June 3, 2013

Frank Lautenberg — the 89-year-old Senator who said he wouldn't seek reelection in 2014 — has died.

Email from CNN says that the "New Jersey Democrat who had served five terms in the U.S. Senate since 1982 and was the chamber's last surviving World War II veteran, died Monday of viral pneumonia."

Another U.S. Senate seat that must be filled before next year's elections.

ADDED: "Gov. Chris Christie will appoint his temporary replacement and schedule a special election; Cory Booker has not been shy about his intention to run for the seat." 

56 comments:

rhhardin said...

A man for whom NJ suspended the election rules to get a Democrat in.

Lem said...

This is going to be a window into the plans of the wily republican governor Chris Christie.

jacksonjay said...


No surprise! Christie appoints a Democrat!

JPS said...

Didn't he was a nice guy, didn't agree with him on much if anything, but - RIP, and thanks for your service.

I don't get what it is about the Senate that causes Senators to want to hold office til they die. In their shoes I think I would, non-euphemistically, want to spend some time with my family while I could. But then I never will be in their shoes.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Christy should appoint Snooki

David said...

Old Frank cut it a little close and the dems are out a seat.

Christie appoints the successor. Would he appoint himself? Could he? Is there another Republican who could hold this seat in 2014?

2014! Damn. 100 years since the start of the "Great War."

Every time we think things are a mess, remember how much better the world is now than it was then.

Then remember how bad it can get when humans loosen their folly.

David said...

JPS--the dems ran him again because they thought any of their other candidates might lose.

Lautenberg was a very rich guy with little else to do. He was also a bit loose in his principles, except for the ideological ones, where he was a steadfast lefty.

There are those who will miss him.

He's a perfect example of the contemporary politician, unfortunately.

SteveR said...

Sen Cory Booker

Clyde said...

Hopefully Garden Staters will choose someone younger, healthier and better next time.

Bob Ellison said...

Is Jim McGreevey available?

Augie Fartro said...

Lautenberg was a very rich guy indeed, made in the early days of data processing. He was so old in this last term, I'm not sure I can recall him offering anything intelligent or reflecting any knowledge of the information/information-technology based economy. It was a wasted seat, a little like Herb Kohl, only not so quiet.

Roger J. said...

RIP Senator--thank you for your service even if I didn't agree with your politics. I also think the late senator had one of the best lines ever: "never get between Chuck Shumer and a microphone."

bandmeeting said...

And he will not run in 2014, that is certain. Finally, a politician keeps his word.

Jay said...

Big government at every turn:

First elected in 1982, he built a reputation during his first 18 years in office as a scrappy politician who thought government had enabled his own rise to wealth and thus favored expansive federal programs. As chair of the transportation appropriations subcommittee, the former two-pack-a-day smoker crusaded against the tobacco industry and in 1989 won a smoking ban on almost all domestic airline flights, a victory that was credited with opening the way for restrictions on smoking in public buildings.
He was instrumental in passing laws that raised the legal drinking age to 21, prohibited domestic-violence convicts from buying guns and required companies to disclose the chemicals they release into the environment, an early “right-to-know” provision that became a model for others.


He wanted to regulate every aspect of our lives and was strongly opposed to the 2nd Amendment.

Nonapod said...

It's odd that more people don't seem to think it ridiculous that you have members dying of basically old age while in office. To me it's just another example of why hard term limits in both the Senate and House need to be implemented.

campy said...

And he will not run in 2014, that is certain.

But he'll vote!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

bandmeeting said...

And he will not run in 2014, that is certain.

But don't be surprised if he manages to vote.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Drat! Campy was quicker.

Jay said...

In March 2011, Frank Lautenberg stated to an assembled group of constituents that Republicans "don't deserve the freedoms that are in the Constitution...but we'll give them to them anyway."

Fuck him.

edutcher said...

The only reason he was there was to replace Torricelli after Torchy got caught taking illegal contributions.

Before that, he was elected the first time because he criticized Republican Millicent Fenwick for being too old to serve - at age 72.

A true Democrat.

AprilApple said...

I am sickened that our constitutional republic has so many in-there-for-life elected officials who die in office.

Damn the voters who keep electing these career pols.
Damn the corrupt career pols who choose never to leave the stage.

AprilApple said...

Say hi to Teddy Chappaquiddick K and Robert KKK Bryd(D).

The Drill SGT said...

Dirty Harry is now out one vote for closure. One wonders if that is gonna impact things

edutcher said...

According to Menendez (another sterling Jersey Demo), the bill was short of votes.

rcommal said...

Wouldn't it be fun if Christie appoints Booker for the interim and then takes him on for election to a full-term? Entertaining scenario.

Tim said...

Why can't he still be Senator? Just as effective. His aides did his voting anyway.

Methadras said...

Good riddance, you piece of shit.

Roger J. said...

Dead Senators, dead voters--what difference does it make? sarc off

Scott said...

If Christie appoints Booker, Christie better follow it up with an announcement that he's changing parties.

edutcher said...

Roger J. said...

Dead Senators, dead voters--what difference does it make? sarc off

It's what's making the Demos a majority.

edutcher said...

Scott said...

If Christie appoints Booker, Christie better follow it up with an announcement that he's changing parties.

I've been expecting that since November.

Unknown said...

