Filling Joe Biden's Delaware Senate Seat

Joe and Beau Biden: The Once and Future Senators?

Joe and Beau Biden: The Once and Future Senators?

 Following the election victory of Barack Obama and Joe Biden over the McCain-Palin ticket, American politics settled into a relatively quiet transition period. Several positions in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and Governor's seats came open as Obama picked several veteran Democratic office-holders to fill out his cabinet. Nearly all of those open seats stirred some national interest, and, in several cases, a degree of controversy as jockeying for those seats broke out in several states.

Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden gave up his long-time position as Delaware's senior Senator, and the Governor of Delaware, Ruth Ann Minner (D), picked an old political crony and senior adviser of Biden's to replace the new Vice-President. Ted Kaufman has worked with Joe Biden for decades in Washington D.C. as Biden's Chief of Staff, and Kaufman had already declared that he will not run for re-election.

This actually caused a bit of controversy as it was widely assumed that Kaufman was serving as a "place-holder" for Joe Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who was considered very likely to run for the seat in the 2010 Senate election. At the time of the appointment of Kaufman, the younger Biden was preparing to be deployed to Iraq with his National Guard unit, and took himself out of the running as an appointed replacement for his father's Senate seat.

Joe Biden has a reputation for speaking his mind, and for being fairly honest with his opinions (for a politician), and had this to say on the speculation surrounding his son and his Senate seat:

"It is no secret that I believe my son, Attorney General Beau Biden would make a great United States Senator—just as I believe he has been a great Attorney General. But Beau has made it clear from the moment he entered public life, that any office he sought, he would earn on his own. If he chooses to run for the Senate in the future, he will have to run and win on his own. He wouldn’t have it any other way."

With Kaufman taking himself out of the 2010 election, the early betting had a Democratic primary contest between Attorney General Beau Biden and Delaware's outgoing Lieutenant Governor John Carney. Carney lost the 2008 Governor's primary by 1,700 votes to Governor-Elect Jack Markell. Carney had been considered as a potential Senate candidate for whenever Biden would have moved on or retired, prior to the ascendency of a potential Biden Dynasty.

In October, 2009, Rep. Mike Castle, who is a former two-term Republican Delaware governor, announced his candidacy for Joe Biden's old Senate Seat.

In late January, 2010, Beau Biden sent shockwaves through Delaware politics, and struck another body blow to the Democratic Party's attempts to retain control of the Senate in the 2010 Congressional Elections when he announced that he would not run for his father's old Senate Seat.




Links and Resources:

 Beau Biden takes a pass on a Senate run--Los Angeles Times , Jan. 25, 2010

Biden's son will not seek Delaware Senate seat--CNN, Jan. 25, 2010

Biden's Son Will Not Run for Father's Senate Seat --New York Times, Jan. 25, 2010

Biden’s seat kept warm, Nov. 24, 2008

Ted Kaufman to succeed Biden in Senate--Politico, Nov. 24, 2008

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