It seems strange, but technically, Barack Obama is still a sitting senator. In fact, in an odd twist, when Congress reconvenes for a lame-duck session, Obama and Joe Biden can still vote on legislation while working on their transition in a competing branch of government.
Obama has indicated that he's not quite comfortable with this arrangement, which seems to touch on some serious separation-of-powers issues. With that in mind, Obama will officially give up his Senate seat on Sunday. Subscription-only Roll Call reported:
"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," Obama said in a statement on Thursday. "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."
It is unclear when Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, who was elected in Delaware to a seventh Senate term last week, will resign from his seat.
Obama's resignation will take effect just as Congress is returning for a weeklong lame-duck session.
Yeah. "President-elect Senator Obama" is rather a bit of a mouthful, and probably leaves a bad taste in the mouth of anyone who's had an up-close and personal view of Dick "His Own Private Branch" Cheney's antics.
Of course, the hot topic now is, who should replace Obama? Ari at Firedoglake has his favorite already picked out:
It's no secret here that I support Jan Schakowsky as his replacment. If you do to - please sign our petition to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Here are five reasonswhy Jan is the best choice:
1. Proven Progressive: By lifetime voting record she is the ninth most progressive member of Congress.
2. Obama Ally: Schakowsky was one of the first members of Congress to endorse him during his Senate race.
3. Against the War in Iraq from the start: "Schakowsky opposed the Iraq war resolution and was a founding member of the Out-of-Iraq Caucus"
4. Look at the awesome legislation she has introduced.
5. She has fought from the outside, as a comsumer advocate and Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990" This is important. She understands how campaigns off the Hill, can influence on the Hill and will work with the progressive community to get the job done.
Sounds like an excellent choice.
For a gander at the other contenders, go here.