N.Y. governor leaning toward Kennedy?

David Paterson says he hasn't made up his mind, but some insiders indicate he's likely to appoint Caroline Kennedy to the Senate.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 2, 2009 7:29PM (EST)

Despite the very public beating Caroline Kennedy has taken recently, New York Gov. David Paterson is apparently still likely to appoint her to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. The Associated Press reports: "Two people close to Gov. David Paterson tell The Associated Press they believe Caroline Kennedy will be his choice, but the governor cautions he's still looking."

This isn't too suprising, but it is a little puzzling, I think. Paterson is up for election in 2010, and while New Yorkers seem resigned to the idea of Sen. Caroline Kennedy, they're not exactly wild about it. Plus, the chaos in Illinois means an unusual amount of scrutiny over these appointments; he'd be likely to take at least some political heat if he does pick her.

In related news, there's another potentially vacant Senate seat that until now hasn't gotten much attention: Colorado Democrat Ken Salazar is President-elect Barack Obama's pick to head the Interior Department, so his seat will open up if he's confirmed. The word is that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter will tap Denver Public Schools superintendent Michael Bennet for the job.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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David Paterson Michael F. Bennet D-colo.