February 19, 2010


Lautenberg’s illness could hurt Senate Democrats (ANDREW MIGA, 02/20/10, AP)

If Lautenberg, 86, has to miss multiple votes for health reasons, Democrats could struggle to fill the void. A first test could come Monday when a vote is expected on a Democratic jobs bill. A Lautenberg spokesman said Friday the senator would miss the vote.

“It’s one less vote, simple math,” said Gary Jacobson, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego. “It just makes it a little harder.”

The nation’s second-oldest senator is expected to return to work between treatments. Lautenberg is to undergo six to eight chemotherapy treatments and should make a full recovery, his doctor said. [...]

Any decline in Lautenberg’s recovery would be a serious concern for Democrats in New Jersey as well.

Republicans there won control of the governor’s office in November. If Lautenberg were unable to finish his term, Gov. Chris Christie would appoint an interim successor. That could give a Republican candidate the added advantage of incumbency in an already favorable environment for the GOP.

New Jersey Democrats failed to advance legislation to take the interim appointment power away from Christie. The legislation was introduced during the lame-duck session with Lautenberg in mind.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2010 9:53 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus