And the balance tips . . .

Frank Lautenberg just died. He was the oldest Senator, the last WWII vet still serving, and he was a Democrat.

lautenbergChris Christie gets to appoint the interim replacement. And of course, he’ll appoint a Republican. But it may not be a smooth transition (like we really need this?):

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) can appoint a replacement for Lautenberg,  meaning Senate Democrats lose a reliable vote as they take on tough issues like  immigration reform this summer.

However, there is some question over whether Christie’s appointment would  face a special election in November — as Democrats claim — or would serve out  the remainder of Lautenberg’s term. Democrats are expected to file a legal  challenge on this issue in New Jersey.

Since it increasingly seem likely that the planned debt ceiling confrontation may be a dud after all, here comes a whopper, just in time, to raise the political hackles.

17 responses to “And the balance tips . . .

  1. Riiight! We don’t need this.

    Oh, for some congressional sanity!


  2. The NJ Governor ALWAYS seems to be right in the middle of it, eh?

    He, he, he….Why not just appoint Cory Booker , the Newark Mayor?
    He’s the odds on favorite to get the seat next November anyways…
    That would REALLY sent the place off the hook!


    • If only. You’re right james, he’s next up for the Dems . . . could you see Christie doing it to further his ‘centrist’ credentials? Nah, that’d be a step too far methinks. But oh the bloodletting that would happen in the GOP. Heads ewould explode!


      • I don’t think so, Moe. Cristie could appoint Booker and, with just a little spin, avoid reprisal since Booker turned his back on Obama and is one of the very few Dems of any standing who has actually put his money and his life where his mouth is.


        • If Christie did it, it would be seen by his party as the equivalent of securing that seat in the US Senate to the Dems for years and years. The party wouldn’t forgive, even if it played well with the public.


          • It’s going to come down to whether or not a special election looks likely. That it will happen was a underlying and unspoken (stuipd!) postulate of my comment. If there’s going to be a special election, then Cristie can appoint Booker safely and gain national support for doing so. If there’s not going to be one, then it’s likely that Cristie will remain loyal to his party and much of his base.


            • It could play out that way I suppose, but I think our pols – even the brave ones – are still too timid to risk an actual backlash from their party. It’ll be interesting as time goes on to see how Cruz and Paul fare. They’re giving their elders some heartburn.


              • Moe, honestly O just don’t see ANY backlash from appointing Booker if there’s to be a special election and I also don’t see that much of one – if they spin it right – even if there isn’t.

                You know me well enough to know that, if I don’t have a serious problem with Booker despite some of his politics, the rank and file, who are closer to Left than I in most cases, won’t have one if informed about Booker.


                • Looks like you were right – special election – THIS YEAR. Which history suggests will have a very low turnout – I don’t think the voters will come from the ‘rank and file’. But we’ll see. In a year without any other big election news, this thing is going to be covered in excrutiating detail.

                  I expect you like Booker – as I do – because he DOES HIS JOB nad he does it with some competence. that matters, especially these days.


                • Nope; I don’t Booker at all. His agenda is largely, though not completely, antithetical to anything that I believe is right and I certainly don’t want him in the Senate. What I do is respect him for his ability, courage, and the simple fact that, while I don’t like his talk, I can’t and won’t claim he hasn’t always walked the walk as well…and that’s freaking rare these days for anyone, much less a politician.


  3. I’m not sure what Cristie has left to lose as far as appointing Booker goes. Don’t conservatives already hate him for walking down the Jersey shore with Obama and winning that teddy bear for the President?


  4. Okay, here’s me throwing my hands up in the air – three of you are saying Christie could go with Booker without committing political suicide, so I guess I must allow as how it’s possible . . .


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