Potential candidates to replace Obama include Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and Tammy Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran and currently the Illinois veteran affairs director.
In a statement, Obama said:
"My four-year term was one of the highest honors and privileges of my life and the people of Illinois will stay with me as I leave the Senate to begin the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation's next president."
Vice President-elect Joe Biden also is expected to resign his seat representing Delaware at some point between now and the Jan. 20 inauguration. Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner presumably would pick the successor. Several Democrats have said Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is interested in succeeding his father in the Senate. He is on a yearlong deployment to Iraq with his National Guard unit. As a result, Democrats have discussed a plan under which an interim successor would be named and would step aside in 2010 so the younger Biden could run in a special election to fill out the term.
As a result of these resignations, the lame-duck session of Congress will meet without Obama or Biden.
In other news, despite his felony conviction for filing false U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms, Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska insisted he was innocent, did not to step down, and went ahead to run for his seventh term as Senator. On election night, he was ahead. But as absentee and provisional ballots have been counted, he has fallen behind his Democratic contender, Anchorage mayor Mark Begich by close to 1,000 votes (as of November 13).
With nearly two-thirds of the absentee votes now tallied, Begich has taken the lead. An estimated 40,000 ballots have yet to be counted – a majority of them from the area of the state that includes Anchorage, according to state elections officials.
Read the AP article about Obama's resignation from the Senate.
Read the New York Times article about the Obama-less & Biden-less lame-duck Congress.
Read the articles about the Alaska Senate race here and here and here.
plez sez: the news cycle slows to a crawl in anticipation of the OBAMA inauguration... but you gotta wonder what was going on in the minds of those alaskans who voted for a convicted felon to be their senator.
one can only thank GOD that those people's governor isn't preparing to go to washington as vice-president!