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Mass. Governor Sets Date for Senate Special Election

Updated 8:25 p.m.
By Paul Kane
Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick (D) has set Jan. 19 as the date for a special election to fill the final three years of Edward M. Kennedy's Senate term. Patrick also pleaded Monday for the state legislature to allow him to appoint a replacement for Kennedy who would serve until that election.

With speculation swirling around the Kennedy family's interest in keeping the seat in the family's hands, Patrick said that the senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, has told him she is not interested in the interim appointment.

A close family friend, who requested anonymity to speak freely about internal Kennedy issues, reaffirmed that position Monday afternoon, adding that nor will Vicki Kennedy run in the special election.

"She's not interested, and that's not going to change," the friend said.

In trying to avoid a political campaign around the holidays, Patrick established a process that will set party primaries on Dec. 8, before a general campaign of roughly six weeks. Several members of the state's congressional delegation are weighing their prospects in such a race, as is Kennedy's nephew, former representative Joseph Kennedy II (D-Mass.). He retired from the House 11 years ago but still maintains a leftover campaign account of $1.8 million, funds that could be legally transferred into a Senate bid.

Since leaving the House, Joe Kennedy has run Citizens Energy, a nonprofit corporation in Massachusetts that helps low-income residents pay heating bills.

Kennedy has remained a familiar face to the state's voters through Citizens Energy commercials that show him helping the poor. Republicans, however, have raised questions about Kennedy's group because of its relationship with Citgo, Venezuela's state-run energy company, which provides the nonprofit with its heating oil. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been a thorn in the U.S. government's side in South American relations.

A spokesman for Joe Kennedy did not return a call seeking comment about his future.

Except for a two-year interval, the Senate seat has been held by the Kennedy family since John F. Kennedy won it in 1952. (The break came when John Kennedy won the presidency in 1960, and his college roommate was appointed to fill the seat.) Ted Kennedy attained his 30th birthday in 1962, making him legally eligible to serve in the Senate, and then won the seat in November of that year.

Until Joe Kennedy announces a decision on the Senate bid, several other potential candidates are likely to remain mum about their own future, particularly Reps. Mike Capuano (D) and Edward Markey (D).

Markey has gained much seniority in the House -- he chairs a special committee on global warming and a subcommittee overseeing telecommunications environmental issues -- and is the dean of the state's delegation, so he would be giving up those perches for a bid to become the most junior U.S. senator. But a Senate seat has not come open in the Bay State since 1984, and because this race will be held in January, House members can run and, should they lose, still retain their seats.

Markey has a campaign account holding $2.9 million, making him a formidable candidate if he enters the race, according to Democratic insiders.

Regardless of Joe Kennedy's decision, two Democrats are viewed as all but certain to make the race: state Attorney General Martha Coakley and Rep. Stephen Lynch.

Republicans would start out as big underdogs in the Democratic-leaning state, but several have eyed the race, including former U.S. attorney Michael Sullivan.

Former representative Martin Meehan (D-Mass.) had been eyeing a statewide run for office -- stockpiling nearly $5 million in his campaign account -- but he retired less than two years ago to become chancellor of the University of Massachusetts' Lowell campus. It's unclear whether he wants to leave that post so quickly, as some see him as the eventual chancellor for the entire UMass system, a very powerful post in the state.

In the meantime, a state legislative committee has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 9 to consider the proposal -- floated by Sen. Kennedy himself, just days before he died from brain cancer -- to allow Patrick to appoint an interim replacement pending the special election.

"On the merits, the proposal seems reasonable and wise," Patrick told reporters Monday.

Patrick vowed, if the law is changed, to appoint an elder statesman who would promise not to run in the January special election, giving the state another voice in this fall's health-care debate.

By Paul Kane  |  August 31, 2009; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Campaign  
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Come on! What's the delay??

That seat is Kennedy property! Of course Patrick should have the power to appoint someone. Indeed, Teddy himself should have been given the power to appoint his own successor in his will.

Posted by: ooyah32 | August 31, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mass. Governor Sets Date for Senate Special Election

In the meantime, a state legislative committee has scheduled a hearing for
Sept. 9 to consider the proposal -- floated by Sen. Kennedy himself, just days
before he died from brain cancer -- to allow Patrick to appoint an interim
replacement pending the special election.

