- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

New York Gov. David Paterson has a tough choice to make in filling Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, once she steps aside to become secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton has said she will resign after Congress confirms her appointment. In the meantime, New York congressmen, former state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Caroline Kennedy would like to be considered for the seat. Former President Clinton’s name is making the rounds as a caretaker replacement until the 2010 election. Fortunately, a Clinton spokesman said he was not interested. Whew!

For a moment there, we thought Mr. Clinton might want to make history - again. If appointed to fill his wife’s seat, Mr. Clinton would have been the first former president since John Quincy Adams to serve in Congress. Adams served eight terms in the House after serving one term as president.

But Mr. Paterson shouldn’t be persuaded by historical precedent, gender precedent or any of the hogwash that led to yesterday’s circus on Capitol Hill courtesy of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Mr. Paterson would do well to select a person who is best suited to represent the citizens of New York and be a credible voice for the rest of America. It’s a tough job, but the governor’s got to do it.

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