PHOTO: Oliver Morrison
Randi Weingarten (via Flickr)

Liz Benjamin reports that teachers union president Randi Weingarten has talked with Governor Paterson about possibly taking over Hillary Clinton’s senate seat:

Two sources confirm that “talks” have been had by the Paterson administration and Weingarten about whether she might be interested in joining the nation’s most exclusive political club.

O.M.G.!! This would allow a whole new who’s-the-next-Weingarten search. But Liz deflates with this statement from Weingarten:

UPDATE: Weingarten forwarded over a statement saying she is “very flattered and honored” to hear her name mentioned “given how many qualified candidates are under consideration to replace our great junior senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton,” and adding:

“However, I have a great new job that I am very engaged in – fighting for schools, kids and working people in the middle of the worst economic downturn of our lifetime.”

I’m very skeptical. I just got off the phone with a union insider who would almost definitely know if this was going to happen — and hadn’t heard a thing.

UPDATE. Weingarten’s full statement is below the jump. Suddenly I get the feeling Weingarten does not want the story to die completely.

“I am very flattered and honored to hear my name mentioned, given how many qualified candidates are under consideration to replace our great junior senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton. However, I have a great new job that I am very engaged in – fighting for schools, kids and working people in the middle of the worst economic downturn of our lifetime.”