He sure was familiar with ‘floating’ …………

Posted by: UpAndOver | August 31, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

"Camelot?" More like "Cameltoe"..... 8-)

Posted by: moonchild64 | August 31, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

For sure, an election would be a possibility for Republicans. Nevertheless, should Ted Kennedy, Jr. run, their hopes could be dashed.

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | August 31, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Back when Semator Kerry ran for higher office, the IDEA a GOP Gov would have the right to pick the replacement offended MASS Dems. Fair to say the plan backfired. 1.) no 60 votes in the senate.
2.) Who ever follows Senator Kennedy will be a FRESHMAN, in a Senate System where being senior means everything.
Senator Kennedys had a well trained staff. I expect the staff will be able to find a job on the hill. As the chapter on Ted closes, a new chapter begins

Posted by: commboss | August 31, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

There is no Ted Junior. Joe Kennedy II is the son of Bobby, but named after their brother Joe who was killed in WWII.

As a former US Representative, he is more qualified than most to run for this seat.

And to be clear: if the law is changed, it will only be to appoint a temporary senator until the election. No one is trying to stop the election.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 31, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Seniority is not the issue. We don't need more committee chairpeople between now and the spec elec, just votes to smother the GOP (Grossly Off Point)vote. And a junior Senator's vote will count exactly the same as our beloved ol' Teddy's would have done. You of the Red Sox Nation, call your legislature! Petition for an interim appointment! Long live the Lion of the Senate and may God bless and keep him.

Posted by: nrcahill11 | August 31, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't care if it is an election or having the governor choose the interim Senator but to be able to choose one or the other as the situation dictates would have been obscene. It's part of the hagiography of Ted Kennedy this has not been seen as a gross abuse of the election system.

That they've decided to continue with the current policy is a minimum of decency. Change it afterwards if you want, but with an eye for keeping the policy for the next 100 years.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | August 31, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

If Ted Kennedy (who I admire and mean no disrespect to) was so concerned about a vacancy that he would write that letter, why didn't he just resign sometime over the past six months, and let the clock start ticking to that special election? A rightfully-elected successor could have already been in place, with no controversy. This idea of constantly changing the law to suit the whims of the ultra-blue Massachusetts Democrats is repugnant.

Posted by: bbten | August 31, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Come on now!

We all know the rules for the passing of leadership in an aristocracy!

It goes from the father to the eldest son, so on, until they run out of kids, then it shifts to nieces, nephews, then cousins, then second cousins, drinking buddies, then mistresses, then housekeepers, gardeners, chauffeurs, etc...

Or were chauffers BEFORE gardeners?

Posted by: Heerman532 | August 31, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

There is no Ted Junior? Huh????

From wikipedia: Edward Moore Kennedy, Jr. (born September 26, 1961) (also known as Ted Kennedy, Jr.) is an American entrepreneur, investment banker and lawyer. He is a co-founder and the president of the Marwood Group, a financial-services firm headquartered in New York City, New York.

Posted by: AntIsNowHere | August 31, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What this liberal rag left out was the fact that that scheming, conniving, murderer was trying to manipulate the political process from his deathbed. In 2004, at Killer Kennedy's request, the law was changed from the Gov. appointing an interim Senator, to no interim appointment, but a special election within 145 days. Why? Because in 2004 the Gov. was Romney, a Republican and Kerry was running for Pres. and if he won, then Romney would have been able to appoint whomever he wanted as an interim Gov. and Kennedy wanted to make sure there was no way a Republican could appoint another Republican as interim Senator. At the time all the pandering scumbags in the state legislature during debates said this change would make the process "fair".
Now we have a Democratic Gov. and Kennedy requested before he died that the law be changed back! WHY? So it can be "unfair" once again? Why don't the Dems just be honest and pass a law in Mass. that says if the Gov. is a Democrat, he/she can appoint, but if they're anything else, they can't. That would be Massachusetts' version of "fair".

Posted by: pippirrup | August 31, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

fr mikeinmidland:

>There is no Ted Junior. ...

I'm sure that Ted Kennedy Jr. would be VERY surprised to hear that!

Posted by: Alex511 | August 31, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant there is no Ted Junior in this story. Joe is the one considering a run. I don't think Ted Jr. is even a resident of Mass. anymore.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 31, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the dynasties already. Some fresh new blood without a Kennedy surname is in order if this country's to still be considered a democracy.

