Originally Posted by ekedolphin
Why is appointing the late politician's widow to fill his seat, even a thing? No disrespect intended, but I hardly think being married to a senator qualifies someone to be a senator. I wouldn't expect a car mechanic's wife, or a doctor's husband, to be able to serve in their stead. (Bad analogy, I know.)
The work that a politician does personally is just the tip of the iceberg in doing the politician's job. The rest is done by the politician's staff. Most staffs are like a large official household, all well known to each other and to the politician's family. A deceased politician's spouse is most likely to know and trust the existing staff and, more to the point, to keep them on and let them keep doing their jobs without trying to change too much. alphaboi867
is right that the spouse keeps the seat warm for the party, but the spouse minimizes disruption and turnover in other ways too.