November 24th, 2008
04:29 PM ET
7 years ago

Former Biden advisor picked as Senate replacement

The Vice President-elect will be replaced in the Senate by one of his key aides.

The Vice President-elect will be replaced in the Senate by one of his key aides.

(CNN) – Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s former chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, will fill his seat in the Senate, Delaware Gov. Ruth Minner announced Monday.

“His political views are close to Senator Biden’s, and he doesn’t need any on-the-job training,” Minner said in a statement. “He’ll be an effective Senator for Delaware from day one.”

The announcement was made amid rumors that Biden’s son, Beau, would take his father’s place in the Senate. But the Delaware attorney general, who has deployed to Iraq as a captain in the National Guard, said last week that he wouldn’t take the appointment if offered.

While this move was seen by some as a way for the vice president-elect to hold the seat for his son’s potential future run, Biden said Monday he is more concerned about his son’s safety in Iraq than his political career.

“As he said when he deployed overseas, he is determined to fulfill his military obligations and then return to his duties as Attorney General,” he said in a statement. “If he chooses to run for the Senate in the future, he will have to run and win on his own. He wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Biden, who just won his seventh term to the Senate, has to leave his seat before Inauguration Day. Kaufman will be sworn in sometime in the beginning or middle of January.

"It has been pointed out, that I will have limited seniority," said Kaufman in remarks released Monday. "However, having worked in and studied the Senate for 36 years, I can say with confidence that having a relationship with the President and Vice-President will help me to effectively represent the people of the State Of Delaware.

"I also want to make clear that I am very comfortable with retiring after 2 years. I don't think Delaware's appointed Senator should spend the next two years running for office," he added.

Kaufman is currently co-chair of Biden’s vice-presidential transition team and was Biden’s chief of staff for 19 years. He will serve as Senator until a 2010 special election.

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Tony

    Have one on me Joe, o' you probably did already!!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. LyonsPhilly

    Proud of you Joe.....Our prayers with Beau.

    November 24, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Beau is brave

    Let's hope Beau returns safely and takes over the seat in 2010.

    November 24, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Rudy Bellamy

    Beau is smart enough to know his father is out of touch with what America needs and he doesn't want to have to say it in public.

    November 24, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Toy Beeker

    The economy is going to hell in a handbasket and Palin is on image building duty. This train wreck hasn't got a clue.

    November 24, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Adrian from Chicago, IL

    How old is Palin's son? Maybe he could come back and have that seat. Otherwise, it will be some sorry, no good liberal.

    November 24, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Jean-Pierre Erick Mbei

    I definitely think that Beau's decision can only honor both his father, himself and America. Senators–US Senators are not kings. Therefore, appointing the Vice President-elect's son, no matter how appropriate and just the move, would leave question-marks. I do believe that if he chose to run for senate later, he would be elected.


    November 24, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Vicki5

    Don't listen to RUDE Bellamy below. He's envious.

    November 24, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. pat

    Beau is evidently as dedicated to doing the right thing just as his dad does. He would feel he was shirking his responsibility, IMHO. Pray that God will keep him safe and bring him home soon.

    His dad isn't "out of touch with anything"!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. johnny

    Sorry, Rudy. We voted that he is part of the team that we do need. Don't you get tired of being so bitter? I would imagine it's very draining.

    November 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. John -- White Plains, NY

    I seriously doubt Senator Biden is out of touch with what America needs right now. If I recall correctly, 63million+ Amercians voted for Obama/Biden, its a mandate for change. The GOP is out of touch and Bush is simply running out the clock...all foam, no beer!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Hall for Obama

    Joe has a wonderful son who love him and would do nothing to hurt his father. So get over it Rudy

    November 24, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Joe Vanderbosch

    Rudy Bellamy must have ate paint chips as a kid to say a comment like that.

    I will miss Joe Biden in the Senate, and am excited to see Beau in there in 2010.

    November 24, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Sen. Biden has served his country with honor and distinction in the US Senate. He will make a superb VP. Cheers, Joe!

    November 24, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Charles Stoll

    People like Rudy Bellamy are devisive and probably think that the Caribou Barbie are better suited to be Vice President. As much as I pray for a United States, ignorance will prevail and we will see in Red and Blue.

    November 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Jared in Delaware

    Rudy – Joe is VERY in touch with what America needs and Beau would back his father up if asked for comment.

    Ted Kaufman is a good choice for the seat. Many of us thought Carney would get it.

    The good news is that Christine O'Donnell – Delaware's Palin – didn't win the race as she is an evangelical screwball who is vocally opposed to pornography and premarital sex.

    If an adult wants to buy a Hustler, or if two single adults want to have a one-night-stand, that is NONE of O'Donnell's business and she should keep her trap shut on such matters.

    Fundamentalists like her threaten our separation of church and state. They also threaten to push totalitarian/fascistic rules down on us based on their own narrow values. Basically, they are the U.S.A's version of Al Qaeda – trying to force their rigid beliefs upon the populace at large.

    November 24, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. TjayeInLA

    So why is Biden's pic up on the article and not the person who's just been nominated?


    November 24, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Mohsen Emami

    I am extremely impressed by the way Beau Biden has handled himself. The fact is that Beau has put his country first and his personal ambition to become a US senator from Delaware replacing his father's senate seat last. I am sure that his father is very proud of him.

    November 24, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Vinson

    Rudy Bellamy:

    Awwww....what's wrong?

    Did your wittle johnny mccain and your wittle sawah pawin not win?

    Is little Wudy gonna cry?

    LOL!!!! LOSER!!!!

    November 24, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Barbara in NC

    Palin's son was told "Jail or Armed Services" – don't think he's quite qualified to be a Senator.

    Grow a brain Adrian.

    November 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Jared in Delaware

    Adrian –

    The last thing we need is anybody from the Palin family in politics.

    They're all a bunch of fascistic, animal-hating, environment-hating evangelicals...nothing more than evil Nazis hidden within the guise of christianity.

    November 24, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. me

    Since when do you pick your successor.
    The people vote for Senators

    November 24, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Kay Alfa

    I do not understand why people like Rudy Bellamy make some disrespectful comment. Are you from the cave?

    November 24, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. TEX ANN ~~~~~~~~~~~

    People, can't we quit sniping at each other and try to be more civil. This country has been going to he** in a handbasket the last 7 years and all people can do is snipe at each other. We're all in the same boat here, folks, let's try to get along.

    November 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Ron

    Excellent. One more step in the right direction and away from this neocon engineered, eight year nightmare.

    November 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
1 2 3 4