Biden chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, and is he becomes the next vice president, the panel's gavel would be up for grabs.
Next in line is Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who like Biden, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination this cycle. Early betting by Senate insiders is that Dodd would not give up his chairmanship of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in order to take over Foreign Relations. The thinking is that since Obama and Biden would set foreign policy from the White House, the Foreign Relations Committee wouldn't be as attractive a post. Also, the housing/sub-mortgate crisis has still not run its course, and with insurance and financial services companies still such an important part of the Connecticut economy, Dodd may be reluctant
Under the Senate Democrats seniority rules, that leaves Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) next in line for the chairmanship, and Kerry would jump at the opportuity, according to Democratic aides. Kerry chairs the Small Business and Entrepeneurship Committee at this time, but taking over an "A" committee would be a huge boost for Kerry. He'd get more staff, first of all, and he'd been at the center of any policy debates during an Obama administration over foreign policy, from a nomination of a new Secretary of State to ratification of a future treaty/status of forces agreement on Iraq.
Kerry currently chairs the Near East, South and Central Asian Affairs subcpmmittee on Foreign Relations.
The Massachusetts Democrat also has seats on the powerful Finance Committee, as well as Commerce, Science and Transportation.
If for some reason Kerry were not to take on Foreign Relations, next in line is Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), followed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).