January 1, 2009

Should Governor Paterson choose a caretaker Senator?

There's a new election for the Hillary Clinton Senate seat in 2010 (and then again in 2012), so why not let that field of candidates develop in a naturally competitive fashion by putting someone there now who will perform the function in a dignified, statesmanlike way?

Some are suggesting Bill Clinton or Mario Cuomo, but — even if one of them would do it – there's an obvious problem: Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary? There are some senior, statesmanlike women in New York, and I don't mean Caroline Kennedy.
The caretaker option was exercised last month by Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, who picked a former aide to Vice President-elect Joe Biden to succeed him in the Senate until a new senator is elected in 2010. By then, Biden's son, state Attorney General Beau Biden, will have returned from a tour in Iraq with the National Guard — just in time to run for his father's seat.
Caroline Kennedy is in the Beau Biden category. I know he's delayed by his trip to Iraq, but aside from that, he wouldn't be properly respected if he didn't run for office. Let Caroline prove her stuff in a real competition for office. Perhaps she won't even try, if she's put that test. Deciding whether to run in a real competition is itself a test, and perhaps Princess Caroline would decline. I think the people of New York deserve to see if she would subject her royal self to the ordeal and, if she did, how she'd do debating scrappy politicians who haven't lived their lives swathed in adoration, wealth, and deference.

39 comments:

Original George said...

If black Senator should always replace a black Senator and a woman a woman, then surely a white man must always hold Strom Thurmond's seat as well.

Palladian said...

"Some are suggesting Bill Clinton or Mario Cuomo, but — even if one of them would do it – there's an obvious problem: Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?"

It's this kind of thinking that's ruining our country.

kimsch said...

Why would she have to be replaced by a woman?

It's like here in Illinois - "We have to replace Obama with a black man since he was the only black person in the Senate."

That particular seat was held by Carol Moseley Braun (a black woman) from 1993 to 1999 then it was held by Peter Fitzgerald (a white man and no relation to Patrick) then Barack Obama.

I don't think there's any particular reason to replace someone with a "clone". They need to be replaced with people. That's it. No identity politics.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Following that logic, Patterson should step down for a balding whore-mongering hypocrite.

Albatross said...

Replacing a woman with a woman? What happened to "change"?

Simon said...

"There are some senior, statesmanlike women in New York"

For example?

section9 said...

You don't understand, do you?

The fix is in. Obama's people are paying back the Kennedy's for their support of Obama against Hillary. Obama's staff will quietly pressure Patterson and the New York Democratic Party to appoint Princess Caroline to Hillary's seat.

The Kennedys always thought of the Clintons as Lace Curtain Irish always thought of Shanty Irish: rough and unprincipled upstarts. This is the Kennedy Family way of reasserting its authority in the Party, by getting Hillary to take the S.O.S. seat, and putting Caroline in her stead, Hillary is quietly dispatched to handle the world's most unmanageable problems. Meantime, Caroline is quietly groomed to run for President in 2016 as the Martyred Jack's long lost Daughter come back to the White House.

This script writes itself. I'm not the only Republican who has figured it out. Caroline is simply the vehicle. After all, if Barack can get elected with internet money, imagine what the Kennedys can do.

Princess Caroline vs. Palin: you heard it here first. This assumes, btw, that Barack doesn't screw the pooch, which is always possible given his stratospheric ratings. After all, the bigger they are, the quicker they fall.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

err, that should be a white balding whore-mongering hypocrite.

And how was everyone else's New Year?

rhhardin said...

It's time for a dog as senator.

Pogo said...

Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?
Why stop there?

Why not list the permissible identity groups and apportion seats thereby?

A candidate selected for you by the DNC would then be appointed.

hell, why even vote?

section9 said...

"There are some senior, statesmanlike women in New York"

For example?

What? You've never watched Judge Judy?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

there's an obvious problem: Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?

Why?

Seriously. Why?

Is the Senate now an affirmative action organization?

We are sooooo screwed as a nation.

BJM said...

Althouse said: who will perform the function in a dignified, statesmanlike way?

Dignified? Statesmanlike? Cuomo yes, Clinton not so much.

Bill Clinton would create a media feeding frenzy at a crucial time when the focus should be on Obama and Saturday Night Bill always lurks in the background.

However it would be fun to watch Schumer's reaction as another Clinton sucks up all the media oxygen.

Simon said...

Of course, since Patterson has indicated that he isn't going to pick a successor unless Hillary is confirmed (indeed, he can't unless she's dumb enough to resign before that), this whole business is academic if Hillary isn't confirmed. Which she should be, given the ineligibility problem discussed last month (a problem that should also defeat Salazar's nomination). I doubt that there are forty Senators who take their oath seriously, however, let alone fifty, so I suppose this is amoot point. Poor form by Obama to announce an intent to violate his oath before he's even taken it.

Simon said...

