Chicago Sun-Times
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Obama resigning Senate seat as of Sunday

| 36 Comments

updated 3:37 p.m. Chicago time....

WASHINGTON--President-elect Barack Obama will step down from his U.S. senate seat on Sunday, he said in a statement on Thursday. All political eyes in Illinois are on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to see who he will select to replace Obama for the two years remaining in his term. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has been the most overt in positioning himself, but other frontrunners include Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Illinois Veterans Affairs Chief Tammy Duckworth, who Obama appeared with on Veterans Day. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) is also interested in the seat.

Blagojevich is under no legal deadline to select an Obama replacement. The governor has to weigh a few factors: whether racial politics play a role, because Obama was the only African-American in the Senate and who has a political and fund-raising network that could help should Blagojevich seek a third term.


It's been a long time since an Illinois governor had this juicy a plum to give away: the last Senate vacancy was in 1969 when Ralph Tyler Smith was selected by then Gov. Richard Ogilvie to fill the slot left vacant by the death of Sen. Everett Dirksen.


"It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate. In a state that represents the crossroads of a nation, I have met so many men and women who've taken different journeys, but hold common hopes for their children's future.

"It is these Illinois families and their stories that will stay with me as I leave the United States Senate and begin the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation's next President,'" Obama said in a statement.

FROM THE OBAMA TRANSITION TEAM

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PRESIDENT ELECT RESIGNS HIS SENATE SEAT?

· The Senate Office will remain open for a period of time, but no longer than 60 days after the President-elect's resignation from the Senate.

· During that time, the Senate staff will be in the process of closing the office, including archiving the Senate documents for the Presidential library and contacting constituents to inform them as to how any open casework will need to be handled.

· The people of the State of Illinois will continue to be served - casework will be handled so as to ensure constituents receive the assistance they need.

· The President-elect hopes to make the transition of the incoming Senator as smooth as possible. His staff will work with him/her to meet the needs of the people of Illinois.

36 Comments

Perhaps he can proactively resign from Executive service to save us all a headache

Only further evidence that we elected a guy who always wanted to be President instead of a committed public servant most qualified to occupy the executive chair and be commander in chief. One good thing about finally electing a candidate who is representative of a larger cross section of our culture is that hopefully now we can take off the kid gloves and politically correct masks that may or may not have been necessary in the past and finally start talking and evaluating everyone on the same level. You know, true equality. In that vein, and at some point, we will finally, slowly, start to recognize that Obama was simply an adept and ambitious politician. Literally little more and perhaps something less.

How can anyone tell? He has not done anything there in the past two years at all except run for president, and just present before that.

So when we need this man in the Senate most, to help our Auto industry gain the funding they need to stay open, hes going to hurry up and step out?
We have what 2 months until he goes into office?
Thats one way not to have to vote present

Too bad that is all he is resigning from. The Senate will be decidely more conservative come next monday.

ONCE AGAIN THE SENATOR HAS FOUND A WAY TO VOTE PRESENT AND AVOID MAKNG A STATEMENT OR DECISION THAT HE COULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR - THERE WILL BE SOME HARD DECISIONS IN THIS SESSION OF THE SENATE PRIOR TO HIS BEING SWORN IN AND HE DOES NOT WANT TO HAVE TO MAKE THEM - HE HAS MANAGED TO SIDESTEP AND AVOID LEADING OR PUTTING HIS NAME TO ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE SINCE HE ARRIVED ON THE POLITICAL SCENE - "NOTHING HAS CHANGED" - NOR WILL IT UNDER AN OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

This is not news. He has not served in the US Senate for over a year and a half anyway. Might as well keep it open but vacant.

I am curious as to how much work will actually get done in the Senator's office. If I were a Senate staffer to Obama, I'd be looking at finding a job in the White House.

Watch Blago choose himself. He is the most self promoting bucket of sleaze that Illinois has ever seen--with the possible exception of Jesse Jackson. How in the world could anybody possibly justify nominating "Reverend" Jackson for a senate seat? Blago is hated statewide now--even by members of his own party...wait until he tries to pull this number. Unbelievable.

"Proud to serve the people of Illinois"?! The guy only voted about 10% of the time. I think it is a crim that he, and McCain were allowed to publicly search for a new job while still getting the bennies of their current position. What a joke.

Well, he didn't do anything while he was here, so him being gone will be no loss! Why he became president is still a mystery.

Blagojevich is one of the most corrupt governors we've ever had, and I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't appoint himself.

