Will Governor Palin Become Senator Palin ?
It is very possible, but only if Ted Stevens, the Alaskan Senator convicted for corruption, is able to hold on to his slim lead in this election. Which brings us to some very strange scenarios.
First of all, if Stevens wins, there is a good chance that he will be expelled by his fellow Senators. It has happened 15 times in our history. The first Senator expelled was William Blount, who was expelled in 1797 for the act of treason. He was charged with conspiring with and agent of the British government, but he was never convicted and the case has still not been proven. Then between 1861 and 1862 14 Senators were expelled for supporting the secession of the Southern States. It takes a 2/3 vote of the Senate to expel a Senator. A simple thing to do, especially since the Democrats will have at least 57% of the members. Where would the others come from ? Republicans who support Governor Palin and would love to see her on the national scene in preparation for a run
But what would happen if Stevens were to win and then be expelled ? How would the next Senator from Alaska be chosen ? A special election would have to be held and if Palin were to decide to run, she would most probably win. She could appoint herself to the Senate, but a special election would have to be held within 3 months.
This would bring Palin to the national stage and that would either convince the voters that she does know what she is doing, does have a hand on the national problems and make her candidacy in 2012 more likely. Or it will have the opposite effect and she will show she does not have what it takes to be a national leader.
Leaders in both parties are calling for Stevens to resign. The chances of that are slim to none. That is not Ted Stevens personality. He intends to fight his conviction. But what if the Senators take a look at the possibility of Palin coming to the Senate and decide just to sanction Stevens and not expel him?
That would take a simple majority vote of the Senate.
But, the chances are that they will expel him, if he is re elected. And what happens if he is expelled and then wins his appeal. Another interesting scenario. Once you are expelled, you are out. He could run again, but the next time he could run would be in two years when the other Senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski is up for re election. He would be 86 then.
There are a lot of things that can happen. And some Democrats are saying that Stevens should stay. So it could lead to the first rift in the new Democratic majority as well. We shall see.