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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Democratic Chatter 11-19-2008

George Wenschhof

Lieberman stays in Democratic caucus and retains chair - the secret ballot was 42-13 in favor of keeping Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and allowing him to continue on as chair of the Homeland Security Committee. He was removed as chair from a less powerful committee. has more here.

While the liberal netroots may not be happy, this action continues to project the willingness to work together by the incoming Obama administration. Tonight at 6:30 PM ET on CBS, Katie Couric interviews Lieberman.


Mark Begich (D) wins Senate seat in Alaska - after 24,000+ absentee ballots were counted, Begich increased his lead to 3700 votes over incumbent Senator Ted Stevens (R). There are still 2500 overseas ballots to be counted, but Stevens would need to virtually win all of them to trigger a state mandated recount. has more here.

This is the seventh seat won by the Democrats in this election with two races; Minnesota and Georgia still undecided. The Democrats now have 56 Senators and with Independents Sanders (Vt.) and Lieberman (Conn.) included in the caucus, the number is 58 and just two short of the filibuster proof number 60.

Guess this means Sarah Palin will have to stay as Governor - she'll have to look elsewhere for a national spotlight


Eric Holder appears to be top choice for Attorney General - last night the media reported Holder had been offered the position. The NY Times has more here.

This would make another first in American politics as he would be the first African-American AG. Holder was Deputy AG under the Clinton administration and a adviser to Obama during the campaign. He also headed up the Vice-President search effort for Obama along with Caroline Kennedy. This was after former chair of the committee Jim Johnson stepped down amid questions pertaining to his time as CEO of Fannie Mae.

More "Clintonistas" in the rumor mill are Jacob Law for Director, National Economic Council and Peter Orszag for Director, Congressional Budget Office.


Al Qaeda 2nd in Command; Ayman al-Zawahri criticizes Obama - after being silent during the U.S. Presidential campaign, in a taped message to reportedly have come form Zawahri, he criticized Obama for his support of Israel and continued his negative insults directed at the U.S. has more here.


Bill Clinton cooperating with wife's vetting process for Secretary of State - reportedly, he has assigned a team of lawyers to help provide information about his charitable foundation. It is also rumored Bill Clinton has offered to step down as director of the Foundation and would be willing to provide future speaking engagements and their fees to the incoming Obama administration. Senator Hillary Clinton is still considering staying in the senate. has more here.

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State has it's pluses and minuses. The pluses include her qualifications and the obvious that her selection would appease her many supporters. The negatives include her foreign policy positions differed with President-elect Barack Obama and her selection would continue the partisan acrimony associated with the Clintons.


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