Our state is corrupt thanks to the corrupt Chicago politicians like Blagojevich and Obama. Look out for the next 4 years.

Jesse Jackson Jr. would certainly be an interesting choice

tough, hard choices.....great talents ready to go and i opt for Tammy Duckworth, though congressman Jackson would be equally acceptable.
Tammy not only a great choice, but it would eliminate some of the sordid, dirty tricks that were used against her in her run for Congress. She would be an inspiration to all our returning vets of this war of choice.

Jeesh, those first comments are rough. This is the prudent thing for a prudent government official to do. You blog trolls need to get a life.

So, is Gov. Blagojevich going to appoint Michelle Obama to complete her husband's term like I have been hearing?
It would be good experience for her if she chose to run for the presidency in 2016 ...... And, it is down the block from the White House.
She could see the kids off to school before going to work.
Mrs. Biden could do the First Lady stuff!

Unbelievable. I can see it now. Rev. Jesse Jackson has a senate seat and Obama as president. With people like these in power, YOU WILL SEE ANOTHER 1929 DEPRESSION. And unlike other conservative republicans, I would be in favor of change... rather a "New Deal" to bail us out. This New Deal will consist of finding all welfare recipiant, non-working, anchor baby families, that are basically a drain on this country in every aspect, and send them back to their countries of origin... Or they can get a job and pay back all the debt they have accrued for being STUPID. Sorry that was a little harsh. FOR BEING EXTREMELY UNINTELLIGENT. I do not want to pay off the debt of others that willingly got themselves into the situation they are in. Nor do I want to give my hard earned money to the poor because they dont GET ENOUGH HANDOUTS AS IT IS. Our so-called poor do not even know what its like to really struggle. I know because I was once there too! So lets them try in their countries of origin. PERSONALLY I AM IN FAVOR OF SEEING REV. JESSE JACKSON TRY AND BE A PUBLIC SERVANT AND LEAD THE PEOPLE OF RAWANDA. HA!

When his presidency continues in the same manner has his senate seat, it will be hard to find all the people who voted him in. Just like it seems like the "Obama-nation" supports are notably absent here.

But, if he does well, I will congratulate him on his success.

No Phil Smith Jr. comment today? Maybe one later.

Just one question Ms. Sweet. Is Phil Smith a psuedonym for another columnist or maybe for yourself to go by?

Not that I think highly of their positions on topics, simply noticed this name is prevelant in majority of your blog entries.

Have a good day.

Valerie Jarrett.

Face it - no one wants the job - it's the pension.

Schakowsky or Jackson Jr. would be alright by me. Both will be more progressive than Obama.

jesse jackson jr.... and jesse jackson are two different people

please Scott B. Reichmann correct yourself

jesse jackson jr.... and jesse jackson are two different people

please Scott B. Reichmann correct yourself

jesse jackson jr.... and jesse jackson are two different people

please Scott B. Reichmann correct yourself

Two years too late. I hope that he takes his apathetic and pompous Senate staff with him.

Based on Obama's record in the Senate, Blogo the Clown could appoint a ham sandwich Senator and it would be more productive.

You can bet the next Senator's first job will be to get Patrick Fizgerald replaced by a Chicago Attorney. There is nothing more important to Governor Hairdo and King Richard than getting rid of Fitzgerald.

cool. it brings to mind cicero's letter to his brother quintus, "...for your status as a 'new man' you will compensate by your fame as a speaker." it's "nominus novitatem dicendi gloria maxime subevabis"...the latin writ for "yes i can".o.k.?

Jackson,Jr. has earned it through his 13 years of work in the Congess on the powerful appropriations committee. He knows the landscape and the players, and will be a quick-start resource for the Obama administration without having to learn his way around, and is able to work across traditional dividing lines. He maintains racial diversity in the Senate (if you can call it that) where--without Obama--there is none, and he's young enough to serve long enough to gain seniority and power which is good for Illinois.
He has good instincts as the very first to endorse Obama for the Senate and for the presidency.

why the endless negativity, people? why?? don't you understand that the bitterness bubbling inside of you is literally harmful to your mental and physical well-being? life is so short. log off. go outside. kick the leaves around. breathe in, breathe out. everything is going to be ok.

Rep. Jesse Jackson is a fair man. He is also more intelligent than his dad, Rev. Jesse Jackson.

What a bunch of crabby patties. If you can't say something constructive, maybe your time is better spent watching Sponge Bob SquarePants.

