Johnson To Banking?
I don't want to sound insensitive to the disabled, and Tim Johnson appears to have all of his mental faculties with him. But Johnson is two years out from a debilitating stroke, and chairing a committee in the Senate is demanding work. Robert Byrd lost his gavel because he was physically incapable of performing the chairmanship on Appropriations. I would just be very surprised to see Johnson get the chair of the Senate Banking Committee if Chris Dodd moved over to run the HELP Committee to replace the late Ted Kennedy.
There's the other matter that Johnson clearly is a total shill for corporate banking interests, many of which are hid away in his low-regulation state of South Dakota. With consumer protection legislation coming up, absolutely nothing of worth would get through a Banking Committee under Johnson. But it would be simply terrible optics to have someone who may not be able to handle the job up there trying to put together this high-profile legislation. I just can't see it.
Next in line on Banking after Johnson would be Jack Reed, which would be a major improvement over Johnson and Dodd. If Reed gets it, we're seeing some serious change. If Dodd stays put and Barbara Mikulski takes over HELP, it's the status quo. If Johnson really gets that seat, the country is seriously ruled by corporate whores and sellouts.
Maybe I shouldn't be so unequivocal in my prediction.