[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/03/biden.deployment/art.beau.joe.biden.jpg caption="Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his son, Beau."]
Ted Barrett and Kate Bolduan
CNN Capitol Hill Unit
The appointment of Ted Kaufman to temporarily fill the Senate seat of Vice President-elect Joe Biden fits into a much speculated scenario that has Biden and other key players in Delaware paving the way for Biden’s son Beau to one day win his father’s seat.
Kaufman, a long time close aide to the older Biden, announced immediately after being appointed by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, D, that he would not run to complete the 6 year term when a special election is held in two years. That clears the way for Beau Biden, who is Delaware’s attorney general, to run without the difficulty of having to challenge an incumbent Democrat.
Beau Biden might have been appointed to the seat now except that he is deployed with his National Guard unit for the next several months in Iraq.
Joe Biden is “keeping the track open for his son to take the seat,” said an aide to Delaware Lt. Gov. John Carney, a contender for the appointment who was passed over.
The senior Biden issued a statement Monday saying “it is no secret” he thinks Beau would be a great senator and praised his son for announcing last week that he would decline a possible appointment in order to fulfill his military obligation.
VP-elect Biden said anyone who runs in the special election will do so from a “level playing field.”
And while that may be true, the decision by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, D, to select a place-holder does hold open an opportunity for Beau Biden that probably would not have existed if his father wasn’t the sitting senator.
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