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Joe Biden's chief of staff appointed to Joe Biden's Senate seat

November 24, 2008 |  1:29 pm

Wow, some real change here.

Delaware Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann  Minner (see photo) just announced that she intends to appoint Ted Kaufman to fill the next two years of longtime Delaware Sen. Joe Biden's new term.

Who's he? you ask. He's a Biden family spaceholder.

By an amazing coincidence the 69-year-old Kaufman is Biden's current Senate chief of staff and heading the senator's transitiDemocart Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner who appointed Joe Biden's senate replacement, ted Kaufmanon team for the vice presidency of the new Barack Obama administration.

By another strange coincidence, by the time of the special election in 2010 to fill the remaining four years of Biden's brand-new term, his son Beau will be back from National Guard duty in Iraq and still the state's attorney general.

Joe Biden has held that same Delaware Senate seat for 36 years, since his new boss, the new president, was 11 years old.

In fact, Biden was too young to take office when elected at age 29 in 1972. But he turned 30 just before being sworn in.

Despite the Richard Nixon landslide in Delaware that year, Biden's bare-bones insurgent campaign beat political veteran J. Caleb Boggs by 3,162 votes. And Biden hasn't had to look back since.

Biden was again on Delaware ballots on Nov. 4 as both a Senate and vice presidential candidate. He won both. It's unclear when he intends to resign his Senate seat, as Obama did Nov. 16, giving any appointed replacement a little extra seniority.

Biden will probably take the oath for his seventh Senate term in early January and then cede the seat to Kaufman. Surprisingly, Joe Biden heartily approves of his longtime aide. "With Ted Kaufman in the Senate," the about-to-be vice president said, "Delaware will be in very good hands."

The tiny, insignificant state is the second smallest in size behind only Rhode Island and with a population of barely 783,000, has fewer people than even Montana.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Office of Gov. Ruth Ann Minner