The likelihood (according to fivethirtyeight.com, my other top recommendation for election tracking) of the Democrats getting 59 Senate seats this year is currently at about 42%. If the Democrats wind up with 59 seats in the Senate, that is only one Senator short of a filibuster-proof majority — an almost unstoppable majority.
[In order to get from 59 to 60, after the election,] President Obama could appoint Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) or Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) to the cabinet, thus demonstrating his bipartisanship and also flipping a seat (the governors of both states are Democrats).Interesting thought, eh? I wonder if either of those Senators would take that kind of offer, knowing what would happen?
I suppose first off, it is a question of knowing which "ranks higher" in American politics: A position like Treasury Secretary or that of being a senior Senator. Then second, if Treasury Secretary were higher, it would have to be so much more higher and powerful that either of those Senators could be convinced to throw their fellow Republican Senate minority entirely under the bus.
Well, there is currently a 30% chance that the Democrats will win 60 seats outright in this election. Then, the above-mentioned theoretical Obama cabinet appointments might not be necessary... except to finally get rid of Joe Lieberman.