November 18th, 2008
04:46 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN's Short List: Potential Obama successors

It is still unknown who will replace Obama in the Senate.
It is still unknown who will replace Obama in the Senate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-Elect Barack Obama resigned from the Senate earlier this week setting off a mad scramble to fill the two remaining years of his six-year term representing Illinois.

More than half a dozen people ranging from state lawmakers to current congressmen have been mentioned as potential successors to Obama. But it will not be the future commander-in-chief who will choose the next Illinois senator. Instead, that power rests in the hands of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat. Blagojevich has maintained his decision will not be made in haste, and he wants “to ensure that Obama’s successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans.”

There is no clear successor in the wings and in the old school politics that shape the Illinois and Chicago landscape, Blagojevich will likely weigh several factors as he makes this decision notwithstanding his own possible re-election in 2010.

Candidates likely being considered for the open Senate seat:

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis
Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr.
Illinois Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. tina

    CNN hungry with news. How about waiting?

    November 18, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Beth

    Being from Illinois – God help us! Rod is the worst and a first grader makes better decisions.

    November 18, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. BRO6869

    Tammy Duckworth no question

    November 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Peter (CA)

    I've always liked Tammy Duckworth. Someone who bravely served her country and has the scars to prove it.
    This way if Chambliss wins again, she can kick his butt all over the Senate floor.

    November 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Don

    Jesse Jackson Jr. He's competent and will be a good replacement

    November 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Il Voter

    Tammy Duckworth would be a good choice. I would vote for her any time.

    November 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Josh

    If there's one thing we Illinoisans can count on, it's that Blago will do something to screw us over. There's a good chance he'll pick the wrong person. The biggest factor he is going to weigh is whose appointment will benefit him the most.

    November 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

    HOW ABOUT BILL AYERS??? HE FITS RIGHT IN!!!!

    November 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. An American

    Change, change, here change, there change – so just where is the change???? Clinton person???? What gives. Taken in hook line an sinker and not even in office yet. Look out folks – here comes the baloney. Clinton as secretary of state??? Good grief, just why did't the media get behind her instead of making sure Obama got in.

    Hillary was the ONLY viable choice and as usual the wrong person got in. I do not care if Obama succeeds but I do care about my Country, so for our sake I hope the people surrounding Obama can help us out of this mess. And oh yes, Obama will try and take credit, but we know better folks.

    Check out the above list – no Washington insiders there, ha ha

    November 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. antoinette ali

    i think that it should be at least another demorcrat beause that is what they picked in the first place and voted for

    November 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Vigla

    Boy, comments closed so quick on the Holder announcement.

    For those who are commenting on it being bad that Obama is relying on former Clinton admin people. It's simple, have we forgotten how well gov't was run in that decade? There were a lot of good people in gov't back then and we should be happy he is selecting people with the experience needed to hit the ground running.

    Did you want him to nominate a bunch of rookies into his cabinet? There will be plenty of positions for the new folks to learn under the more experienced ones. One day they will get their chance. RELAX!

    November 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Billy J , TX-

    Tammy Duckworth seems capable to me, and I would like to see her given a shot at it. Whoever it is, I hope they still have to go through a primary process when the term is up, so folks can judge what they think of the senators performance.

    November 18, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. 3strikes

    on nov. 4 2008, over 55 million people were worried about the crisis in the u.s.

    over 65 million people thought nobama was the better choice(just another clinton redux), the rest of the people just wanted to see history

    which side is starting to look better?

    November 18, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Pete

    The sad thing is, they may all have better experience than Obama but they are all Chicago politicians.

    November 18, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Nik

    STILL unknown, oh my god, it's been three whole days!!! The scandal!!!

    November 18, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Al

    Is there such a thing as "The Office of the President Elect"?

    November 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. ran

    Tammy Duckworth should get it. If any one on that list has earn the right, it is her.

    November 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Greg

    "A mad scramble"???!!! The Gov. must have seen this coming for a couple months, or at least thought about the possibility for the past year or so. If not, I think you'd have to question his intelligence.

    I mean Obama obviously wasn't planning on being Pres. and Senator at the same time!!

    November 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    THIS IS GETTING GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PUPPETS ON A STRING!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Jim Harvey

    President -Elect Obama's replacement in the Senate should be African American. We still need to have representation in the chamber. The question is who would be able to campaign and successfully win that seat in a Statewide election? I can't see that clown from Michigan (Keyes) slithering back in here to try and run again . and we don't want the seat lost to the fascists.

    November 18, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Annjell

    Any one of those are good.

    I would like to see Paul Reickof for votevets.org with a cabinet post, Julie Banderas from Fox News, and Arriana Huffington would also make a good candidate for a position. Julie Banderas is very smart, so is Arriana Huffington. I was hoping Jim Webb – Sen. fro VA would have a position, but I guess he's happy with being newly elected sen.

    I would say leave the people in Alabama, Kentucky, states like these where they stand. Catch my drift?

    November 18, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. bill

    Well , lets see, This may be a hard choice for Obama , none of them have worked for or with the Clintons. Sure we couldn't get one of Hillarys brothers to move to Illinois real quick.

    November 18, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. KJL

    Anyone but Jesse Jackson........... Please!

    November 18, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. S C

    I think Obama is doing an excellent job. The change he speaks of is "something better than the last 8 years", and everybody need to understand that. So what if he get some of the Clinton's staff in there. He is trying to put together a team that can work.

    November 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. EW

    If Rezko wasn't going to prison I bet Rod would appoint him. Pay-to-Play, its the Illinois way!

    Knowing how crooked Rod is, I bet he appoints one of his best lapdogs, Jones or Madigan.

    November 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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