ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: There’s one very interesting consequence of the election of the first African-American to the presidency — you know, the one with no family connections and the funny last name. The inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will almost certainly mean an escalation in a longtime trend in American politics: one toward nepotism. Obama’s vice-presidential and Cabinet choices are creating four Senate vacancies — each of which are being filled (barring a change in state law) by governors. And in all four, the bearers of prominent political last names could wind up following in the family traditions. In New York, Caroline Kennedy is a frontrunner for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seat — despite never having run for any elected office. In Colorado, where Sen. Ken Salazar is being named Wednesday to serve as Obama’s Interior secretary, his brother, Rep. John Salazar, is among the prominent candidates being discussed to fill the seat. In Illinois, Obama’s Senate seat could be filled by Attorney General Lisa Madigan — whose father, Mike, is the speaker of the state House, a veteran Democratic powerbroker. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is also still in the mix for the vacancy — despite his ignominious appearance as “Senate Candidate 5″ in last week’s criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (And the state legislature in Illinois is balking at attempts to strip the governor of the appointment power, notwithstanding GOP calls to fill the seat in a special election.) In Delaware, the governor has said she will appoint a longtime aide to Vice-president-elect Joe Biden, Ted Kaufman, to take over Biden’s seat. But Kaufman has said he won’t run for the remainder of the term in 2010 — leaving Biden’s son, Beau, a clear shot at the seat his dad first won in 1972. Family dynasties have strains in American politics that take us from John Quincy Adams through Hillary Rodham Clinton and George W. Bush. And plenty of people with famous last names are qualified and valuable public servants; of the potential candidates mentioned above, only Kennedy hasn’t been deemed by voters to be worthy of public office. But there’s a certain irony to seeing Obama’s elevation — the antithesis of dynastic politics — resulting in a continuation of so many family political legacies. Politico’s Charles Mathesian takes note of the phenomena: “The U.S. Senate could end up looking like an American version of the House of Lords – and Republicans have begun to take notice,” he writes. It’s not just the Democrats who have dynasties, of course. But this is one impact of this particular Democratic president winning, opening up rare plums in pockets across the country. Kathleen Parker writes in her Washington Post column that Caroline Kennedy’s play for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat isn’t much prettier than what transpired in Illinois. “No one should find solace in the now-popular refrain that at least the seat isn’t for sale, as in Illinois, where Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly tried to auction Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. Of course, Clinton’s seat is for sale,” Parker writes. “Caroline Kennedy, who brings to the table a powerful political name, a family fortune and a friendship with the new president, is merely the highest bidder in a silent auction. It may be a classier act, but it’s still the same play,” she writes. What do you think?