September 22nd, 2009
03:20 PM ET
3 years ago

Massachusetts Senate clears way for Kennedy replacement

The Boston Globe is urging Gov. Deval Patrick to pick Michael Dukakis to fill Kennedy's seat until January.
The Boston Globe is urging Gov. Deval Patrick to pick Michael Dukakis to fill Kennedy's seat until January.

(CNN) - The Massachusetts Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would allow the state's governor to appoint an interim replacement to hold the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat until a special election is held in January.

The measure, which won the approval of the Massachusetts House last week, is heavily backed by White House officials, who want to ensure Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate - the necessary number to stave off a Republican-led filibuster - when the chamber takes up a health care reform bill later this fall.

The bill, which passed on a 24-16 vote, must now be voted on again by both chambers as a procedural matter before reaching Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick's desk. Patrick, a longtime Obama ally, has said he will sign the measure and will move quickly to fill the vacancy.

In an editorial Tuesday, the Boston Globe urged Patrick tap former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis for the post.

"The ideal candidate for the interim job would have a high profile, significant policy expertise, and a record of political independence – but no further political ambitions," the editorial said. "Dukakis is the most logical choice; indeed, he may be the only one who meets all the relevant criteria."

Dukakis, currently a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, has repeatedly ducked questions about whether he'd be interested in the four-month-long job.

"I'm not going to talk about that," he told the Boston Globe last week. "The one thing that's important is that the bill gets passed."

A special election to fill the rest of Kennedy's term is set for January 19, with primaries slated for December 8.


Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. SLM

    Crazy, just crazy. When Kennedy was diagnosed he should have resigned immediately. Democrats will do anything to keep the power to continue destroying this country.

    September 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Right Leaning Independent

    Hypocrites! Hypocrites! Hypocrites! Hypocrites!! Mass Dems = HYPOCRITES!!!! And you wonder why the Dems approval ratings are falling faster than rain in Atlanta!!!

    September 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. Redneck

    Good Lord. How corrupt will Taxachsetts get before even its Democratic leaning base is disgusted.

    September 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. single mom

    Unbelievable! They changed it five years ago to make sure a Republican Governer, Romney, couldn't appoint an interim, like nearly every other governor. Because they were convinced Kerry would become President. AND Kennedy was the one who institgated it.
    So, now they change the rules to suit themselves.

    Do Democrats have any idea of how much they lose when they pull stuff like this? Thirteen months to the next election, folks! Remember this!

    September 22, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    What hypocrites. The Democrats changed the law to prevent the governor making an appointment (with Teddy Kennedy leading the charge) to prevent the then Republican governor from appointing another Republican if Kerry had been elected President. Now they prove they are unwilling to live by the same rules they impose on everyone else.

    September 22, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. What a Joke!

    Sounds like a communist country that keeps changing the rules to keep other parties from entering elections!
    How much more corrupt can it get? " ACORN level" corrupt/criminal?
    I wouldn't live in that nasty little state if you paid me!

    September 22, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. No Incumbents 2010

    Dukakis is supremely qualified to be an interim Senator. Gov. Patrick would be an idiot to not appoint him. An interim Senator has to hit the ground running with no time for on-the-job training on the issues.

    September 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. www.healthcareforamericanow.org

    This news would make Senator Kennedy happy.

    And the sooner the better! Another Democratic vote in the Senate will dilute Snowe's unjustified power in the health care debate.

    After decades of letting private sector interests create huge problems in our health care system, we need real reform. THIS REFORM – OR FAILURE OF REFORM – WILL AFFECT US FOR DECADES TO COME.

    Unfortunately, with senators like Baucus and Bayh who seem to want what the Republicans want, we're still in a bad spot.

    Senators, let Rockefeller and Schumer write the bill!

    September 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Obama Victim

    more sleazy democrat politics......would be laugh out loud funny.......if it were not so pathetically sad

    September 22, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Chuck, Tennessee

    Is it any surprise the White House heavily supports this bill? However, even with 60 votes in the Senate, President Obama will not get his health care bill. The Dems know it is an unpopular bill and they don't want it without the Repubs support.

    September 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Unfortunately, Sen. Robert Byrd (D) might not survive.

    The Democrats are going to have to deal with losses in their attempt to have 60 votes.

    September 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Dan

    Wow, fair and balanced CNN. Don't even mention the fact that the only reason this law is on the books is because the Democrats passed it to stop Mitt Romney from having the ability to appoint a Senator if Kerry one in 2004. I guess its ok when it is the other way around though isn't it.

    No wonder your mindless drones always exclaim "fauxnews" and such. If I read CNN as my only news source I would be a democrat as well.

    September 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Proud Member..Party of No

    There ya go...typical democrats. To democrats there is no law that shouldn't be broken and there is no election that shouldn't be stolen. And worse yet, they want to put the complete nitwit Michael Dukakis in the position.

    Wake up, democrats....your modern day party only does this sort of thing because they think you are too stupid to object.

    September 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Victim f Democratic Scams

    Sure this change in policies/rules only because it benefits Obama and his kronies,

    September 22, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. DianeR PC FL

    I certainly hope that ex-Governor Dukakis is Kennedy's replacement. It will be true "Divine Justice" if his is the deciding vote cast in the passage of health care reform. Remember, Dukakis is the one now-deceased Republican Political Operative, Lee Atwater, used the "Willie Horton" racially-tinged political ad against that ushered the first Bush into office back in 1988. Hey you GeeNopees – the old adage – what goes round, comes round is about to be shoved in your sorry faces. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    September 22, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. seebofubar

    What a country...these people should be put in jail.

    September 22, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Butch/Good News, MA

    Dominican MAMA/Dutch/Lacrosse MOM, et. al –

    Question for you. What flavor is the Cool-Aid?

    September 22, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. New Age Democrat

    I'm extremely disappointed with Democratic leadership at this point. They put themselves in this situation because a Republican governor was in office, but now it no longer suits them, so they want to change the rules.

    Now Harry Reid want to use 'budget reconciliation' to pass health care legislation instead of using the correct process. Again, changing the rules to suit the needs.

    This is not the kind of behavior that I voted for! Democrats need to stand up to their own party and demand ethical behavior. Or does it only warrant attention when it's the other party?

    September 22, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Dan

    I apologize for the typo, it should be "won" not "one". First one to call me uneducated gets a cookie!

    September 22, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    Gotta love the smell of hypocracy in the morning. DemoCRAPS never expect to be held accountable to their rules.

    September 22, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Jimmy the Greek

    A State founded by Pilgrims... home to revolutionaries including Samuel Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock....

    Now... has become a play-toy for democrats, changing laws to suit their political whims.

    How far we have fallen!

    September 22, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. phyllis

    I think that, Michael Dukakis is a great choice for this seat. I hope that, he gets the appointment. I beleive he is a good man. thank you.

    September 22, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Jay T.

    What's wrong with Dukakis? I think it is a great pick. He's always stuck up for the Working Class instead of the Capitalist pigs who grovel on Wall Street or who snort on the Boards of corporations.

    September 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Rick in OP

    The hypocrisy of the politicians of Massachusetts is only exceeded by the stupidity of the people who elected them.

    September 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Tim

    Completely un-American and unethical. You don't change the rules of the game to suit your needs. It's disgusting.

    September 22, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
1 2 3 4