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Bill Clinton for Hillary’s Senate Seat?

Former President Bill Clinton has been mentioned as a possible replacement for his wife in the Senate.

Former President Bill Clinton has been mentioned as a possible replacement for his wife in the Senate.

Former president Bill Clinton is being “mentioned” as a logical replacement for Hillary Clinton, who’ll vacate her New York Senate seat upon her presumptive approval as Secretary of State.

The task of choosing a successor falls to David Paterson, New York’s Democratic governor. Whomever he picks would serve for two years, before a special election in November 2010 to decide who fills the last two years of Clinton’s term.

Paterson has a strong bench to choose from. There are a number of contenders, including at least eight members of New York’s delegation in the House of Representatives, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, Caroline Kennedy, and her cousin, Robert Kennedy Jr.

So … why would he go with a former six-term governor of Arkansas and two-term U.S. president whose only connection to the state is that his wife represented it in the Senate? And who’s “mentioning” it, anyway?

In an op-ed column last week in The Washington Post, journalists Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac urged Paterson to “send Bill Clinton to the Senate.” [...] Bill Clinton would bring gravitas to the job, and he obviously knows his way around Washington.

Uh huh.

But some Democratic strategists who used to work for Bill Clinton don’t think the former president would want to go from leader of the free world to being the junior senator from New York. Clinton’s office deferred to Paterson’s office when asked for a comment.

Here’s guessing that someone other than Bill Clinton gets the nod.

UPDATE: CNN reports Bill’s not interested.

Responding to such speculation, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna tells CNN that “it’s completely false. President Clinton is excited to expand the work of his foundation which has more than 1,000 staff and volunteers in 44 countries advancing projects on HIV/AIDS, climate change, sustainable economic development and childhood obesity.”

For once, I believe him.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Well, the good news would be that New Yorkers would be represented by somebody who isn’t using the Senate seat as a stepping stone for higher office.

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  2. odograph says:

    Only connection? Bill’s office and foundation are widely reported to be in Harlem, NYC.

    (It would seem like an odd story, if it happened.)

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  3. rodney dill says:

    whose only connection to the state is that his wife represented it in the Senate?

    What odograph said…
    …and don’t they have a house in Chappaqua?

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  4. James Joyner says:

    Bill’s office and foundation are widely reported to be in Harlem, NYC.

    Fair enough, but that’s entirely a consequence of Hillary “moving” to New York to run for the Senate. Neither of them actually live in the state.

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  5. odograph says:

    Where does he live? Or is he just a big jet-setter now?

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  6. ken says:

    I like the idea. It would be a step down for Bill but add a lot of intellectual heft and policy wonkery to the Senate.

    Plus it would be awesome to see Senator Bill Clinton and Sec of State Hillary Clinton together on Meet the Press discussing foreign policy. Like James Carvalle and Mary Matlin it would be great theater, but far more informative.

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  7. [...] always comes back to Bill.  Hillary’s Senate seat?  Bill has been “mentioned” for Hillary’s seat. Not interested.  Psst. Who does the [...]

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