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. Um

    You are an idiot "Welcome to the Obama Show". Seriously get some help.

    November 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Elizabeth in Texas

    TAMMY DUCKWORTH PLEASE!!!!

    November 18, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. MiMi

    Thanks for your uplifting neo-con perspective "Welcome to the Obama Show." Slight problem though–Obama has nothing to do with the state of Illinois choosing his sucessor. Is there anything neo-cons won't belittle him for? Meanwhile, your siting moron in chief is the most despised elected official in US history. Not my words–he has a record disapproval rating. People liked Nixon more than G dubya, yet you still feel your constant second-guessing of all-things-Obama, even though he's done nothing wrong, carries merit? That's clinical dillusion.

    BTW–I hope Illinois goes with Tammy Duckworth. She's an Iraq war hero, an outspoken critic of the war, and knows first hand what its like to be an injured vet.

    November 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Rave

    Anyone, but Jesse.. that guy needs to go to school to learn some discipline and manners

    November 18, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Archie H.

    Hard to replace "GOD "masquerading as a community organizer !!

    November 18, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Val, Atlanta, Ga

    I think Jesse Jackson Jr. would be wonderful to fill your shoes.

    November 18, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. EW

    Annjell doesn't get it. Obama doesn't pick his replacement in the Senate and this article has nothing to do with his cabinet.

    November 18, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Fla. Voter

    All are good choices; however, my personal preferences are Tammy Duckworth or Jesse Jackson Jr.

    November 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. endithinks

    Tammy Duckworth would be a great pick to put Veteran Affairs on the forefront of the Senate like it should have been from the get go of this horrible war in Iraq.

    November 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Danny in Chicago

    WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW November 18th, 2008 5:19 pm ET

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

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

    -------------------–

    What does this mean? Some of you people want to rattle things up so badly that you don't even make any sense? I live in Chicago and I'm aware of what these people on this list have actually done and there are some great candidates listed here. These are good people who do good work. I'm sick of people saying Chicago politics are corrupt. It's no worse than anywhere else, and in fact, most people rave at how GOOD the people of Chicago are. Let's get these good people in office and get rid of the bad eggs who have been there for the past 8 or more years. It's time for the people!

    November 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. Fred Nielsen

    Re; Wolf Blitzers comment on whether it is a good thing for Obama to follow Lincoln's example.

    To follow any wise and prudent man's Ideals even 150 years after his death is not a bad thing. Times may change but wisdom is always a good thing to Lead with or to Follow.

    November 18, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Robert in raleigh

    Jessie Jackson jr ... nuff said

    November 18, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. There IS hope for the future>>>

    ANYONE but the "Rev" JJ! He's fought good fights but, after the statement "Somebody oughta cut his n^ts off" he's not appealing to me. Just because he thought his micro. was off does not give ANYONE the right to state something like that...

    November 18, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. JT Dale from MO

    Just to let you know I am a 17 year old still in high school. I actively campaigned for President-elect Obama. I believe whoever replaces Obama in his senate seat, I believe will be a wise and great choice for the state of which he lived in. Obama is even considering some Republicans for his seat and also for his administration. This is a truly Bi-partition guy who will choose only the best of the best for his seat and his administration.
    PS: I agree with the "um" person up there. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW, please if you have nothing to say that is constructive, DO NOT comment at all. I am sure you heard that before.

    November 18, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. earle,florida

    oh,pleas's's'e'e', The brother (Obama) will annoint the brother, Jesse the "Reverend) Jr., to his lifetime position as senator of Illinois,until he(Jackson Jr.) decides to run for president, sometime in 2016? Sign,Sealed,and Delivered!

    November 18, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Alex

    What about Delaware?

    Haven't seen one mention of Joe Biden's replacement on CNN.com yet.

    Personally think there's some nepotism happening with Joe Biden trying to save his seat for his son, but there must be someone else in Delaware who be willing and able to do it?

    November 18, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. HTA, Chicago, IL

    Fat chance Lisa Madigan gets the spot. Blago has a long standing fued with the Madigans.

    If Emil Jones gets the seat, Illinoisans should try to vote him out. He is an incompetent, no-nothing, boob.

    Tammy has a great story, but in my opinion lacks the competency for the position.

    I think the seat should go to either Danny Davis, a long standing Congressman with great respect in his district, or Jesse Jackson Jr., another Congressman with great respect in the district.

    November 18, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Corey

    Why has Joe Biden resigned yet from the US senate?

    It's a simple question, right? Yet no pressure in being put on his replacement.

    November 18, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. bvcfgtr

    Ms. Schakowsky is my Rep. now and she has done great things for the North Side. If Blago picks her, I hope we'll have an equally dedicated and capable Rep. to succeed her.

    November 18, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Erika, KS

    Oh, I'm sure he's reward Oprah. Good grief, it appears as long as the suspects are African American, Obama thinks they are qualified.

    November 18, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    Wow! That's a lot of good choices to pick from... looks like the governor will have to pick a lottery drawing out of it.

    November 18, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. dan

    PUT THEM ALL ..........

    November 18, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Aliou

    This seat should go to Jackson Junior.

    I still don't see all the well qualified blacks moving up. I want Barack to make history by nominating a lot of blacks.

    I am not going to wash my hands for months because I used it to pick the first Black President.

    November 18, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. ken

    if CNN can only wait with us?

    November 18, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth would be an excellent choice. If you don't know her history just do a web search and read up on this couragous woman.

    November 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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