not involve any actual change in lifestyle though, this sham marriage having been over for years.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I would bet that Vice-President Biden will have at least a small say in who is his replacement. I would bet it is someone who will willingly step aside in two years time and toe the party line until then.

Also I was wondering with the whole Clinton as Sec of State thing if we are being set up for a Biden appointment to the Supreme Court, and Hillary taking over as VP in say 3 years or so.

It makes sense, IMO because Hillary will still be young enough to run in 8 years and Biden will be older than McCain is now. Where as he could serve on Court until he was 80 or 90.
If it does happen I want credit, CC.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 18, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Gov should appoint the person who will best represent the needs of the people of Delaware; if Junior wants to run for the seat in 2010 he can join the field just like anybody else.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

60% of the preceding comments actually related to the post – a new Fix record!

Posted by: FlownOver | November 18, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Survey finds most Obama voters remembered negative coverage of McCain/Palin statements but struggled to correctly answer questions about coverage associated with Obama/Biden ...this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace...


aka - the gullible moron vote.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.
$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget."

Posted by: diana9 | November 18, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

sjxylib is right. Then it's a twofer.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 18, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

If Jack Markell does appoint the replacement is there a reason that Ruth Ann Minner is not being mentioned? It seems logical from an outsider's perspective.

Posted by: noahthek | November 18, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I say appointment Windsor, she will be the seat warmer, and let Beau run when he has a heroic return after his deployment in Iraq.

Posted by: sjxylib | November 18, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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