Section9, I have, and while there is much to like about her, she hardly fits the bill of "statesmanlike" (surely "stateswomanlike"?).

ricpic said...

It's time for a dog as senator.

Or a chicken.

Michael_H said...

There are some senior, statesmanlike women in New York

Geraldine Ferraro would be an excellent senator.

The seriousness of the issues faced in the Senate mitigates against a 'caretaker', one who merely votes the way Harry Reid dictates without participating in debate or deliberation.

LutherM said...

So ALTHOUSE refers to Caroline Kennedy, who has qualifications to be Senator, as "Princess Caroline".
The teacher from Wisconsin should reflect, on this first day of a new year, on her use of denegrating terms.

TitusHappyNewYear said...

I would like to do Beau Biden. I would like to see him nude. I bet he has an impressive hog. He seems like the type that can fuck hard and long-which interests me greatly. A three way with Beau and Hunter would be fine as well.

I don't have interest in seeing Caroline Kennedy nude.

TitusHappyNewYear said...

Maybe Strom Thurmond's black daughter could replace him?

TitusHappyNewYear said...

I didn't want to do anyone at the Door Alley Block Party (if that's the correct name).

I don't care for those type of "uniforms". Also, those guys were pretty old. I didn't even know there were gay guys that old or that out of shape.

Patm said...

The person who should be replacing Hillary is Nita Lowey, who was set to run for Hillary's seat until Her Majesty decided she wanted to be a senator, at which time Lowey was tapped on the shoulder and told to stand down.

Lowey would have won election handily, and it seems to me she's the only one who should be named, now. Clinton should say, "thanks, now that I'm done using it, you can finally have it."

jaed said...

Simon, doesn't Congress's rescinding the pay increase allow Hillary the office, even under the strictest interpretation of the Emoluments Clause?

(Granted, they only did so in order to ensure her eligibility, but I can't see that that makes any legal difference. If they'd raised the salary and then rescinded it for some other reason, I'd think she'd be eligible.)

TMink said...

Luther wrote: "Caroline Kennedy, who has qualifications to be Senator,"

Such as ...

Trey

blake said...

Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?

Awferchrissake, really?

Really?

It never ends? Or does it only end after we have a woman President?

mariner said...

Althouse:

"Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?"

Wow.

Just wow.

rcocean said...

I don't have interest in seeing Caroline Kennedy nude.

A lot of us male un-Gays feel the same way.

Simon said...

blake said...
"It never ends? Or does it only end after we have a woman President?"

If we have an X President, wouldn't it represent a backslide for the progress of X to elect a non-X President? (Replace X with any demographic preferred other than white christan males.) That's the question of endgame for these movements. What exactly does victory look like, and what happens next?

Simon said...

jaed said...
"Simon, doesn't Congress's rescinding the pay increase allow Hillary the office, even under the strictest interpretation of the Emoluments Clause?"

No.

jaed said...

Mrph. With all respect, I don't find a convincing argument at the link. For example, you quote: "[R]escinding the increase does not mean that the salary 'shall not have been increased' it simply means that the salary shall have been both increased and reduced during the term."

But in this case, as far as I can tell that's not so: a scheduled salary increase was enacted, but it was rescinded before it took effect. (I might well be wrong about this, but that's my understanding.) It never increased, and in any case no increase will apply to Hillary should she be confirmed.

It's not really like rolling back an odometer: an odometer is merely the indicator of mileage, and rolling it back doesn't change the number of miles on the car. Hillary however will not actually receive the scheduled salary increase; Congress is not just saying she won't get an increase, she actually doesn't get it. (You seem to say yourself that the recission satisfies the purpose of the clause, whether it satisfies its text or not.)

Hypothetical question: suppose Congress passed a pay-increase bill for a certain position, but included the proviso that the increase will not apply should any current member of Congress be appointed to the position. Would this satisfy the text of the clause, in your view?

Simon said...

Jaed,
Clinton was last elected in 2006, so the relevant period of inquiry is her term: January 3d 2007 through January 3d 2013. If the emoluments of the office of the Secretary of State - including but not limited to salary - are increased at any point during this time, even if she has since resigned (cf. the Kirkwood case, 17 Op. Attorney General 365 (1881)), Clinton is ineligible to be appointed as Secretary of State before the expiry of her term on January 3d 2013. As the post I linked to noted, At very least, the salary has risen from $183,500 in 2006, through $186,600 in 2007, to $191,300 in 2008. The most recent increase took effect on January 1st 2008. The emoluments of the office to which Obama proposes to appoint Clinton have increased during the term for which she was elected to the Senate, and that is all that is required to trigger the clause, as prof. Tushnet noted (and as prof. Paulson explained far more comprehensively than my post did, see Michael Stokes Paulsen, Is Lloyd Bentsen Unconstitutional?, 46 Stan. L. Rev. 907 (1994)).

