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  The Replacement Senator Causing Democrats Fits
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Last EditedJason  Apr 12, 2010 07:52pm
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AuthorMichael Sherer
MediaWeekly News Magazine - TIME Magazine
News DateFriday, April 9, 2010 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionAs the lamest of the Senate's lame ducks, Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman should be coasting at this point. No matter what happens in November, he will be out of a job a few days later, when his two-year turn as Vice President Joe Biden's appointed replacement comes to an end. "I'm junior," the wild-haired, 71-year-old former Biden staffer admits. "I can't get more junior."

But instead of sailing quietly into oblivion, Kaufman has decided to make waves. Most notably, he is challenging his Senate colleagues — and the Obama Administration — to get behind far tougher financial regulations than they have yet proposed, a move that has been unsettling to both bank lobbyists and White House aides. "I think most people know that I am really cranked up about this," Kaufman says with a smile.

In late March, after most of his colleagues had split for the Easter holiday, Kaufman lingered on the Senate floor, waiting for his chance to address rows of empty chairs, a few pimple-faced pages and the C-SPAN cameras in his latest well-sourced broadside against the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and in the White House. "Unless Congress breaks up the megabanks that are 'too big to fail,' " he declared to an empty chamber, "the American taxpayer will remain the ultimate guarantor in an almost-certain-to-repeat-itself cycle of boom, bust and bailout."
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