Washington, Nov 7 : Now, with Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden being elected in the just concluded elections, speculations are rife as to who would fill their seats in the Senate, which would soon fall vacant.
Obama and Biden have until Inauguration Day (on Jan. 20) to resign their Senate seats, but it is likely they will step down sooner to prevent their replacements from losing seniority to fellow senators who are sworn in on Jan. 6.
The governors of Illinois and Delaware will make appointments that will last for two years -- and they appear to have plenty of names to choose from. In Illinois, which Obama has represented for four years -- the list of potential candidates include Rep. Jan Schakowsky; state Senate President Emil Jones Jr., who mentored Obama in the mid-1990s, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan, reported foxnews.com.
The most prominent candidate is Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who was also an Obama campaign co-chairman. Jackson came to Obama's defense when his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, was caught on tape expressing a desire to castrate Obama for "talking down to black people."
Last month, Jackson Jr. said he would be honored and humbled to replace Obama if he won the presidency. "But, in the end, the decision rests with Gov. [Rod] Blagojevich, and I'm confident that he'll make an appointment in the best interest of the state as well as the nation," Jackson said in a written statement.
Another possibility is Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois director of veterans affairs, an Iraq war veteran who lost most of both her legs after her helicopter was shot down. Duckworth lost her first political race, for a House seat, in 2006.
In Delaware, several possible scenarios make replacing Biden a political mystery, including which governor will make the appointment. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner's term ends on Jan. 20, so appointment authority could fall to her successor, Jack Markell, if Biden doesn't resign before he is sworn in as vice president.
Biden could resign before the new year to assure that Delaware's appointee has slightly more seniority than new senators, who take office on Jan. 6. Any senator sworn in after that would be absolute last in seniority, and last in line for everything from office space to parking to committee assignments.