Senator Feingold Is Not Amused by These Appointment Shenanigans

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Warner plots his future resurrection.
Warner plots his future resurrection. Photo: Getty Images

Staunchly liberal senator Russ Feingold is planning to introduce a constitutional amendment that will end the practice of gubernatorial Senate appointments in favor of special elections. Obviously, this was spurred on by recent events. To recap: Rod Blagojevich (allegedly...) hoped to sell his appointment for some cash or a cushy job; after getting caught tried to appoint Roland Burris (over Oprah!); Burris and his umbrella weren't allowed into the Capitol building; and the Democrats felt bad and eventually let him be a senator because he seems like a nice old man. In New York, Caroline Kennedy wanted to be a senator, too, and everyone thought she would be picked by Governor Paterson because (even though she says "you know" too much) she's tight with Obama, but at the last minute something happened and now Kirsten Gillibrand is a senator and the Paterson and Kennedy clans are mired in a blood feud. In Delaware, Joe Biden's longtime aide was appointed to keep his seat warm for Joe Biden's son, and in Colorado, some guy was chosen without incident. So, yeah, the system has a pretty decent chance of being dysfunctional, but you have to ask yourself whether the entertainment it provides, in these bleak and dreary times, is worth the cost. Just to reiterate this point: We almost had a Senator Oprah. Oprah.

Senator: End Blagojevich-type appointments [CNN]
Earlier: Rod Blagojevich on Today: ‘Willing to Sacrifice Myself for Principle’