Former Biden Aide to Be Appointed to His Seat

Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:54pm

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D) announced Monday that she would appoint Ted Kaufman, a former top aide to Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, to fill Biden’s seat in the Senate.

Kaufman spent 22 years on Biden’s Senate payroll, retiring as chief of staff in 1994, according to the Wilmington News Journal.

It appears as if Kaufman will serve as a placeholder until 2010, when an election will be held to fill the remaining four years of Biden’s Senate term. Biden’s son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D), is widely expected to seek the Senate seat then.

The younger Biden is a military reservist who is about to be deployed to Iraq. Beau Biden recently took himself out of contention for the Senate appointment, saying it would be inappropriate to move to the Senate during his National Guard duty.

Left unannounced Monday is when the vice president-elect will step down from the Senate seat that he has held since the beginning of 1973. Minner’s term as governor expires Jan. 20, the same day that Biden is scheduled to be sworn in as vice president. For her to make the appointment, Biden will have to resign before then.

Kaufman is currently serving as co-chairman of Biden’s vice presidential transition team. He has been a senior lecturing fellow at the Duke University of Law since 1991.

Kaufman is serving his fourth term on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal agency that oversees U.S. government-sponsored international broadcasting entities like the Voice of America. He was first appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1995.

Kaufman also operates Public Strategies, a political and management consulting firm in Wilmington, Del.