SOT, are you kidding with how this must be a dream come true for Whoopi because her career is in the toilet? With ALL due respect (seriously) I don't think Whoopi is as pathetic as you make her seem, nor is she as "safe" as you state. It might very well be a dream, but not because she needs a shot in the arm for her career - but I suspect because she feels she has a lot to say/discuss. Whoopi has always been outspoken AND controversial. Did you see her recent stand up special? Her edge has CHANGED, but she definitely still has an edge. I think she did radio because (a) it wasn't centered around looks and (b) it let her speak her mind without traveling around and doing standup ALL the time.
I also think she is so laid back in style, and has a few more years on her, that while she may feel the same way as Rosie did on political issues, she'll be able to do it more calmly. I do NOT mean this to be a "dis" against Rosie. I am actually a big fan, and agree with her on MANY issues. Her greatest strength is also her greatest weakness... she feels things so emotionally, so passionately that she doesn't always express herself in the best way on a panel like the View. (BTW, you asked how long Star lasted, as if she burned out fast... she was on there for NINE YEARS. Rosie was only on there for one, but she sure as hell had an impact.
Now, as for Kathy, I completely disagree that it would be a step back. She would be seen by MILLIONS of people EVERY DAY... and as evident by the show, she seems to be constantly working. There is NO reason why she couldn't do stand up on the weekends - like Joy Behar has been doing for YEARS (It IS the 10th Anniversary, and she has been on there just about the whole time).
Also, while I don't mind Sheri Shepard and honestly it would be nice if they had two minority women (they couldn't find a Latina?), I do think Kathy could easily fit into the mix, and would make a nice addition... childless, up on the political issues, BUT also willing to totally jump in on the celebrity gossip, etc. The show, being on daytime every day, has to be able to jump from politics, Hollywood, women's issues, home decorating, etc. and back again sometimes in the same episode. Kathy would clearly be great at that.
I will say that I think EH will have a harder time with Whoopi than she did with Rosie, and I am soooo looking forward to that.
If they pick Kathy or not - I hope the announcement is made soon. I'm getting anxious!