Electoral Vote has an interesting post about how all of the people that the Democrats got appointed to the Senate are now turning into problems for them. At the start of 2010, the Democrats had five appointees in the Senate, and every one of them is a problem. But what’s really ironic about this is that it is their own fault — and just goes to show how cleverness on the part of the Democrats can backfire on them.
For example, remember when Biden’s seat in the Senate was appointed to a “placeholder” so that Biden’s son could run for it when he got back from his military service? Well, after all that, Beau Biden decided not to run, and since everyone expected him to, the Democrats have no strong alternative candidate. Instead, if the governor had appointed her ambitious former lieutenant governor to the Senate, they almost certainly would not be in this position.
A similar thing happened in Colorado, where the appointment of Ken Salazar to Obama’s cabinet created a vacancy in the Senate, which the Governor filled with a total unknown, who is now facing a serious challenge in the upcoming election.
Not to mention how Roland Burris, who was appointed to Obama’s old seat in the Senate, turned out. Now the Republicans have a good shot at winning that election.
And then there was the mess in New York, where governor David Patterson appointed Kirsten Gillibrand to the seat former Senate seat of Hillary Clinton instead of more experienced politicians (or even Caroline Kennedy), angering everyone. So now Gillibrand is facing a long and expensive primary fight from Harold Ford, Jr.
But worst of all was the recent election in Massachusetts, where Republican Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy’s seat (which had been Democratic virtually forever). Here the Democrats made multiple mistakes. First, in 2004 the Democrats didn’t want Republican Mitt Romney to appoint a Senator, so they changed the law so there was a special election. Then last year they changed the law again, so that the new (Democratic) governor could appoint someone until the special election. Then the Democrats just sat back and assumed they had a lock on that seat, pretty much handing it to Brown. Ironicaly, if the Democrats had not meddled with the law, when Kennedy died the governor would have appointed a Democrat and they would have served until 2012 and there would not have been a special election to lose so spectacularly.