As the final votes are counted, it now looks like America's favorite 84-year-old felon, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, is likely to lose his reelection bid…
Mr. Begich led Mr. Stevens by just 814 votes after about 57,000 additional ballots were counted on Wednesday. So far, about 279,000 votes have been counted in the Senate race, and about 35,000 more remain to be counted. It could be next week before the count is complete.
His fellow Republican Senators are a taking a two-pronged approach to this turn of events: Vow to expel him from the Senate, but secretly hope that he loses the election so they won't actually have to do it.
“First of all, I hope Senator Stevens is successful in being re-elected. And assuming that he is, I intend to support any motion to remove him,” [Sen. Saxby] Chambliss said during a press conference with John Ensign of Nevada, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has served notice that he’ll seek to expel Stevens from the Senate Republican Conference at a meeting next Tuesday.
While Ensign said that he, too, would vote to expel Stevens from the GOP circle — a move that would foreshadow expulsion by the entire Senate — the Nevada senator counseled waiting to see whether Stevens wins his race.
“If he actually wins the election, then you have to expel him twice. And so it’s probably better to let Alaska — it’s probably going to take a while to count all the votes up there — let that take place, then after the first of the year deal with it,” Ensign said.
Stevens' losing the election would be a blessing for his colleagues — if he were to win, not only would they need to wade through the mire of expelling him, they'd need to serve with whoever Alaska Governor Sarah Palin appointed to replace him. Which would most likely be Sarah Palin.
Of course, what would really be fortuitous for Senate Republicans is if Stevens were to quietly die of old age. But no one's going to come out and say that.
Tags: Alaska, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Sarah Palin, Saxby Chambliss, Senate, Ted Stevens