2008_11_higgins.jpgAll of the talk about the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming Secretary of State in the forthcoming Obama administration naturally is triggering speculation about who Governor Paterson might replace her with if she were to step down as senator. Sources close to the governor tell the Times that he and his advisers were made aware that Clinton was being considered for the post days before the story broke. While big names like the Kennedys (RFK Jr. and Caroline), Andrew Cuomo and even Paterson himself were thrown out, the Times emphasizes that it might be most sensible politically for Paterson to appoint an upstate politician--possibly Buffalo-area congressman Brian Higgins (pictured)--to provide balance in what has become a NYC-centric political landscape lately. Whoever took the seat if it was vacated would have to face a special election in 2009 in order to remain senator until Clinton's term is up in 2012.