Barack Obama’s win over John McCain on Nov. 4 was the most lopsided victory for a presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis in 1988, and the most lopsided win for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964. Obama easily set a new record for total votes with over 65 million and still counting.
News agencies are now reporting that Nebraska, who along with Maine awards its electoral votes by congressional district, will give Obama an additional vote in the Electoral College, putting his total at 365 out of 538. Missouri has yet to be called, but with a difference of about 5,000 votes, looks like it will go for McCain.
Democrats have increased their majorities in both chambers of Congress as well. They’ve gained at least 20 seats in the House of Representatives, with a few races still too close to call. Democrats picked up at least 6 seats in the United States Senate, with three races still to be decided in Minnesota, Alaska, and Georgia. This puts the current Senate tally at 57 Democrats (if you count two Independents) and 40 Republicans.
In Georgia, there will be a run-off in early December between Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and his Democratic challenger, State Rep. Jim Martin. Minnesota’s incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman leads comedian Al Franken by just over 200 votes, leading to an eventual recount. In Alaska, Sen. Ted Stevens, recently convicted on corruption charges, narrowly leads Democrat Mark Begich with several thousand votes still to be counted. If Stevens wins reelection, he may be expelled from the Senate shortly thereafter. There would then be a special election in Alaska to fill the vacant seat, and right now most of the speculation revolves around Gov. Sarah Palin.
Jockeying is also well under way in Illinois and Delaware to replace Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the Senate. Both of those seats will be filled by their state’s respective Democratic governors. In Illinois, Obama’s longtime friend/advisor and businesswoman Valerie Jarrett has been the hot name as of late. State Director of Veteran’s Affairs Tammy Duckworth has also been mentioned prominently. Add to that the long list of Democratic members of Congress in the Land of Lincoln like Danny Davis, Jesse Jackson Jr. or Jan Schakowsky, and it’s anybody’s guess.
In Delaware the most popular prospect to fill Vice-President Elect Joe Biden’s seat in the Senate is Joe’s son, Beau Biden. Beau is currently serving in Iraq with the National Guard and is also the state’s Attorney General. Another name that’s recently surfaced is that of Davis Plouffe, fresh off managing Obama’s successful campaign for the Presidency. Plouffe is a Delaware resident and has said that he’s not interested in a job either in the White House or with the Democratic National Committee, which has only spurred speculation.
Reports seem to indicate that President-Elect Obama is still days away from naming members of his incoming cabinet.
In the vital role of Secretary of the Treasury, the leading candidates are former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, despite his age (81), has been closely advising Obama on financial issues.
Former Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, has been prominently mentioned as a possible Secretary of State. New Mexico Governor and former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson is also a strong possibility. There’s also been buzz around Republican Sens. Dick Lugar of Indiana and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
For Attorney General, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano may be asked by Obama to head the Justice Department. Other names mentioned include Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder.
As for Defense, many people in Washington think that Bob Gates, who’s been on the job for less than two years, will be asked to stay on for at least another year. As for Gates’ eventual successor, possibilities include former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and the aforementioned Hagel.
Much of the information above was provided by the Government Relations Practice of Kelley Drye. To read the firm’s complete report on the election, click here.