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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Never a dull moment

Only in Massachusetts can a temporary three-month job bring out the long political knives.

The hot rumor of course is that now that Deval Patrick has the authority to appoint an interim senator he will pick Paul Kirk to warm Ted Kennedy's seat until January. A long-time Kennedy family friend, he is the reported favorite of Vickie Kennedy and the late senator's sons.

And that has set off a firestorm that may be quenched with a scheduled 11 a.m. announcement by Patrick.


Let's start with what is either good reporting, good dime-dropping, or a combination of both in the Herald, which trumpets "serious concerns" with Kirk because he sits on a board that oversees a health-insurance provider and once lobbied for the pharmaceutical industry.

The currency may have come from forces loyal to Michael Dukakis (while the Duke may not personally go in for that sort of thing, let us never forget the saga of John Sasso and Joe Biden).

But if Dukakis loyalists weren't dropping those dimes, they were certainly getting off the sidelines to lobby for their man, getting friendly with the Herald's Margery Eagan and less than subtle with the Globe's Matt Viser and Frank Phillips:
Patrick “needs to have those people feel enthusiastic about his reelection,’’ said Democratic strategist Dan Payne, who worked for Dukakis campaigns in the 1980s. “If he doesn’t choose Dukakis, they will sit on their hands, and he can’t afford that.’’
Counterpunching, Kennedy loyalists tell the Globe that Dukakis is too outspoken on health care issues, espousing liberal positions that could complicate Democrats’ attempts in Washington to moderate their approach on the legislation.

Anonymously, of course. Because Dukakis is far more liberal than Kennedy was?

While I find it hard to believe Dukakis loyalists will rain scorn on Patrick's re-election bid (what are the options?) I have to chuckle at the brass knuckles being used for a short-term job whose only perk is use of the Senate gym (not a huge concern I assume for men 71 and 75 years-old).

Toss in what I hear are incredibly tough terms for taking the gig and you have to wonder who in their right mind would want it.

Patrick loyalists makes it clear he needs these political headaches as much as he needs another artificial hip. Anonymously, of course.

So stay tuned. And don't be surprised if there is a curve ball designed to sidestep the entire Kennedy-Dukakis dust up. And I don't mean Curt Schilling.

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Blogger Judy Meredith said...

Nicely done. Can always count on you to get it all in less than 200 words.

September 24, 2009 8:11 AM  
Blogger Judy Meredith said...

alright, you always get it right in less than 420 words. It reads so well it just seems like less than 200 words.

September 24, 2009 8:14 AM  
Anonymous leslie brown said...

I hope he can be as honest and loyal to the American people as our previous Senator, Kennedy!!!

September 25, 2009 3:41 PM  

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