Posted by: thebink | August 31, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The Rasmussen Reports

If Americans could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress,
57% would throw out all the legislators and start over again.

Just 25% would vote to keep the Congress.

How do we get a national referendum ?

Posted by: UpAndOver | August 31, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Enamored of dynasty, Massachusetts should do it right and first appoint (without waiting for plebian legislation) and then elect 11 year old Edward Moore Kennedy III the state’s next Senator.

Forget that his age disqualifies him, for Democrats, laws are mere suggestions to be discarded as their omniscience and “caring” dictate. With any luck, he could rule for the next 60 – 70 years.

With due obeisance on the part of the electorate and technical support by the Kennedy clan, the new Ted could lead us all to the nirvana of TeddyCare as a lasting tribute to his grandfather, beginning a new chapter in the Kennedy dynasty.

Finally, with all that the Kennedys have done for this nation, surely a special exception should be made re seniority, allowing the 11 yr old to assume his grandfather's seniority with all of its perks and privileges.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | August 31, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

All US citizens deserve to be represented by 2 senators, special elections are great and the most fair way to resolve a vacant seat but someone needs to look out for MA citizens interests until Jan. 19.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 31, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Minnesota went for months without a Senator what makes Massachusetts so special? The country survived. Massachusetts had a law in place so it's time to let their voters to decide a replacement. They can try to change to law but that could end up biting them back when there is a special election and/or in 2010.

Posted by: jamesd1234 | August 31, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Give it to Joe Kennedy. It's his birth right. No one else in Mass. is entitled to it. No one else has accomplished what Joe has. Come-on Deval, get with the program (unless you can somehow nominate the reverand al sharpton - a reverand would be good for that position; he can say the daily prayer in the senate).

Posted by: g0tcha | August 31, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

do you think the massachusetts people will ever wise up and vote in a conservative?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 | August 31, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Why are we talking about elections and nominations!These are the Kennedys. Just appoint another Kennedy (smith, Shriver, Townsend,..). Main stream media will not mind. They would applaud the courageous choice and Kennedy family public service!

Posted by: philly3 | August 31, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse this so called interim replacement going to also take over kennedys chairmanship of his committee....oh no! we just want the 'puppet vote'....demorcats put the capital 'H' in hypocrisy.

Posted by: JWx2 | August 31, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

do you think the massachusetts people will ever wise up and vote in a conservative?

Posted by: charlietuna6661 |
Let's hope not. Republicans ruined this country as it is.

Posted by: Classic60 | August 31, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the confusing post. Ted Jr. works in NY but I believe he lives in Connecticut. So he's out. For all the snide comments about dynasties, the law still requires residency.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 31, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a monarchal senate.. the seat is NOT owned by the Kennedys but the people of Mass.

Posted by: gx1011 | August 31, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

" this so called interim replacement going to also take over kennedys chairmanship of his committee....oh no! we just want the 'puppet vote'....demorcats put the capital 'H' in hypocrisy."


Someone clearly doesn't have the slightest idea how Congressional committees work.

Posted by: SeanC1 | August 31, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland - Ted Kennedy, Jr., indeed does exist. He is the son of the recently deceased Sen. Kennedy, and is an attorney advocate for Americans with disabilities, himself having lost his leg to cancer at age 12.

Not trying to berate you or anything, but he gave a pretty stirring address at his father's funeral. Got the whole place applauding him.

Posted by: daufiero | August 31, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise, Cadillac Deval Patrick supports giving himself the right to name a US Senator, heaven forbid such an office be elected.

Yea, they say the appointment power will only be temporary, until January 2010, you watch, the bill will be passed and signed into law and the appointment power will ''accidentally'' void any election and the appointment will be until the 2012 election, They will say oops my bad, and Joe K, former Stupidest House Member (According to Roll CALL)

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter | August 31, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Changing laws at the whim of the Kennedy's. This is political corruption at its finest. This is the way the Democratic Party does politics, change laws for the advantage of the Party. Will we ever be rid of the Kennedy's? Mary Jo must be turning in her grave!

