February 5th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
9 years ago

Schneider: Senate appointments highlight messy process

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks at his impeachment hearing after accusations he tried to sell a Senate seat.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks at his impeachment hearing after accusations he tried to sell a Senate seat.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Since the election last November, five vacant Senate seats have been filled by appointments. Awkwardly.

Illinois: Barack Obama's seat. Then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who had been arrested on a criminal complaint for attempting to sell the seat, defied the Senate and appointed former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. The Senate could find no legal way to block the appointment. Blagojevich was subsequently impeached and removed from office.

New York: Hillary Clinton's seat. Caroline Kennedy campaigned for the Senate and got some rough treatment by the New York media. She lost ground in the polls and ultimately withdrew from the race after becoming the target of anonymous attacks.

Gov. David Paterson appointed Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, a relatively unknown upstate congresswoman. Asked their opinion of the way Paterson handled the appointment, New Yorkers were split - 44 percent approved, 42 percent disapproved - in a Quinnipiac College poll.

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Filed under: Senate
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. tim

    I say all seats should go to the person who cheated the IRS out of the biggest sum of money. We need people with gaul in congress.

    February 5, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Tom in S.A.

    Looks like Colorado has the only appointee I like, someone whose never been in politics, we need about 99 more senators like that.

    February 5, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Libertarian

    The only thing coming apart at the seams here is the Republican party. They distorted and corrupted every corner of the government and now it's getting an enema. The cockroaches are scurrying everywhere and trying to divert the blame onto others lest they get prosecuted.

    Any one wanna talk about no-bid Haliburton contracts under Bush? How about the Interior Deparment employees smoking pot and sleeping with the Oil lobbyists? How about the Congressman trolling for gay sex in the airport bathroom? The LIE about the war in Iraq? How about when Bush wanted to sell all those American ports to Dubai (LOL)? Or when he sold 20 BILLION in arms to Saudia Arabia? How about the Scooter Libby taking the fall for his superiors outing a CIA Agent?? Let's discuss this before you start casting stones.

    February 5, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. dittohead with forty names

    The messiah is Rush Limbaugh,he will save us from the evil liberals and take us to the land of filthy richs.He worships the golden microphone and the mighty oil dollar.

    February 5, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. FreeNLovIt

    Oh dear,

    Let's have nuns and priests run for office!! That's all we can do if we dont change and help our politicians out. Elections are too expensive.

    February 5, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Pauline Christenson

    I hope you democrats are watching all this bumbling by your democrat reps and senators. You are all eating each other piece by piece. What's up with you?

    February 5, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. chris

    It may very well be messy, but until the Federal law is changed that is how it is done. Write about changing the law and BTW, if you prefer the people choose in special election; make sure you put how that is to be funded since it would not longer be a taxpayer cost free appointment.

    February 5, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. brianne

    BIll Schneider seems to be in need of actual work to justify whatever CNN is paying him. A Democrat was put in Obama's old seat. As far as Blago is concerned, he's been under investigation forever and was expected to be brought up charges. The media acts like the attempt to sell the seat was the only allegation against him. The ppl of Illinois elected this lunatic twice. They need a break from voting for Gov for a while. NY senate seat was filled by a Democrat who has demonstrated political ability. She's from a more conservative part of the state and was reelected with over 60% of the vote. A liberal Schumer and moderate Gillibrand will represent the state well. Upstate NYers have wanted someone from their part of the state to represent them in the Senate for some time. The hype over Caroline Kennedy was ridiculous and pointless. The Gov made his choice. A Republican was named to replace Gregg so that the balance of power in the Senate would not be altered. Bill Schnieder please stop annoying me!!

    February 5, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Paul

    To FreeNLovIt–why would you want priests to run for public office?
    There aren't any alter boys in local government.

    February 5, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Scott the Independent

    Well what did we expect – the computers are old and the internet is a drag – seems like most things were done the old fashion way – carrier pigeon.

    February 5, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. David in Indiana

    Anytime there is an appointment, at any level of government, one person is making a decision. If there was a special election called for, which costs taxpayer money, the people would then have a say in who is in office. An expensive way to prevent corruption, but effective.

    February 5, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Vincent Petrosino


    February 5, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Helen

    I approve

    February 5, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. NY republican

    Libertarian – How about the no-bid Haliburtan contracts under Clinton? How about Clinton "not inhaling" ? How about Clinton lieing to Congress while under oath? How about everyone selling all the arms they can to anyone with enough money to buy them and then having to meet them in battle? How about Clinton trading American jobs for Canadian and Mexican goods? How's that for casting stones where they belong?

    February 5, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. James II

    Dems would love to change the constitution.

    February 5, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Sue

    NY Republican – What about the Halliburton no-bid contracts under Bush and Cheney? They are the ones who got us into Iraq.

    February 5, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. The good, the bad and the...corrupt

    And all of them are Dems.

    February 5, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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