February 19, 2010

Another Democratic Senate seat threatens to turn Republican.

Senator Frank Lautenberg is 86 years old and diagnosed with stomach cancer:
"We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg. The senator will be treated with chemotherapy administered approximately every three weeks. We anticipate that he will receive between six and eight treatments, and in between treatments, the senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate."...

If Lautenberg's health forces him to resign, it could hurt the Democratic Party. Under New Jersey law, Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, would be able to appoint a replacement if a senator left office.


Skyler said...

A Christie appointment still will not make up for the shananigans the democrats pulled to get their other senator elected.

rollingdivision said...

Hope he beats the cancer and gets a few more years. Definitely would hurt the Democrats, but I suppose he will not resign no matter how ill he becomes, ala Johnson and Byrd

Thorley Winston said...

I wish him the best of luck in his battle with cancer.

I also think that it is time for him to retire.

Fred4Pres said...

Stomach cancer is very bad and often kills 40 year olds. There is no such thing as easy stomach cancer.

I am no fan of Frank Lautenberg as a senator, but I would not wish stomach cancer on anyone (well I would wish it on Bin Laden and Zarwarhiri).

madawaskan said...

The Ghost of Millicent Fenwick.

In the 1960s, Fenwick became involved in the Civil Rights movement and took part in local and state politics in New Jersey. Blessed with striking good looks and a sharp wit, she cut a glamorous figure, rising quickly through the ranks of the state Republican Party at a time when most of her peers were retiring. When this colorful, outspoken figure—one of only five New Jersey women ever elected to Congress— went to Washington in 1974 at age 64, her victory was portrayed by the media as a "geriatric triumph."

"Geriatric triumph".....

When Lautenberg defeated her-he questioned her "ability" to do the job for various reasons.....

Lautenberg is 84, or 86 some years old now.

The Democrats in the legislature are already busy trying to change the ability of the Governor to appoint.

Ruthless they are.

I always thought they were ungrateful to Lautenberg.

Lautenberg stepped back in to help them with the Torricelli mess-and they took back their promise to honor his seniority.

Lem said...

Would it appropriate for me (as his constituent) to send the senator a bottle of whine.. a get well gift.

knox said...

Poor guy. But some of these fellows do stick around too long. ((stating the obvious))

rhhardin said...

The laws of NJ are extremely flexible when it comes to Senators.

That's how Lautenberg got there this time.

madawaskan said...

After Christie was elected governor in November, some Democratic state lawmakers moved to change the way Senate vacancies are filled so the governor would have to name a replacement from the party of the departing senator. They did not adopt the change.

Oops-they didn't adopt the change.

I missed that on first scan.

David Walser said...

I wish the Senator well. I don't wish such an illness on anyone, whether I agree with them or not.

Cedarford said...

Lautenberg was a fairly well regarded guy in his time and was the "credible fossil" they dug up to keep "their seat" after inducing Toriceli to fall on his sward for the Good of the Party.

He was just about perfect for the Dems. WWII vet. Self-made rich man. A self-financing liberal Jew with ties to banker and insurance money and an automatic "Yes vote" on anything Schumer and then Obama wanted.

But old. And now ill. And if he somehow does get stomach cancer combatted, at 86, it will be long odds and dehabilitating. Maybe he will be a better role model than various Senators like Teddy and various SCOTUS creatures like Reinquist - incapacitated by end stage cancer and unable to do their duties - but determined to hold onto power until their last breath.

He would be a good example if he resigned, to spend his last months or years with friends and family.

Penny said...

Lautenberg gets no respect from me for his politics, but it's hard not to admire the man for his team play and fortitude. I wish him well in his battle against that opponent that brings so many to their knees, if not their death.

Something tells me, that as he lay on his bed in that hospital tonight, the furthest thought from his mind is bringing forward or voting on a new piece of legislation. In fact, his family is probably encouraging him to watch reruns of MTV's "Jersey Shore".

For those of you who don't live here, our truth is as strange as our fiction, and our politics is nothing, if not black comedy gold.

edutcher said...

He says he intends to serve out the term and run for re-election. That may be just laying down the obligatory single. We'll see.

Skyler said...

A Christie appointment still will not make up for the shananigans the democrats pulled to get their other senator elected.

As others have noted, Lautenberg's Senate career has its own shenanigans.

Greg Toombs said...

Chemo is not pretty.

mariner said...

The question would be whether Christie has the nerve to appoint a Republican, even if the law allows it.

Republicans tend to be gutless that way, unlike Democrats. "Bipartisanship" and all.

Lem said...

I don't wish to get on a flaming war here with anybody but.. how sincere is this good wishing business?

Speaking for myself I don't wish anything good on anybody who's stand on abortion on demand has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of babies.

its not something i think about everyday to the point of going postal or anything.. its just there, its a fact and my wishing it away to make myself sound or look like a good person just wont cut it.

