So, Barack Obama seems to be ignoring my advice for him regarding his Cabinet, but there is some indication that he is taking my advice to appoint Hillary Clinton to some cabinet position. You're Welcome, Mr. President-Elect. If Senator Clinton were to become Secretary of State (and I wish I had thought of her for that position), it would create a Senate vacancy for New York's Governor, David Paterson to fill.
Paterson needs to make a philosophical choice before he can even get down to short list of potential appointees. Should he appoint a place-holder to keep the seat warm and represent New York's interests for two years-- someone who will then step aside for a completely new Democratic candidate to be elected. Or, should Paterson pick someone who will hit the ground running and will run for election in two years.
A place holder is someone who will be in the awkward position of being both a place holder and a lame duck. In this situation, you either need someone with great gravitas, or someone with a great personality to get stuff done. In terms of gravitas, former Governor Mario Cuomo jumps to the front of the pack. Despite being out of politics himself for a decade, he still oozes gravitas, and appointing him would possibly protect Paterson from a primary challenge by Andrew Cuomo, the former gov's son, who wants to be governor himself.
Thinking waaaay outside the box, one could appoint former President Bill Clinton, or former Republican Senator Alphonse D'Amato (this would be a sure way to lose the Democratic primary for Paterson).
Personally, if I were to go this path, I would appoint an Upstater from academia. Former Cornell President Hunter Rawlings would strike a dashing figure, or former UB President William Griener.
If Paterson were to appoint someone with the view that they would then run for a full term, State AG Andrew Cuomo has proven to be effective at his job, is a proven vote-getter, and has Washington experience as HUD secretary. Appointing Cuomo Senator would also keep him from monting a primary challenge. Former US Attorney and current New York State Commissioner of Criminal Justice Services Denise O'Donnell successfullyhandled a number of important and high-profile cases, and is a Buffalonian.
The problem with New York's Congressional Democrats is that they are either very new, very old, or represent districts that Republicans would stand a good chance of winning in an open election. An exception is Buffalo's Brian Higgins, who has proven to be a bit conservative on national issues for my tastes, but is a hard-working, and ingenuative problem-solver.
Oh, and there are a lot of people from NYC who might be able to do the job as well.....