November 24th, 2008
04:29 PM ET
8 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. Terry, Dallas Texas

    I love the way the right wing wackos make every story on these blogs into an attack on the incoming administration. It reminds me of how angry they got when Congress would not go all the way with Clinton's impeachment and how popular the man still is today. They HATE the fact that they have been swept out of power so it's down to name calling.

    November 24, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Michael

    Yeah, his father is so out of touch he served in the Senate for over 25 years and was just elected Vice President of the United States. Great logic.

    November 24, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. terry

    Beau is doing what he needs to do. that is forfilling he obligated service to the national guard of his state. something that the current President didn't do. He will come back next year and hopefully run and win that seat that his dad held for such a long time. This choice would be a slam dunk for dem's and we know it. Stay Tuned.

    November 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Simmy


    I'm still waiting for Dr. Susan Rice! She's got to be in there!

    November 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Rudy, rudy, oh no, just goofy person.
    Sung to the Animal House song.

    November 24, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. FL for Obama

    Hey, Rudy...if Joe BIden is so "out of touch with America" then why did he win the election? Did someone pee in your Cheerios this morning? Why don't you go run Palin's campaign for "Overexposure of the Year?"

    November 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    how was he served with honor and distinction?

    November 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. TrueIndependent

    Rudy @4.31
    And George Bush is in touch with the American people?
    The average I.Q. of you Republicans must be in the negative.

    November 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Gisele from NY

    Sounds like all the rights decisions were made. Go Joe! Kuddos to Beau, and congratulations Ted Kaufman!

    November 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Michael Donovan

    Rudy Bellamy is a complete idiot and I use that term rarely and only in extreme circumstances. I have lived my entire life in Texas but have always been a fan of Joe Biden and was very excited to see him as Vice President. Did Rudy not see Beau's speech about his father at the convention? It was one of the best that was given with the exception of Obama, his father and the govenor from Montana. I can't wait until Beau comes back and runs for the seat. He'll win in a landslide and be a great Senator for the state of Delaware.

    November 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. JK Ashburn, VA

    That says a lot.... they couldn't find anyone better from Delaware other than a Congressional staffer? More Washington elitism. The good people of Delaware of should be offended.

    November 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Randy - Denver

    Seems a good choice, i prefer it to appointing his son simply because the look of appointing his son is not what the President Elect needs at this point. Good job and continue the good work in Delaware!

    November 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. austin, tx

    Adrien, what in the wide world of sports does your comment have anything to do with Palin? Seriously, let it go. You guys won, and you still want to talk about a VP candidate. Which Roosevelt said was the most meaningless position in politics.

    November 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Chris

    Mr. Vanderbosch,

    Excited about Beau? Please tell me this is a joke. This man has accomplished nothing to represent me and my fellow Delawareans. I am appalled at this decision, but at this point I can expect anything from Ruth Ann the worst governor in our history. I appreciate Beau's service in the Delaware National Guard, but he is in no way qualified to be my representative in the United States Senate.

    November 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. austin, tx

    Joe Biden will be king

    November 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  16. Paul, Ohio

    Wait, didn't Biden say he wouldn't resign until January 20? Since that's after Gov. Minner leaves office, won't it be Gov.-Elect Markell's job to pick a replacement?

    November 24, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  17. LIP

    I keep forgetting that this loose canon is part of the package. Every team needs a straight man and a sidekick who gets the laughs, so we get Obama and Biden.

    November 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. Corey

    What's the point of a 2-year senator? Does this really benefit the Delawarean taxpayers?

    November 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Kiran sekhon

    beau took the right decision. Return safe with all the other troops. you all are in our prayers.

    November 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. james in s.c.

    good pick joe! i would like to see his son beau take the seat within few years. joe got a great family, so smart and full of love just as his boss obama family!

    November 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Obama Backer In the South

    No surprise here. Kaufman steps down in 2010, Beau Biden runs and wins as easily has his father.

    November 24, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. matchmaker

    I believe in this country
    Ibelieve in Obama and Biden
    I believe in fairness
    I believe in love
    I lelieve in hope
    I believe in change
    I believe in you

    November 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. FL for Obama

    Second post: Anyone watching the DOW? Greatest 2-day gain since 1987. Could it be that Obama is actually SMART and is choosing the BEST economic team to get us out the toilet the 8-years of Bush/Cheney so generously gave us? Sit and spin on that, Rudy!

    November 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Ann

    What are this man's qualifications other than working for Biden? How long? What did he do before? Has anyone ever heard of him until now? Why?

    November 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. EW

    People on here talk as if they know these people personally. You all don't have a clue who these people really are.

    If Joe Biden is such a honorable person, why does he keep writing legislation to take away our freedoms? There was a word for that kind of person during the time of the founding fathers....

    November 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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