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Rosie O'Donnell Joins the View

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Like a Supreme Court vacancy, an empty seat on the View roundtable is something a democracy can not long abide. ABC and Barbara Walters confirmed late today that America’s long national daytime nightmare is over: Rosie O’Donnell will replace Meredith Vieira, who will replace Katie Couric, who in September will replace Bob Schieffer in replacing Dan Rather.

By my count, this means that America’s favorite comic-turned-actress-turned-daytime-host-turned-lesbian-activist-turned-weird-blog-poet is now officially second in the line of succession for the anchor chair of the CBS Evening News. Which is undoubtedly a great thing for all of us, but it at first blush seems like a comedown for Rosie. After all, the woman who once soloed on her own talk show for years will now be just one of several panelists fighting the urge to commit suicide as Star Jones burbles on.

But for the newer Rosie, the move may just make sense. The old, Queen-of-Nice-era Rosie was the sort of unabrasively likeable personality who was suited to be a talk ringmaster, giving away stuff to needy kids and breaking into show tunes in between occasional detours to beat up on Tom Selleck over gun control. The new, bumptious, ready-to-rumble Rosie is a lot better suited for throwing darts on The View.

Long before being named to The View, in fact, she had accused Jones on her blog of having gastric bypass surgery while claiming to lose weight through will power. "I can’t wait for September," O’Donnell said in a statement released by ABC. Something tells me Star Jones can.