Edutcher--I am well aware--that is why I fear for my country. We are going backward.

Kirk Parker said...

Ignorance,

Snooki? Or maybe Ashley Judd could move to NJ...

Unknown said...

Apologies--"unknown" was in fact RogerJ

harrogate said...

He was also one of the best at calling out the chickenhawks.

RIP

Mark Jones said...

Good riddance to the bastard, the man behind the ex post-facto "Lautenberg rule" (depriving people of their 2nd amendment rights years or decades after the fact). I wish I believed in hell because I'd like to think he'd be roasting there for eternity.

Roger J. said...

Harrogate: indeed that was a real talent--too bad it didn't apply the same standard to the current administration. Or perhaps he did call out Mr Obama for his drone policy or his continuing war in A-stan--I must have missed that.

Rich B said...

Christie should appoint Doug Forreser, the candidate who was on his way to victory over Torricelli until the NJ Supreme Court allowed the Dems to substitute Lautenberg after the deadline for such a change had passed. If he did that, I would be impressed with him again. But he won't.

MadisonMan said...

Glad that an incumbent is out of office. He should be thanked for his service, but that's tough to do for someone who for so long overstayed his welcome.

bbkingfish said...

I guess when he said he wouldn't seek re-election, he really, really meant it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Nonapod,

It's odd that more people don't seem to think it ridiculous that you have members dying of basically old age while in office. To me it's just another example of why hard term limits in both the Senate and House need to be implemented.

Yeah, now that we've seen a living Pope leave the office other than feet first ...

Matt said...

Mark Jones
I wish I believed in hell because I'd like to think he'd be roasting there for eternity.

He had a strong opinion about gun control and you want him in hell for that? Wow. That's overkill dude. Dial it down a bit.

Steve Koch said...

Christie should appoint himself senator, if that is legal.

Ronald Ward said...

AprilApple, you defeat your purpose.

Methadras said...

I was a tubby fan until Urkel came calling and tubby had his tubby fingers out to shake his hand and take the money on several occasions. Looks like Urkel was able to wipe him with the guilt by association stank all over tubby. Now tubby has an opportunity to rehab his tubby-ness and appoint a conservative republican as a senator until the election. Will he do it? Or is it going to be a bet be don't moment?

tiger said...

I haven't seen one mention of how a few years back the NJSC rigged their election rules so he could be put into office.

That was scandal along with lots of other things he was associated with over the years.

rosebud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosebud said...

Steve Koch said...

Christie should appoint himself senator, if that is legal.

Governor Wendell Anderson essentially did that in 1976 when Senator Mondale was elected to the VP.

He lost in the next Senatorial election. When even Minnesotans think that you've gone too far, then you've definitely gone too far.

Bob_R said...

Interesting article at Reason on how he made his money with ADP. Real rags to riches story that earned some grudging admiration from me. Of course, then I realize that he spent 30 years of his life building a company that made it cheaper for companies to navigate the morass of laws required for them to make their payroll and the next 30 years increasing the paperwork load.

Bob_R said...

My guess about Christie is that his immediate political focus is on another term as governor. That explains the kissing up to Obama for the federal disaster aid. NJ is still a very blue state. He's taken on one of the most powerful Democrat constituencies - the teachers union. He has to show compromise somewhere.

He doesn't stand a chance in a Presidential run for 2016 - not after Mitt. (Though he might go for a dry run. Team Red is big on giving the nomination to someone who waited their "turn.") He's only 50. If the belt works and he keeps the weight off. If he serves another term as governor and NJ doesn't go under. Then he'll be in a better position.

Bob_R said...

Oh, and this stuff about appointing a Democrat - what are these guys smoking? It will be pure inside baseball. Paying someone off or collecting favors for the future.

rcommal said...

Christie won't win on this one in the short run, no matter what he does, and most likely not in the mid-run, also no matter what *that same thing*. The truth is that no one wants him, nationally speaking. The truth is that the bases rule, on account of the primaries belonging to the bases. And it's in the interests of the bases to put forth leavening, without having to actually bake bread.

rcommal said...

If I were in a position to advise Christie, I'd say go for your second term as governor, serve it, and then walk away.

I'd say that to a lot of people, especially governors, and including a whole number of them so temporarily revered here.

We are in a new era, a new place. I think prolonging the inevitable is a mistake. I think we just embrace the inexperienced yet ideologically pure, of whatever type and flavor, and just get it over with.

If we're lucky, 15-20 years hence, if the results don't please, maybe we can recalibrate then. If the results do please, then we'll have done the right thing, regardless, now won't we have.

It is what it is. Face it.

rcommal said...

I really am serious about this. I think it's time to put up or shut up. I think the next 2016 president election should pit the the farthest right, most conservative candidate, against the farthest left, most progressive candidate. I think it's time.

Let's get it over with, so that folks can know, regardless of the outcome, what they have to live with and therefore just have to go on/get on with

rcommal said...

I think that the bases should be put to the test. They have ruled in the primaries these days, somewhat. They should rule full out and then be prepared to do integrity, whether winners or losers.

rcommal said...

I am pure sick of any other scenario.

**All** of you guys have won: No more moderation or moderates.

So get on with it and actually manage to do what it is you want to do: Pit one pure against another pure and manage to win.

Then, get on with it. Be clear and state it plain.