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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, December 14, 2012

Here we go again

Just what we needed -- another election.

Now that Susan Rice has been Swiftboated out of contention for Secretary of State, the Republicans are no doubt salivating at the thought of a yet another special election in Massachusetts to replace John Kerry, who is now expected to be Barack Obama's choice to replace Hillary Clinton at Foggy Bottom.

First, the irony. The victim of the original GOP Swift boat attack is now the darling of the same party that lied about his record to torpedo his presidential hopes in 2004. While they got their man, don't expect kid glove treatment from the Gang That Can't Speak Straight.

Assuming Obama nominates Kerry -- the man who elevated him to the national stage at the 2004 convention and a man who hungers for the job -- we will be facing a US Senate delegation with no seniority clout and a vacancy that has already been ceded to Scott Brown.

Except this time, no one will have to be polite about lusting after the job.

The Democrats will face the same problem they faced when Brown was first elected in a special election in 2011 -- the lack of a candidate so strong he could blow away the competition and avoid a lengthy intrapartty fight.

Then again, that was the same problem until Elizabeth Warren emerged from the national spotlight and was introduced to Massachusetts voters.

Presuming there are no new miracles, the roster includes the usual suspects: Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Stephen Lynch. Not to mention Setti Warren, Herb Robinson and Alan Khazei. About the only name you can remove wouyld be Martha Coakley. OK, you probably can drop Tim Cahill too.

Deval Patrick has just swept out four cabinet members in a reaffirmation of his pledge to serve out the rest of his term. His principal role will be the name the interim senator to hold the seat until a special election. The wild card is will he, like last time, ask that seatholder not to run for the permanent job

On the GOP side, everyone expects history to repeat itself with Brown. Sure, there's a mild bit of amused speculation that Bill Weld will step forward, but remember Big Red has a short attention span.

Brown would clearly have an advantage, but it would not be a mirror image to his first campaign. Or his failed reelection bid either. Brown is no longer the charming unknown running at the height of the Tea Party wave and Democrats would no longer take him lightly.

Of course, Obama could surprise us all and go in another direction, unwilling to lose a Senate seat in a chamber that still insists on a three-fifths majority to say Gesundheit.

Or the Massachusetts Legislature could change the law again and eliminate the requirement for a special election and allow Patrick's appointment to run as an incumbent in 2014.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope Kerry puts aside his ambitions and decides to stay as a senator. I am tired of special elections and even though Brownie being elected is scary, I and many otheres I know will not bother voting in ANOTHER special election. The republicans blocked Rice just so they could hope to get Kerry to leave and open a seat for them, to get movement again and claim a mandate if Brownie wins again.
Its up to Kerry to not fall into their trap and do what we elected him to do.

December 14, 2012 11:25 AM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

As I mentioned in a prior post, I think it is less viable for the Mitt mini-me we know and love as Brown.

He had advantages against Coakley that were enhanced by a low profile.

Now he has a voting record which Team Warren had great fun with.

Team Warren also registered more than 100,000 new voters and ran a state art ground game enhanced by skilled social media use against a guy who figured that posturing for dying old media things and throwing campaign money at dying methods would work.

He has significant head winds. And Obama may have been bluffing a bit with Rice or testing the terrain.

He could come up with someone very different from Kerry.

December 14, 2012 12:14 PM  

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