Posted by Brad @ 5:07 pm on November 24th 2008

DE-Sen: Biden’s Replacement? Biden’s Senior Adviser

Well then.

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner said today she will appointed Ted Kaufman, a longtime, close adviser to Sen. Joe Biden to fill the senator’s seat until a 2010 special election, a move that some warned could leave Delaware’s Democratic party feelings bruised for years to come.

The selection of the former Biden chief of staff was widely seen as a move by Vice president-elect Biden to protect his seat for his oldest son, Attorney General Beau Biden, now deploying to Iraq with his Delaware National Guard unit.

Snubbed with the choice was Lt. Gov. John Carney, considered a party favorite for the appointment. Carney as recently as last week had said he would take the job under any terms offered, including as a “placeholder” who would serve only until the 2010 regular election.

Those assurances apparently fell short of Biden’s requirements. Minner had said several times since Biden’s election to the vice-presidency that she would seek his guidance for the appointment.


Kaufman worked for Biden for 22 years, retiring in 1994 as chief of staff of the senator’s Washington office. He was senior adviser to Biden’s 2008 Presidential campaign and served the same role for his vice presidential bid. He is also one of Biden’s two representatives on Obama’s transition team.

Wow. That’s pretty…brazen.

So this guy has never held elected office, and his professional experience is solely as a Biden aide. And he gets the nod over the Lt. Governor? Talk about a ham-fisted, naked power-grab on Biden’s part. I don’t know that the blowback on this in Connecticut is going to be worth it in the long run to Beau, who probably could have won the seat outright against most anyone. At least I hope not. Is Delaware going to stand for that?


  1. It didn’t strike me that way. The people elected Sen Biden. Sen Biden is looking to have someone replace him that will faithfully reflect his views and style, after working with this guy for 22 years, he trusts that he will.

    Is that naivete?

    Comment by Leotie — 11/25/2008 @ 9:16 am

  2. Senator is a pretty important position. I don’t mind so much ostensible seat-holders, but literal seat holders?

    The qualification should be “who can best operate as United States Senator in the interim?” not “who can best operate as proxy Joe Biden in the interim?” It takes some chutzpah (and ego) to assume the latter position.

    In other words: it is not Joe Biden’s seat. It is the people’s seat, to be held by Joe Biden for only as long as Joe Biden actually holds it (i.e. it ceases to be “his” the moment he resigns it).

    Comment by Brad — 11/25/2008 @ 10:59 am

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