Posted by: dodavatar | August 31, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

As we all know, but many are ignoring, the Dem state legislature in MA voted in the present succession procedure just 5 years ago when they feared former Gov Romney could appoint a Republican to replace Kerry should he have won in 2004.
How hypocritical to now change their minds when the situation is reversed. That is the definition of hypocrisy

Posted by: rpcurt1 | August 31, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This is a hoot...
When a conservative might have been appointed by the governor the legislature changed the law blocking the appointment...
Now that a liberal WILL be appointed the legislature is changing the law again to force the appointment...
When a republican governor is again elected down the road they will change the law again...

The continual re-election of this state legislature is proof positive that the people of Mass are too stupid to be allowed to vote...

dr. o

Posted by: ad4hk2004 | August 31, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Sen. Kennedy just a few short years ago successfully pushed the Mass state legislature to change the state constitution to bar then Mass. Gov Mitt Romney (a Republican) from appointing an interim U.S. Senator when it appeared John Forbes "Reporting for Duty" Kerry was poised to become President, thereby vacating his Senate seat! The hypocrisy of Kennedy writing a letter on his deathbed urging the Mass. legislature to reverse the legislation he pushed for just a few years prior! Shame on Gov. Patrick for even entertaining the notion.

Posted by: tommd5 | August 31, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@daufiero 5:15pm: Please see my posts at 4:53 and 5:07. I meant to say that Ted Jr. is not in the story, because he is not eligible for the seat.

No disrespect intended.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 31, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Whoever gets the seat, PLEASE this time get someone who knows how to balance a budget, run a business, isn't a lawyer, talk plainly, drives sober, and isn't a Kennedy.

We are tired of perpetual politicians who talk big when spending other people's money.

Government is beyond broke. $100 Trillion in unfunded OBLIGATIONS and Teddy Kennedy was part of the reason.

Posted by: Conservative2008 | August 31, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

the rule opf law should be followed. Especially since it was enacted when Sen Cary was running for the white house. It was enacted in order to prevent the then sitting Govenor Mitt Romney from being able to appoint a rebulican to a vacant seat it Cary won the white house. It is therefore incumbent upon the law makers to follow the law as it was enacted without prejudice.

Posted by: daro1 | August 31, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

When Chris Dodd was speaking this weekend, I wished I was there to ask him,

"Senator Dodd, who's going to replace Ted to complete your Waitress Sandwich".

Posted by: ANTILIB | August 31, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

rpcurt1: I don't see anyone ignoring the fact that the current law was enacted in 2004, or that it was done at the urging of Kennedy and Kerry.

No one is suggesting the law be reversed. There was a proposed amendment to allow the gov. to make a temporary appt. until the special election. That was voted down, but Kennedy was neutral on that point.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | August 31, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

if that chavez apologist joe is appointed, Patrick will have hell to pay

Posted by: malachhamovess | August 31, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

mikeinmidland Though Ted Jr, lives in Connecticut, there is no prior residency requirement for a US Senator, the only requirement be that he be a resident of the state the day he is Appointed. As he already has a house on the Cape all he would need to do is register to vote in Massachusetts, thenif the law is changed Caddy Devel could appoint him.

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter | August 31, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary can carpetbag it up to New York to get into the Senate (do you miss her, New York?), I don't know why one of the Kennedy nephews or nieces couldn't do the same thing.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | August 31, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

With the Kennedy family running Taxachusetts politics, who needs ACORN?

Posted by: soljerblue | August 31, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

It dosen't matter who it is that fills the position. My hunch is that government will be more bipartisan without Kennedy. Too many years in office and politicians become more partisan. One short term is plenty for all of them.

Posted by: maphound | August 31, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

No, the Mass. populace will not vote in a Republican unless, of course, many of them lose their little fortunes and fiscal security. Give Obama time.

Posted by: thebink | August 31, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

No one is advocating changing the law regarding an election. The proposal is to appoint someone until the special election and Ted Kennedy wanted whomever it was to pledge not to run in the special election. The fundamental change made in 2004 was that the governor of Massachusetts no longer could appoint a someone to fill a seat until the regular election. In this instance that would mean the difference of about a year. Even Minnesota did not go an entire year without having two elected senators. And we have all witnessed in Illinois what a disaster giving a governor the power to appoint a long term replacement senator can be. Any interim appointment in Massachusetts would be for four months maximum.

Posted by: HGerson | August 31, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse


You watch, there will be a ''Clerical Error'' in the bill and the appointment will ''Accidentally'' be till the next state general election.

