With the passing of Daniel Inouye, the retirement of Jim DeMint and now the seemingly certain nomination of John Kerry to State, there will be new Senators beyond the newly-elected crop in the 113th.
We know that Nikki Haley has appointed Tim Scott for DeMint's seat. While it's interesting that Scott will be the first black Republican Senator since Edward Brooke, and one of a very tiny number, he's also a true looney tune. Think Progress has the details here, but some toplines:
- Floated impeaching Obama over the debt ceiling.
- Proposed a bill to cut off food stamps for entire families if one member went on strike.
- Wanted to spend an unlimited amount of money to display Ten Commandments outside county building.
- Defended fairness of giving billions in subsidies to Big Oil.
We don't know who Neil Abercrombie will appoint to fill Senator Inouye's seat. The process is that the state party of the deceased provides a list of three names to the governor, from which a replacement is chosen. It will be virtually impossible to replace Senator Inouye. Sure, Hawaii will get another senator who will likely serve the state well, but we often forget how much our world has changed in the lifetimes of our oldest Americans. Inouye was born in Hawaii before it was a state. He was at Pearl, almost placed in an internment camp, and instead went on to serve America so very bravely in WW2. The things that Inouye fought for in the Senate were not historical, as much as part of his very life.
By virtue of seniority, Patrick Leahy is now the President Pro Tem of the Senate.
With Kerry to State, Massachusetts will hold an election. Remember that the election in lieu of gubernatorial appointment was enacted by the state legislature to prevent Mitt Romney from filling Ted Kennedy's seat for the remainder of his term. There is a rumour that Vicki Kennedy might run for her late husband's seat. Deval Patrick will appoint an interim Senator for the 100+ days that will need to be filled in the run-up to the election. He might appoint Kennedy, but more likely, if she agrees to run, he'd appoint either Michael Dukakis or Martin Meehan. Unless, of course, Meehan wanted to run, and then Dukakis would be the likely choice. While it's OF COURSE possible to run for the Senate while in the Senate, whoever runs would be better off campaigning full time than learning the Senate ropes.