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Deval Patrick will name caretaker to Massachusetts Senate seat ‘if’…

…John Kerry becomes the next Secretary of State. From the Boston Globe:

“I expect to do the same thing I did last time,” [MA Governor Deval] Patrick told reporters. “I’m not ruling out other options. But, as a practical matter, it’s hard for me to imagine how you could serve in the Senate for a four-month period and also run a statewide campaign in a four-month period and do both of them well.”

The Globe goes on to note why the Democrats are in a bit of a mess on this one, and simply can’t appoint somebody for the rest of Kerry’s term; and it’s… largely because of John Kerry, Mitt Romney, & Ted Kennedy. In 2004, Kerry was running for President, and Romney was the governor of MA at the time. So, the legislature at the time decided that the governor of MA should NOT be allowed to pick Kerry’s successor, so they changed the law*. Then, several years later, when it was clear that Ted Kennedy would be dying in office, the legislature changed the law again in order to minimize the caretaker period before a special election could be held**.

So now the Democrats are in a position where an extremely rare Senate seat is opening up, and everybody on their side thinks that he or she should be the one to get at the seat. Which is the real reason behind Deval Patrick’s hesitance to have the legislature change the law again: he has no real desire to get involved in that controversy. And who can blame him?

…And that’s why John Kerry probably will have smooth windsurfing through the nomination process. Because business is, as they say, business. I’m not as sanguine about Scott Brown’s chances this time as I was last time, but the Democrats have not always been able to actually turn being forewarned into being forearmed. If the Democrats have a filthy primary again, and every sign says that they will, then the survivor is going to be up for a heck of a fight. Assuming that it’s Brown - and the lack of a bench otherwise is a problem that the Republican party in Massachusetts should start addressing…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*That was Oops1.

**That was Oops2.

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