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter | August 31, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 31, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Ted, Jr., would be a great candidate. I hope he runs but it looks like Joe will run.

You got to understand MA voters. We love the Kennedy's, even those of us who hate them, so they can't be beat.

PS: Let those of you without sin cast the first stone at Ted. He's gone now, rest your tongues.

Posted by: llyonnoc | August 31, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I love how the Kennedy's believe that the Senate seat belongs to their family. Sorry, but this isn't an aristocracy. Here's hoping a non-Kennedy is the next Senator for MA.

Posted by: smc91 | August 31, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Exactly - just pass the bill that the Governor, if a Democrat, names the successor; otherwise, a special election is held. That will save needing to change the law every time the governorship changes hands to make sure the Democrats benefit. This is what one-party rule is all about anyway.

Posted by: srdshelly1 | August 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

While I understand the political logic, I think it would be extremely embarrassing for Massachusetts to change the rules in the middle of the game. They already did that in 2004. Constantly changing the rules to ensure a desired political outcome smacks more of Venezuela than it does of the cradle of our nation's liberty.

Posted by: anon99 | August 31, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Our own version of the House of Lords and hereditary entitlements.

Governor Schwarzenegger in California, Representative Patrick Kennedy in Rhode Island and the fix is in for Massachusetts.
I am not picking on the Kennedys. I thought it was sorry that during the 2000 Presidential election we had two brothers serving as Governors of two states which represented 57 electoral votes!

I can't believe there isn't some talented, educated person out there that could bring fresh ideas to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Posted by: menopausequeen | August 31, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I grew up in Massachusetts—Brookline, in fact, where many the JFK generation of Kennedys were born. I can understand people not liking the Kennedys for their political views. But I cannot understand people not liking them simply because they are Kennedys and that seems to be a popular sentiment on this page. The fact is, as one reader wrote, they are well loved in Massachusetts. Why resent them for that? And I simply cannot accept the claim that they think that it is their seat. There has never been a scintilla of evidence to show that anyone in the family believes that. I suggest that you all get over your jealousy and just judge them, up or down, for their contributions to the country.

Posted by: HGerson | August 31, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Talk about changing the rules. Come to Texas where Tom Delay and his republican goons hammered Texas by re-districting the whole state to give advantages to Texas Republicans.

Posted by: elpaso | August 31, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Pipperrup,

I totally disagree. The laws should be in constant flux to prevent Republicans from gaining any high office.. Given that you're all crazy, what's wrong with that.

Long live the Kennedys!!! I only wish we could pass a law that would allow us to get rid of the Republican party the same way some countries have outlawed communism or membership in the communist party. That would be awesome.

This is what I have to say to "red-staters" like you: Better dead than red.


Posted by: RomeoJax1 | August 31, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

doncha just love those dynasties! in the arab world, we have Assad the Young succeeding Assad the Butcher in Syria... in Egypt, we have young Mubarak ready to succeed old man Libya we have a younger (but somewhat saner) Gaddafi ready to succeed his nutcase dad...and of course in beloved NKorea we have a son of Kim succeeding a son of Kim succeeding a son of Kim who is the Eternal president (yup, eternal president: how's that for smoking good dope from Oaxaca?) lovely democratic people's Cuba, we have younger bro Raul succeeding older bro Fidel.. in People's republic of Mass, we have Kennedys hoping to hold on to a senate seat which has been a personal possession of the family for 50 years or more, just like General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Benavides held on to the Dominican presidency for more than 30 years, either him, or his younger bro, or even for 2 yrs, the family dentist (yes, that is true, check it out!)... now maybe in Mass they could get one of teddy boy's mistresses to hold on to "the position" until another Kennedy can claim it....and what is the common denominator of all these places? uh, let's see, are they democratic or dynastic? can a dynasty ever be democratic even with elections? after all, they regularly hold elections in NKorea, Egypt, Syria, but the outcome is

Posted by: RoguesPalace | August 31, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy was dying; he did not write any letter about his seat. Also, the hypocrisy of liberals to change a law when it is not to their suiting. If another Republican Governor ever gets in in I am sure these hypocrites will change it back again. And, I am certain that the seat will go to a Kennedy; they own the seat. Democracy is alive and well and flourishing in the great tax state of Mass.

Posted by: Mindboggle | August 31, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Great post RoguesPalace,
One addition; "Papa" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier of Haiti.

