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

CNN's Short List: Potential Obama successors

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. J.P.

    How about digging up Al Capone's bones to fill the slot? He has about as much integrity as any of the Chicago criminals on the short list to replace the junior senator.

    November 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  2. Boered1

    now why would this set "off a mad scramble to fill the two remaining years of his six-year term representing Illinois."? Umm didn't they realize that he would NOT be returning to the Senate after being elected President? More likely i suspect that CNN is trying to make this seem like something desparrate and radical when in fact it is not. My guess is also that there is someone already lined up to take his place but that they did not expect to until January and now they are trying to make it happen a bit early (notice on current job, cost of setting up a residence, etc).

    November 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  3. Simmy

    Stop all the bs and give the position to Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.!

    Stop acting like it doesn't matter that the Senate is all white, now that President Obama is no longer there. If not Jackson, then another black.

    It is shameful that there is such a discrepancy in the racial balance. The Senate represents all people, blacks, latinos, native americans, are a part of all people. Come on people, let's get real – it's time!

    November 18, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. NC Independent


    November 18, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Angie-OHIO

    Annjell November 18th, 2008 5:22 pm ET .

    I would say leave the people in Alabama, Kentucky, states like these where they stand. Catch my drift?
    I'm with you. So ditto,ditto,ditto!!!!!!!!!!
    I think anyone that was mentioned in the article would be a great choice.
    If I had to choice I would pick, Illinois Dept. of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth.

    November 18, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Dave in Houston

    I heard Sarah Palin is interested.

    Of course, she thinks Illinois is part of southeast Alaska instead of separate state and wonders who this "Governor Rod" Blagojevich is anyway? A "governor rod" is a part of a snow machine, right?

    November 18, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. maurice

    in all fairness they should nomenate someone then let the people of ill. vote on it or give them 2 democrats to vote of. a gov. that is the sole person to fill the position doesn`t seem fair to the people of ill. ....AND UM PAY OBAMA SHOW NO NEVERMIND HE`S ON HIS OWN PLANET AT THIS POINT. HE DOESNT SUPPORT REPUGS OR DEMOCRATS. who knows we might be reading about him in the papers as a disgruntle voter soon hahahahhahahahahahahaa

    November 18, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. Credit Card Republicans

    Tammy is the best.

    November 18, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Jessica in IL

    Blagojevich is an idiot. He is running our state government into the ground. He is a democrat, and the house/senate is democrat, but they still can't get anything done. One thing is for sure: He will chose someone from Chicago because he's not interested in downstate Illinois. I'm sad he's to be entrusted with this decision!!

    November 18, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Credit Card Republicans

    Tammy is the one to get.WELCOME ,your funny,you remind me of some little ankle biting dog thats afraid of his own shadow,but always looking to get his Derryair kicked.

    November 18, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. J Sperber

    I blame the downfall of America on materialistic, self-focused, self-indulgent, gutless Americans who have lost the will and desire to fight for the principles that made this country great. The cowards want microwave fast wars or no wars at all. Visit to get an idea of what is going on out there and how long the war on terror should really take because of dangers lurking in our backyards. Self indulgent shallow Americans turned against their President in time of war while he courageously faced enemies of the free world in order to keep us safe and free to drag his name through the mud. "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself"
    John Stuart Mill
    English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

    November 18, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. There IS hope for the future>>>

    OOPS! Before any of you crazy people out there spew your hate, I'm sorry. I THOUGHT [there I go thinking again!] the referred to was the elder Jackson. MY bad! The Jr would be great.

    November 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. common sense

    You have to laugh at idiots like this 'WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW' praying that the Country goes into the sewer just so he can be right.

    Why don't you just move to Mexico or some other country that accepts idiots.

    November 18, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Becky, Midwest

    Ha! Ha! Funny. What's next, Obama? Oprah? What position do you have in mind for her?

    November 18, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Ted

    @Obama Show:
    You're an idiot. Get a life, and an IQ test.

    November 18, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  16. Tyrone Brown

    My write-in would be John Daly, Stephen Colbert or Katie Couric.

    November 18, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. MR

    Some good names on the list, but I say Jan Schakowsky all the way. She would be great.

    November 18, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. WIlly Brown

    My guess it will be another manfactured thug.

    November 18, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Albo58

    What a pathetic selection...can Illinois order off this menu?

    November 18, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. Wright

    Obama has change his list of potential cabinet members. New list are mostly Clintonites because he got scared after the economic and foreign policy briefings.

    November 18, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Leah W.

    I guess pay-back list names will have to wait for titles such as Interior Secretary of Airforce One Health Services (housekeeper for presidential airplane, perfect job for Rev Wright)

    November 18, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Just sayin

    Did you know that in Illinois, the day after the election, the lottery numbers were 666 for the pick 3 drawing?

    November 18, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. Dennis

    Hey Rod guess what, most of the sate is south of I-80. Try finding somebody beyond the boundries of CrOOk county.

    November 18, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. Rob Chicago

    Hopefully, whoever gets picked, actually wants to sever Illinois from the senate seat and not just use it as a stepping stone. In the 46 months our previous junior senator from Illinois held the post, he only bothered to serve Illinois for about 18 months – the rest of the time he was drawing his senator salary, while gallivanting around the country on a job interview.

    November 18, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Sam Omiti

    It is very interesting to note that an important and integral part of President-elect Barrack Obama's political career in his hey day as a junior senator in the state senate, is in the offing as a possible replacement in the vacant senate seat,in the name of Emil Jones Jr,the Illinois Senate President.Emil reminds me of John the Baptist who did to Jesus what Emil did to Obama and that is provide him the stepping stone to greatness and for that,I wish him all the best in his political aspirations,a good man in his own right indeed and one of the many unsung heroes in America for playing a major role in rewriting America's great history.

    November 19, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
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