The New York Times surveys the landscape to see what might happen to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat if she steps down to become Secretary of State:
Word that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was a contender to become President-elect Barack Obama’s secretary of state set off frenzied speculation in New York political circles on Friday about who could replace her.
The buzz centered on the obvious (Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo), the unfamiliar (Representative Brian Higgins of Buffalo) and the improbable (Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg).
There were also candidates who appealed because of their political lineage, like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his cousin Caroline Kennedy. And there were those who seemed to be the safe, practical choices, like Representatives Nita M. Lowey, Gregory W. Meeks or Steve Israel.
Under New York election law, if the Senate seat becomes vacant, Gov. David A. Paterson will appoint someone. But, assuming the person is appointed in 2008, that person must stand for election in 2009.
The Times doesn’t mention Republican candidates for that race, but there seems to be one rather obvious choice.
There has already been talk among New York Republicans about Rudy Giuliani running for Governor in 2010. If Hillary’s Senate seat does open up, I can imagine attention would shift to picking a candidate who would have a reasonable shot of picking it up, and, notwithstanding his dismal showing in the Republican Presidential race, Giuliani seems the most likely choice.