One of my first thoughts last night when I heard the news that Senator Joe Biden was Obama’s VP pick, was if Kerry would end up chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Apparently, I wasn’t alone in that thinking:
Barack Obama’s decision to pick fellow Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) as his VP nominee could have some interesting fallout in the Senate if Democrats win the White House in November.
Biden chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and is he becomes the next vice president, the panel’s gavel would be up for grabs.
Next in line is Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who, like Biden, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination this cycle. Early betting by Senate insiders is that Dodd would not give up his chairmanship of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in order to take over Foreign Relations. The thinking is that since Obama and Biden would set foreign policy from the White House, the Foreign Relations Committee wouldn’t be as attractive a post. Also, the housing/mortgage crisis has still not run its course, and with insurance and financial services companies still such an important part of the Connecticut economy, Dodd may be reluctant
Under the Senate Democrats seniority rules, that leaves Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) next in line for the chairmanship, and Kerry would jump at the opportuity, according to Democratic aides. Kerry chairs the Small Business and Entrepeneurship Committee at this time, but taking over an “A” committee would be a huge boost for Kerry. He’d get more staff, first of all, and he’d been at the center of any policy debates during an Obama administration over foreign policy, from a nomination of a new Secretary of State to ratification of a future treaty/status of forces agreement on Iraq.
Kerry is the chair of the Near East, South and Central Asian Affairs subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He also has “seats on the powerful Finance Committee, as well as Commerce, Science and Transportation.”
If for some reason Kerry were not to take on Foreign Relations, next in line is Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), followed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).
Quite frankly, I can’t imagine Kerry not taking the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, unless of course Obama offers him a cabinet position. As much as I would have loved to see Kerry as the VP pick, I think Biden is a great choice and I get that Kerry is dedicated to continuing to serve in the Senate.
And on that note, I’m glad to see that Kerry has agreed to a debate with Democratic challenger Ed O’Reilly. O’Reilly won’t have any shot at overcoming Kerry in a debate. The idea that he even challenged him is laughable.