Gov Christie to Fill Appointment After Death of Senator Frank Lautenberg
US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) passed away this morning.
From NorthJersey.com (The Record):
Frank R. Lautenberg, who rose from a poor Paterson boyhood to become a multimillionaire businessman and New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, died Monday at 89 of viral pneumonia, his office said.
The oldest member of the Senate and its last World War II veteran, Lautenberg had struggled with health problems since late last year, when he missed several weeks of votes because of what he said was flu and bronchitis.
This means that Republican Governor Chris Christie will be appointing a replacement until an election for the full six-year term takes place.
So the question on the minds of many – especially those of us in NJ – who will Christie pick?
It’s not so simple, really. The Fix explains:
The popular first-term governor could, as is often the case in situations like these, choose to nominate a close ally from his own party. If he goes that route, a few obvious possibilities are state Sen. Tom Kean Jr., the party’s 2006 Senate nominee; Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; and 2012 nominee Joe Kyrillos, a close Christie ally whom the GOP nominated for the Senate in 2012.
Of course, it’s possible — though less likely — that Christie would appoint a Democrat to the seat. He is campaigning as a bipartisan governor in a very blue state, after all. Tapping a Democrat would be seen as a major stroke of bipartisanship. Replacing a Democrat with a Democrat and then saying the voters should decide what happens next in November would no doubt be very well-received by Democrats and moderates.
But such a move would be politically perilous for Christie when it comes to his own party. It would run the risk of angering Republicans, the last thing Christie needs if he has any designs on running for president in 2016. He has already stoked some concern among conservatives by embracing President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
And then, there’s Cory Booker.
Booker had long been viewed as a potential Christie opponent leading up to this year, but opted to run for the Senate instead. Christie and Booker have a good relationship, which they have poked fun at over the years. If there is a Democrat Christie might be tempted to appoint, Booker would be that Democrat.
Being in NJ myself, I can tell you, it’s a very liberal state here where even many Republican voters are far more moderate. This is no clean choice for Christie – either way, he ends up alienating someone. It will be interesting to see which way he goes.
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He’ll appoint a democrat. Guaranteed.
What does the Democrat pool he could pull from look like? If one exists, it’s entirely possible he would consider appointing one who isn’t so far left they believe no amount of debt is a problem.
But then, any Dem, once in DC, will more than likely toe the Harry Reid line.
Even an ‘acceptable’ Republican that would protect Christie’s reelection chances would likely anger a good portion of the rest of the country. They would be most like another Snowe or Scott Brown, Northeastern moderates. Then again, Christie has never worried about satisfying the largest portion of the national GOP. It will be interesting.
If he appoints a Democrat, he might as well change parties
Disagree with him changing parties. While he angered me greatly by cozying up to Obama and throwing him a life-line he is miles ahead of Corzine and others.
I don’t like Bloomberg but he was better than Mark Green. If he was running again and it was a choice between him and Christine Quinn I would hold my nose and chose Bloomberg.
Booker. Takes Booker off board as future governorship opponent, helps to further establish Christie as moderate, bipartisan, compromise-ready, and reach-across-the-aisle capable. One foot planted on either side of the crooked line between semi-conservative and more-than-moderate GOP candidate for 2016… (as perceived by Christie’s electoral targets: independents and Democrats encumbered with morals and tired of lies and incompetence as government policy. Despite the Romney Experiment, Christie will also swing for deep center, play nice, and take the GOP conservative base for granted).
We were just discussing this over at HOTAIR. I broke down the options as I saw them. Apologies for quoting myself:
Hmm. I guess I am too wordy, as the preview shows that the blockquote does not get the whole thing. It ended with the previous paragraph.
I couldn’t care less what anyone is discussing at Hot Air.
Doesn’t Dan Bongino have some New Jersey in him? At least 1/32nd?
Having one more GOP senator is pretty important IMO, even if he just caucuses with the GOP and votes R on obvious stuff and “betrays” us on certain issues like a typical RINO (Snowe, et al). The appointment would only be until Nov. 2014, but if he picks someone like Thomas Keane, Jr., who then ran for the full 6-year term in 2014, I suspect such a nominee would have a good chance of winning.
That would make it one less R win needed to reclaim control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections. That’s more important than one realizes, since the majority can control the Senate’s agenda. (Yeah, that 60-vote filibuster cloture business prevents the Senate from doing much controversial, but just not having to put up with Harry Reid’s shenanigans as Majority Leader is worth it! Makes it harder for the MSM to avoid reporting on the many Dem scandals.)
Bruce Springsteen. After all, he’s Born To Run! 🙂
Christie is still fat enough to fill, TWO appointments.
Be totally surprised if Booker is not his choice..
not because hes the best for the people but because hes best for christie career.
Presuming Christie has national ambitions of any sort, not just for 2016 but possibly beyond that given his age, he will likely nominate a “moderate” Republican like Kean, Jr., who might stand a fighting chance of reelection – especially if the special election can be put off until 2014, Jersey law isn’t so clear about that.
If he names a Democrat, he may as well switch parties now. But that makes little sense either, as Democrats use converts like Kleenex, discarding them after soiling them through.
Robert Toricelli is available.
I’d be willing to bet that 90% of people “on the street” wouldn’t get the reference. Hell, at least half the people here probably wouldn’t get it until they clicked on the link. Or am I selling the denizens here short?:)
Creative choice might be Miami Steve Van Zandt of Springsteen’s E Street Band, also of Sopranos fame (as consigliere Silvio Dante). Him or Snookie.
The problem with appointing Booker to the Senate, that it gives Booker enough time to be groomed for the 2016 presidential election. Appointing Booker to the Senate possibly gives the Democrats an alternative to Hillary. At the very least, Booker would be at the top of the short list for the Democrats’ nominee (whether it is Hillary, Biden, Cuomo, etc.) vice presidential pick.
There are potentially more political problems in appointing Booker than not appointing him.