…or, “Here, hold this until my son gets back.”
Edward Kaufman is about to become the Benjamin A. Smith II of Delaware. Smith was a college roommate of John F. Kennedy. When JFK was elected president in 1960, he persuaded the governor of Massachusetts to appoint Smith to his Senate seat. Smith took the job and obligingly chose not to run in the 1962 special election, when brother Teddy was finally old enough to serve in the Senate.
Now Kaufman is doing the same favor for Joe Biden. Biden persuaded outgoing governor Ruth Ann Minner to appoint Kaufman, his longtime friend and Senate chief of staff, to his Senate seat. Kaufman said he will not run for the seat in 2010, allowing Biden’s son Beau, attorney general of Delaware and currently serving with the National Guard in Iraq, to claim the seat then.
Like Alaska, Delaware has a relatively small population, so maybe there really aren’t many people in the state qualified to serve in the U.S. Senate. But it’s awfully nice of Kaufman to hold on to the seat until the Biden family can reclaim it.