Posted by: menopausequeen | August 31, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bbten

If Ted Kennedy (who I admire and mean no disrespect to) was so concerned about a vacancy that he would write that letter, why didn't he just resign sometime over the past six months, and let the clock start ticking to that special election? A rightfully-elected successor could have already been in place, with no controversy. This idea of constantly changing the law to suit the whims of the ultra-blue Massachusetts Democrats is repugnant.

Gee, does anyone find it ironic that BHO pushed to pass Ted's health-care bill BEFORE the summer recess? And when it was clear that Ted wouldn't make it to the Fall session, a letter is sent to the MA legislature to change the rules? Guess it's just my imagination.


Posted by: wearedoomed1 | August 31, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

All you Republicans cry hypocrisy over and over while missing the entire point. Not one person on this page has mentioned the ESSENTIAL fact that in 2004 the Republican Governor was going to name a Republican to a seat for which voters elected a Democrat. The fact that there was any chance of that (ie, Mass elects a Dem; Romney appoints a Repub to replace him) is the major controversy. That's why they had to change the law. Romney was willing to completely "play God" with the will of the Massachusetts people. So they had to take the power out of his psycho hands. In this current situation, a Dem will appoint a Dem to replace a Dem. The people of Massachusetts will still get the party they voted for. There is no hypocracy but rather...... Logic! And again it's only for 4 months! As long as a Dem replaces a Dem or a Repub replaces a Repub, then the people get the value of their vote. It's only when egomaniacs like Romney think they can Play God with the voters and appoint a Repub to replace a Dem that the need for legislation arises. The Dems want the voters to decide, NOBODY for one second anywhere in the world actually believes the seat BELONGS to the the Kennedies, so all these Conservative temper tantrums just need to stop. And Kennedy is not a killer; Obama is not ruining the country; Hillary is not the devil; and the Dems don't have secret motives. Some of you guys are worse than Sarah Palin.

Posted by: Urnesto | August 31, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Ah, menopause queen, if you really are, you should surely know better by now.

Posted by: thebink | August 31, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

First of all, the Massachusetts voters will decide who gets this Senate seat.

People like Ted Kennedy, not because he was a "Kennedy," but because he stood up for people without a voice and without money. He was a fighter, something the Democrats have very few of, compared to the Republicans who fight like hell for the wealthy class. The Kennedy's played hard ball for their cause, just as did FDR.

So, I loved him because he stood up for the people, not for the monied interests. Too many people support anti-American free trade agreements that destroy this country, then have the gall to call themselves Americans. We need patriots to stop this anti-American destruction of our manufacturing base.

If not a "kennedy", who? A "Romney"? No, that guy is for the wealthy class through and through.

Posted by: santafe2 | August 31, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse


You watch, there will be a ''Clerical Error'' in the bill and the appointment will ''Accidentally'' be till the next state general election."

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter |


This assertion is bizarre and, frankly, insane. It seems you could do with a few lessons in the legislative process.

Posted by: ThenPleasePostYourDrivelThere

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | August 31, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Am I alone in finding the most disgusting thing in this piece is that Joseph Kennedy II still has a $1.8 million slush fund sitting around 11 years after leaving politics?

Meanwhile, for the 150 days until the special election, why not just openly sell the seat on EBay or wherever to the highest bidding eligible Massachusetts citizen? It's not like there is anything that would happen with such a vanity Senator that would not happen with no senator at all.

If the money went to the Massachusetts general fund, not the governor's pocket (as would have been the case in Illinois), what is the real world difference?

Posted by: jimk8mr | August 31, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse


"You watch, there will be a ''Clerical Error'' in the bill and the appointment will ''Accidentally'' be till the next state general election."

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter |


"This assertion is bizarre and, frankly, insane. It seems you could do with a few lessons in the legislative process."

Unless you have worked on Beacon Hill for the Massachusetts legislature as I have you have no idea how insane and corrupt the place really is, Machiavelli could learn a thing or few from the Democratic leadership,

Do you want to know what is "bizarre and insane", I will tell you The fact that the The democratic party is in charge of the legislature in Massachusetts, The last three speakers of the House (All democrats) have been forced to resign, the last one has been indicted yet to be tried, and the two previous are convicted felons,

Never ever doubt the level that a Massachusetts Democrat will stoop to.

