senator's plane crashes; 8 dead
A small plane chartered by Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone has crashed in a wooded area, and all eight people aboard were reported killed. CNN reports that Wellstone was on the plane's manifest, but it was not immediately known whether the senator was on board.
(Update: The AP is now saying Wellstone was indeed among those killed, as were
members of his family his wife and daughter, three members of his staff and two pilots. CNN is reporting the same.)
Of course, this is a tragedy for the victim's families, and I'm deeply sorry for their loss.
Update: The Daily Kos has this fine appreciation of Senator Wellstone.
I am not really happy with the fact that I thought of this immediately, but
if Wellstone was indeed killed, it Wellstone's death casts the upcoming election battle for the closely divided Senate (Wellstone's seat is among those in play) in an entirely new light: The state's governor is the notoriously maverick independent Jesse Ventura. His appointment of a replacement could indeed affect the balance of power in the Senate.
I just emailed Dodd (who's taken note of these events as well) that I really didn't feel good about having the political dimension of this tragedy occur to me so quickly. As told him, it made me feel as if I'd heard a relative had died and immediately wondered if I was in the will. No reflection on anyone else, but that's the way I felt.
(manual post transferred to Blogger)