I'M BACK, DID YOU MISS ME?
DEAR FRANK - I SEE YOU HAVE HAD A ROUGH WEEK,
AND YOUR GIRL PALIN AND YOURSELF ARE STILL SPEWING
VENOM, BUT BOTH OF YOU PROBABLY HAVE THE IQ OF A
PEA!
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL, THE MAN MADE A GREAT MOVE
SO THE GREAT STATE OF ILLINOIS CAN CONTINUE TO
THRIVE, I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU ARE IN A BAD MOOD,
BUT JANUARY 20,2009 WILL CURE ALL OF YOUR ILLS!
GO WITH A WINNER NEXT TIME AND EVERYTHING WILL
BE ALL RIGHT AND STAY AWAY FROM THE RACETRACK
YOU COULDN'T PICK A WINNER IF YOU HAD TWO SCRATCH
SHEETS!
HEY LARAINE THESE ARE THE GUYS WHO TRIED TO STEAL
CHRISTMAS WITH THE GRINCH!
BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT-ELECT THE MAN WHO BAGGED
THE ELEPHANT!
NOW THAT MCCAIN HAS GONE TO GEORGIA TO HELP THE
GUY WIN, WE ALL KNOW NOW HE HAS PUT THE KISS OF
DEATH ON THAT CANDIDATE, THE RUN OFF WILL BE
DEC. 2ND, AND THE REPUBLICAN IS TOAST!

Tammy Duckworth for Senate? She is the one who carpetbagged into Illinois 06 and ran against Christine Cegelis in 2006. Duckworth is not even from Illinois, and she has little to no political experience. Moreover, she is not even from Illinois. She is, however, Rahm Emanuel's protege. If they appoint her, then we will see once and for all that Illinois only supports corrupt candidates chosen by Blagojevich, Rezko, Emanuel and Obama.

MCCAIN WASN'T FROM THE DISTRICT IN ARIZONA WHEN
HE WON HIS FIRST CONGRESSIONAL SEAT EITHER, HIS
RICH WIFE SIMPLY BOUGHT A HOUSE IN THAT DISTRICT
AND HE RAN AND WON, AND HE HAS LOST 2 PRESIDENTIAL
RACES SINCE THEN, THE MORAL TO THE STORY IS YOUR
RICH WIFE CAN BUY HOUSES BUT SHE CAN'T BUY YOU
THE WHITE HOUSE!

The President-elect must focus on new plans and direction as President, give his respects to the grandmother that helped raised him, not get bogged down with too many "Clintonites", and all by January 20, 2009. Personally,I think he has a lot on his plate, maybe the Govenor will move ahead on his replacement?

DEAR ROBERTA
IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT HE IS DOING, COMPARED TO THE
PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION, YOU WILL DISCOVER HE IS
SURROUNDING HIMSELF WITH EXPERIENCE!
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHOSE ADMINISTRATION THEY
SERVED UNDER, IT'S THE EXPERIENCE FACTOR THAT
COUNTS!
GEORGE W. BUSH TOOK INEXPERIENCED PEOPLE WITH HIM
FROM TEXAS TO WASHINGTON AND THAT'S WHY THE
COUNTRY IS IN TROUBLE, THESE PEOPLE HAD NO IDEA
WHAT THEIR JOBS ENTAILED!
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA IS A STUDENT OF HISTORY,
HE READS LINCOLN ALOT, AND FDR, HE UNDERSTANDS
IN THESE TURBULENT TIMES HE CAN'T AFFORD TO TAKE
INEXPERIENCED PEOPLE WITH HIM TO WASHINGTON!
ROBERTA DON'T LET THE NEWS CON YOU WITH CLINTON
ADMINISTRATION THIS AND THAT, HE IS SURROUNDING
HIMSELF WITH EXPERIENCE SO HIS PRESIDENCY WILL
BE MORE REWARDING, NOT ONLY FOR HIM BUT US AS
WELL!
YOU ARE CORRECT IN SAYING HE HAS ALOT ON HIS PLATE
BUT WITHOUT A DOUBT HE IS THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE
JOB!
HE ISN'T DOING THIS TO PLEASE HIS FATHER, OR
TO TRY TO OUTDUE HIS BROTHER, HE WANTS TO BE THE
PRESIDENT TO REALLY IMPROVE AMERICA!
REMEMBER THIS MAN DOESN'T OWN A RANCH, HE WILL BE
MORE VISIBLE THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 13, 2008 1:36 PM.

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