I don't wish him death either (i suppose) but i don't wish him a..

I don't wish him anything. If I could get my wish I wish he resign asap.

end of rant.

kcom said...

"After Christie was elected governor in November, some Democratic state lawmakers moved to change the way Senate vacancies are filled so the governor would have to name a replacement from the party of the departing senator."

If you think about this idea, it makes some sense, but then if you think about it more, it makes very little. Imagine if you're a Republican governor forced to appoint a Democratic senator (or vice versa). Who would you pick...the very best candidate you could find, or the very worst? Wouldn't the incentive be to pick a dim bulb or a weak candidate for any future election where that person might run against an opponent from your party? How would that serve the citizens of the state? And how do you even determine who qualifies as a "Democrat"? If they voted for a Democrat once does that make them a Democrat? There are endless opportunities for problems and shenanigans.

wv: rewight - open for suggestions.

Penny said...

Christie, being the big man he is, has plenty enough guts. More importantly, he's been extremely courageous in taking on the tax and spend gang, right out of the box.

If there is a downside to Christie, it might be that a large majority of his appointments have all been prosecutors, who are lawyers just the same.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Chemo is not pretty.

Very sad, and not anything to wish upon anyone. I have a friend right now who is about 30 years younger and suffering from esophageal cancer. It doesn't look good at all.

At age 86, I wonder, would I even consider such an invasive, debilitating and not really likely to succeed treatment. And then take the time to get my affairs in order. Say goodbye to friends, family and be doped to the gills for my way out of this life.

OR...would I want to give it a try and cling for a few more years to a life full of pain and suffering.

I think the first option, but who knows until we are really faced with this horrible choice.

I pray for his peace of mind, his relief from pain and his family to accept the inevitable.

kcom said...

Actually, from what I've seen, it's reported that Lautenberg has lymphoma located in the stomach area, and not straight up stomach cancer, which is different.

I did some amateur googling and found this report on what they call "localised primary gastric lymphoma of diffuse large B-cell histology." Possibly that's what he has based on the media description.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

We have reported that the large majority of patients achieve complete remission (CR) following three cycles of treatment, and now provide an updated series with special emphasis on patients receiving only short-term chemotherapy.

Here's an excerpt from another report I found:

We present the case of an 82 year old man with diffuse large B cell lymphoma localised to the stomach which responded to H pylori eradication and which has not recurred after more than five years of close follow up.

So perhaps the reports of his future plans are not simply whistling past the graveyard, to use a perhaps inappropriate (but pertinent) adage.

Cedarford said...

Actually, great news for Lautenberg - he DOESN'T have stomach cancer!

""After several days of hospitalization and testing, Senator Lautenberg's doctors have diagnosed that he has a B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach," his office said in a statement. "This is a curable tumor, and will require treatment over the next few months."

Given he does not have stomach cancer, this is NOT a Reinquist or Teddy sort of situation.

It will still be tough on Lautenberg, given his advanced age, and maybe he should consider resigning and enjoying his remaining years with family and all his millions - but he is definitely not hit with a terminal form or stage of cancer.

rdkraus said...

With our politics in NJ, the legislature or Sup Ct will figure out a way for Laut to continue to serve and vote regardless of whether he is dead or alive.

The way he got in this time was such a farce it was hard to believe until you remember .... New Jersey.

kentuckyliz said...

What a bitter clinger.

Clinging bitterly to his Senate seat at age 86!!! with cancer and chemo!!!

The Senate needs a death panel, to get rid of old and dying bitter clingers...by forced retirement.

John said...

Lautenberg is responsible for one of the dumbest policies ever inflicted on the military, "the Lautenberg Amendment". It says that anyone in the military comvicted of virtually any domestic violence offense cannot ever carry a gun and thus is pretty much done in the military. So you end up with situations where there is a mutal fight with his wife and pleads guilty in return for counciling and put out of the military. The whole idea is just profoundly ignorant and unjust. People don't just walk around with weapons in the military. They are kept locked up and handed out only when you go to the range. That law has ruined more lives and done more injustice than about anything passed in the last 20 years. Lautenburg is an ignorant jackass.

Joe said...

Politicians clinging to their power is pathetic, though the real blame lies at the voters. The politicians who really annoy me are the life-time judges who cling to their power beyond their sanity, resulting in a bunch of greenhorn staff members becoming judges.

Akiva said...

I lost all respect for this man when in his 70's he allowed himself to be used and followed along with allowing the law to be changed MID ELECTION to step back in after the Democratic candidate self immolated.

86 years old, major medical problems, and he's talking about running for another term?

With an aging population, will we see more and more seat warmers holding their offices long past expiration? Probably, people go with the name they know (without bothering to research current effectiveness).