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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Democratic Chatter 11-6-2008

George Wenschhof

Still nine races to be determined - four in the Senate and five in the House. The senate races are in Alaska where convicted Senator Stevens is hanging on a by a thin thread against Democratic challenger Begich. Interestingly, if Stevens wins and is later removed from the Senate due to his conviction, the Governor (Sarah Palin) would appoint the replacement. She could resign allowing the Lt. Governor who would become Governor, to pick the replacement(her). This would give Palin more of a national stage and keep Tina Fey and her fans happy.

In Georgia, incumbent Republican Chambliss did not receive a majority as mandated in that state requiring a run-off election. In Minnesota, Democrat Franken is within 1000 votes requiring a re-count by the state constitution, and in Oregon, the votes are still being counted in a close race between Merkley(D) and the incumbent Republican Smith. So, unless the Democrats win one of these four seats, the pick ups in the Senate will be five and the new total will be 54 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 44 Republicans.

Update 2:10 PM ET - I received news form the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that Incumbent Republican Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith has called Jeff Merkley to concede. The new totals in the senate are now 55 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 43 Republicans with three races to be determined. It is also being reported Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is meeting with Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) today to determine his status with the Democratic caucus.

The House races still undecided are - Maryland 1st where Kratovil has a 1000 vote lead with 25,000+ absentee ballots to count, Washington 8th, Virginia 5th, California 4th, and Ohio 15th. It appears the Democrats will pick up about 20 seats in the House bringing the totals to Democrats-256 and Republicans-179. A special election is still to be held in Ohio due to the death of Stephanie Stubbs Jones and a election would be held in Illinois if Rahm Emanuel would accept the Chief-of-Staff position. has more here.


Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) still deciding on whether to take chief-of-staff position offered by President-elect Obama. Evidently, he has young children and is concerned how the job would affect the family. has more here.


Rumors fly on possible cabinet appointments - with many former Clinton administration officials in the mix.

Treasury Secretary - would be replacing David Paulson, author of the two page 700 Billion White House Bail Out Plan. Names are Timothy Geither, Pres. of Fed. Res. Bank of New York, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Paul Volker, former federal Reserve Chair.

Secretary of State - Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), outgoing Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), Richard Holbrooke, Sam Nunn.

National Security Adviser - James Steinberg, Susan Rice

Secretary of Defense - may keep Robert Gates, former Navy Secretary Richard Danzis. has more here.

Add Robert Gibbs as front runner for the White House Press Secretary - He was Communications Director for the Obama campaign. Rumors are he will be announced as early as today.


Illinois Governor Blagovich to name replacement for Obama's Senate seat - as one might expect, much posturing is happening as I type this. Representatives under consideration are Jesse Jackson Jr. who was an early Obama supporter, Luis Gutierrez, and Jan Schakowsky. Also expressing interest have been Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes and Treasurer Alexi Gianoulias. The has more here.


Obama receives his first Presidential Daily briefing (PDF) - The CIA has assigned Michael Morrill and Michael McConnell to begin providing the daily intelligence briefings to Barack Obama. The first briefing is to occur today in Chicago.


Unemployment highest since 1983 - the Obama administration already knows the economy is the number one issue they must address. These Labor Department figures show how hard Americans are being hurt by this slumping economy. has more here.


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