Thursday, December 14, 2006

Control Of Senate Hangs In Balance With Johnson's Health

Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson suffered from "stroke like symptoms" on Wednesday and was in critical condition Thursday after late-night brain surgery.

The U.S. Capitol physician said the surgery was successful and that Johnson had suffered from bleeding in the brain caused by congenital arteriovenous malformation.

While everyone is concerned about the Senators health, many are also concerned about the Democrats tenuous grip on power in Senate, and how Johnson's departure could impede that.

Democrats were expected to hold the majority by only one seat, but this could soon change, tossing Senate back into the hands of Republicans.

If a replacement must be named for Johnson it could be determined by Republican Gov. Mike Rounds.

How terribly convenient for the Republicans, that Rounds would be the man who would have the power to name the Johnson's replacement, if one is needed.

Mike Rounds, after all is the man who decided when Democratic Sen. Dick Hagen died in 2002, to appoint a Republican to replace him, even though the district was overwhelmingly Democrat.

Bob Burns, political science head at South Dakota State University said "It would be expected that Governor Rounds would appoint a Republican, if in fact the seat would be vacated, which would bring a tie and Cheney would be the deciding vote."

We all know how Vice President Cheney will vote, if given the chance.