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Senate Dem 58   GOP 41   Ties 1
House Dem 257   GOP 178  

Map of the 2010 Senate Races
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News from the Votemaster

Obama Takes the Oath of Office Again

To avoid any conceivable doubt about whether he is really President, Barack Obama took the oath of office a second time. It was again administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, in the White House Map Room. Roberts began by saying: "Are you ready to take the oath?" Obama answered: "I am, and we're going to do it very slowly." There was no Bible this time and it took only 25 seconds, despite the deliberate pacing. It went flawlessly this time. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Chester Arthur also took it twice because there were mistakes the first time around as well.

Hillary Clinton Confirmed as Secretary of State

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was confirmed by the Senate yesterday as Secretary of State by a vote of 94 to 2, with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) voting against confirmation. After being confirmed, Clinton immediately resigned her Senate seat. Shortly thereafter, Caroline Kennedy announced that she was withdrawing her Senate candidacy to take care of her uncle, Ted Kennedy, who had a neurological incident yesterday (English translation: Caroline had heard that Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) was not going to appoint her to the Senate and this was a graceful way out). Paterson said that he would make an announcement this week.

There have been almost no leaks on this so only Paterson and a few close associates know who he picked. state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Rep. Carolyn Maloney would make good sense though. Cuomo is not only a member of a political dynasty (Dad was a long-time popular governor) but he has demonstrated his ability to win statewide elections on his own, something important for a senator who has to stand for election in 2010 and again in 2012. Maloney has represented a part of Manhattan in the House for 16 years and knows the ways of Washington very well. Besides, Women's groups are strongly in favor of her to continue having New York being represented in the Senate by a woman.

Obama's May Change the Image of the Black Family

While much has been written about the historic nature of having a black President, there has been less attention to the impact having a fully functional, highly educated, loving, black family in the news all the time for the next four years. Unfortunately, many people have a stereotype of black families as dysfunctional in many ways, from unwed teenage mothers to oversexed, macho black studs. Watching the Obamas just be a normal family that doesn't fit any of the stereotypes may do more to change people's racial attitudes than anything since the Bill Cosby show (which was only TV after all). This is real. CNN has a story on this aspect of the Obama presidency.

What is also worth noting, is that whenever Barack and Michelle Obama are together, they look like they actually like each other and are not just play acting for the cameras (think: Al Gore's passionately kissing his wife for the whole world to inspect after getting the Democratic nomination in 2000). When Laura Bush was on stage with George Bush, she seemed more like a prop than a person, and to say Bill Clinton was wildly in love with Hillary would be a bit off the mark. In fact, one has to go back to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter to find a couple comparable to the Obamas.

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