While it can be pointed out that Clinton didn't vote for the increase, or that the so-called "Saxbe fix" would mean that she wouldn't benefit from the increase, these concerns are quite simply irrelevant. They do not address concerns material to the rule of the clause. Likewise, an unambiguous rule is not defeated by the revelation that it is an imperfect fit for the purposes that animated its drafter. Many if not most legal rules have unintended consequences, catching conduct the authors didn't intend to reach or allowing conduct that they did intend to reach to fall between the cracks (for but two recent examples, see the discussion of wire fraud in the seventh circuit's decision last week in United States v. Turner, and American Council of the Blind v. Paulson, 525 F.3d 1256 (D.C. Cir. 2008)).

The hypothetical is interesting. I think it fails in the mine run of cases but might work in a few exceptional cases. Here's the problem with it: in ordinary operation, you won't know to apply the exception until after it's already gone into effect. The pay increase will be enacted before it's known that a member of Congress will be appointed, which reveals this as nothing more than a preemptive version of the Saxbe fix, subject to all the same problems. The exception would be the extraordinary situation where a bill containing the sort of proviso you refer to is passed with an effective date in the future, and before the effective date, a member of Congress is appointed to an office that benefits from the increase.

amba said...

I think it's neat (a little surprising, and democratically healthy) that people haven't just rolled over for the Caroline Kennedy Senatorship. But I have trouble being mean about what a princess she is given the way she lost her father and her brother. (I don't include her mother, whom she lost the old-fashioned way, and I do admit that there was an element of stubbornness and stupidity in her brother's death.) Does that help to explain why she seems a weary, low-energy person?

By the way, thinking a woman should be appointed to Hillary's seat seems to violate your own principles. Why should a black necessarily be appointed to Obama's seat? Or to Thurgood Marshall's? Even if women are still sorely underrepresented in government, that smacks of quota-ism.

Kev said...

(the original Kev)

I missed this post earlier today, but I have to agree with what amba and others have said:

By the way, thinking a woman should be appointed to Hillary's seat seems to violate your own principles. Why should a black necessarily be appointed to Obama's seat? Or to Thurgood Marshall's? Even if women are still sorely underrepresented in government, that smacks of quota-ism.

Yes, the sooner we move away from racial/gender identity politics and judge everyone on merit alone, the better off we'll be.

And now I'll ponder (after sleeping, of course) whether "there's an obvious problem: Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?" is actually a statement of Althouse's personal opinion, or simply a prediction as to what others will say.

Ann Althouse said...

"By the way, thinking a woman should be appointed to Hillary's seat seems to violate your own principles. Why should a black necessarily be appointed to Obama's seat? Or to Thurgood Marshall's? Even if women are still sorely underrepresented in government, that smacks of quota-ism."

How so? Where have I stated such principles? Here's what I wrote on the subject of replacing Justice O'Connor with another woman.

I mean, you've thrown in "necessarily" in a way that stacks the deck. I only posed the question: "Shouldn't a woman replace Hillary?" I didn't say a woman must replace Hillary. I think Paterson is thinking he ought to appoint a woman, and that's one reason for focusing on Kennedy. I note that there are other women (as named in the linked article). Basically, it's a factor, and an important one here.

amba said...

How so? Where have I stated such principles?

I'm not going to spend an hour searching for it, but on the subject of certain narrow feminists' insistence that (on the one hand) it was a woman's turn to be president and (on the other hand) that Hillary Clinton was denied the nomination because of sexism, you were (IIRC) adamant that women should be judged as individual competitors and not either preferred or disadvantaged because of their gender.

amba said...

I don't feel this way about an election, only about an appointment. I thought appointing Clarence Thomas to THurgood Marshall's Supreme Court seat was really gross: keep it the "black seat," but switch it to conservative. Crude!

If a woman wants to compete for a seat being vacated by a woman, and the voters want to nominate and elect her, great. That's the way the numbers of women (or any underrepresented group) in office should increase. To appoint a person of the same category to fill a vacated seat is tokenism, quotaism, and pandering.

The problem with my argument, however, is: why should one avoid appointing a qualified woman to a seat vacated by a woman?

The Nita Lowey comment is probably right.

Ann Althouse said...

I can't remember exactly what I said, so it's hard to respond to that. I would say that the presidency is different from all the other positions. We really must take the best person, and I would not get jazzed up about it being time for a woman. But for Senator, obviously there are qualified, good women in New York that could replace Hillary and the Governor can take the optics into account.

Ann Althouse said...

"To appoint a person of the same category to fill a vacated seat is tokenism, quotaism, and pandering."

Yeah, but only in a completely ordinary political way.

I think the Governor can take account of how things look when he's doing an appointment like this.

Bob Sutherland said...

Dearest Ann,

In keeping with the Jan 1 post suggesting Hillary's placement should be a woman, please be sure to post a new blog commenting that if Judd Gregg is appointed Secretary of Commerce, that his replacement SHOULD be a white male. Unless you have double-standards...