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter | August 31, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Mike Dukakis as the interim Senator.

Posted by: dudh | August 31, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse


Dukakis would be the best pick for those who want to see a competitive election in December, (If there is an election)

Dukakis is so reviled by such a large part of the state that he could never win an election beyond that for the Brookline Board of Selectmen

Posted by: WashingtonTimesisBetter | August 31, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

It was selfish of Ted Kennedy not to step down due to his health. He missed 97% of the votes in the Senate. And the democrats actually have the temerity on top of that to claim they want "representation." Well, why didn't they demand that last December? There was every opportunity for Ted to do the right thing for the Commonwealth and step down. Now, the dems want to pretend it's not politically expedient, or hypocritical, to change the law they established in order for a democratic Gov to appoint a senator. Please.

Posted by: vectorandraster | August 31, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Massachusetts thy name is hypocrisy. The governor should not be given the power to name an interim repalcement for Sen. Kennedy. The voters should decide. State leaders have been feeling pressure from Senate majority leader Harry Reid who wants another vote for healthcare. Had Sen. Kennedy resigned months ago a lawful election would have already been held. I live in the state and want a wide open election.

Posted by: pjsilva | August 31, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

The temporary senator isn't going to be a candidate for the actual election; that's the idea. Dukakis would be there for a few months, and then return home.

Also, forgive me if I don't share your assessment of Dukakis' popularity in Massachusetts, given his electoral history there.

Posted by: SeanC1 | August 31, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

camelot is not as interesting
as the ike babies...

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | September 1, 2009 5:32 AM | Report abuse

The MA Republican leadership was yelling about changing the law back in 2004 when the right to make the appointment was in Romney's hands. Now that a potential appointment would be given to a Democratic governor, they're yelling again. The goal is clear in either case -- to prevent a Democrat from sitting in the seat. In any case, there are simply not Republicans in the Massachusetts legislature to make a particle of difference, unless the vote is VERY close.

The real question, IMHO, is whether the Governor and the president of the State Senate can get over their mutual antipathy if they can't, I don't see the vote happening. The Kennedy family simply no longer has the influence in this state to do anything other to make their preference known.

The local opinion of Dukakis has grown over the years since he held office -- time and nostalgia for competence has a way of doing that. No one has ever questioned his personal integrity or his knowledge of the issues. Given his age and reputation for integrity -- and his personal loyalty towards Gov. Patrick -- if he says that he would take the placeholder job on the condition that he wouldn't run for the permanent seat, it's a sure bet that he would keep his word.

Posted by: SGfromMudville | September 1, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

How can anyone with half-a-brain have anything to do with these Kennedys or anyone that thinks like them. Here is Bobby Jr. doing business with a world class trouble maker such as Chavez, these people will lay down with anything that smells of power or money!!!! It's time to let these people way their merry way,enough is enough!!!

Posted by: jrvaughan | September 1, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

If memory serves me correctly, when John Kerry ran for the presidency he was a sitting US Senator elected by a DEMOCRATIC majority. It seems reasonable to me that in this case one might except a DEMOCRATIC replacement being appointed.
As for the interchanging of Democrat with Liberal and Republican with Conservative this is done only by over-generalizing ignoramuses unaware of the fact that more differences exist within the political parties than between them.

Posted by: henry_hump | September 1, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Kennedy had done the right thing and resigned last year Mass. would already have a new Senator. He was the one that had to rules cahnged to what they are now so let's leave it that way.

Posted by: countryfirst1 | September 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Funny how nobody was worried that Massachusetts wasn't being represented by two senators when Mitt Romney could have appointed one of them. No, sirree, Bob. Just one was just fine.

Democrats are the worst hypocrites in the world. Kill a woman by driving while so drunk that you drown her off a bridge? No problem, as long as you vote Democratic!

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 1, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"If memory serves me correctly, when John Kerry ran for the presidency he was a sitting US Senator elected by a DEMOCRATIC majority. It seems reasonable to me that in this case one might except a DEMOCRATIC replacement being appointed."

The problem with your theory is that Mitt Romney was ALSO elected by Massachusetts voters, so by changing the law, the Democrats deprived voters who elected him of his authority to appoint a replacement Senator. If the voters wanted the governor to appoint a Democratic senator, they would never have voted a Republican into the state house.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 1, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

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