Crooked old Charlie Rangel was censured by his colleagues yesterday, which is pretty embarrassing and whatnot. But say Rangel steps down. Who will replace him? The Daily News hears "speculation" that equally-crooked Governor David Paterson could take over. Great idea!

The Daily News' Gatecrasher asked around, and a "Washington insider" told the paper that "speculation around David has become hotter" as Rangel's ethics problems have heated up. Yeah, that's one way to really show Americans that their system of government is on the straight and narrow. The same "insider" says that Paterson would be the "safest, most conciliatory choice" in the event Rangel steps down. Good lord.

Other sources the paper spoke with disagree, though. Assemblyman and Manhattan Democratic chairman Keith Wright is seen as a possible replacement. And while Wright told them he'd love to eventually replace Rangel, he said, "With over 81% of the vote in the general election ... Charlie Rangel still has the support of Harlem in an overwhelming fashion. He hasn't lost the faith of his constituents."

It's all speculation anyway. But seriously, David Paterson?!


[Image via AP]