September 22nd, 2009
03:20 PM ET
4 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. Idiot_Pelosi

    DUMocRATs ingore the rules or change them to benefit them.

    I plan on doing the same.

    I plan on cheating on my taxes.

    September 22, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. HEH

    WOW! unbelieveable! Disgusting!

    September 22, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Doug, New Jersey

    You have a better chance of finding a Taliban with a Menorah in his hand than a liberal Democrat with Morals.

    September 22, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. Ken from missouri

    This will drive the right wing crazies nuts because we will get true health care reform now with a public option also fox news ought to be happy about this it will give them something to gripe about and get ratings.

    September 22, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Phil

    It's official, Massachusetts has officially taken over the title of most corrupt state. The legislators there should be ashamed of themselves. The laws there obviously do not mean a thing as they re-write them to fit their current political need/agenda. Sleezy politics at its best. And people lambast the Tea Parties? This is exactly what it is about.

    September 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom

    So....... the Democrats are destroying the Country????????

    What did Bush do? The Great Recession of 2008 began on Bush's watch. As did two wars costing us trillions.

    The hypocrites are the GOP, who in our state redesign our districts to give an advantage to the GOPers!

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!

    September 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Phil

    Shameful. Rules no longer apply to Democrats, just Republicans. Democrats simply change the rules to fit their agenda and yet hold anyone from the Republican party to the fire if they try to change or bend the rules. Hypocracy at its best. Double standard appears to be okay for one side only. Anyone and everyone, Democrat and Republican alike, with any integrity whatsover should look upon this with great disdain and disgust. Wink, wink, it's okay, the Democrats did it.

    September 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. rr

    They should have done what they really wanted: passed a law that says only a Democrat governor can appoint an interim US senator.

    September 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Rudy

    I agree completely...Dukakis will be a rubber stamp for the Dems. But that's how Federations work. He'll only be doing what we already knew the late great Sen. Kennedy would have done...and it's MA's decision regardless. Anything less might be viewed as conservatives trying to capitalize on a lack of representation on the Senate floor...and I just haven't heard them doing anything like that (yet).

    It's probably best not to pick this fight. Let MA have their Dem representatives.

    September 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Phil

    That is a good point. Why doesn't CNN ever mention in ANY of their stories that the democrats changed the law in 2004 because they feared their republican governor would appoint a republican replacement for Kerry if he won the presidential election. Why does CNN never tell the whole story???

    September 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Steve in Alabama

    Even from the grave Kennedy continues his sleazy legacy.

    Rule of law... that's certainly no obstacle for a Kennedy!

    September 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. OKUMU-RINGA P A /KAMPALA,UGANDA

    How sad it was to have lost Ted M Kennedy, (RIP) Now that the Governor is given the legal mandate to pick a temporary successor to take the palce until an election is held in January, then I suppose the seat shoild be given to a Kennedy, preferably Joe Kennedy since he will not run in the 2010 election. God Bless America !

    September 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Independent thinker at age 25, oh and i'm white

    I guess the law should only be broken for the republicans then cause i'm sure we can all find cases when that has benefitted republicans over the last 8 years!!! sorry repubs but your out of luck on this one. I guess if it doesn't benefit your party then you're a hypocrit now!!! I'm sure any southwestern state would do the same for the repub party to maintain it's 40 seats

    September 22, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. aneanderthal

    Of course they can do what ever their little old liberal hearts desire, the will of the people means nothing, only the will of the union bosses and the liberal president. That is the liberal battle cry, "screw the people, we know better than they do." They are smart, smug and arrogant and there is a lot of money out there than they can tax and send to the unions.

    September 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. gl, From Pittsburgh

    This will drive the right wing crazies nuts because we will get true health care reform now with a public option also fox news ought to be happy about this it will give them something to gripe about and get ratings.

    DITTO!

    September 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. ann

    And the GOP are not hypocrites. They rammed anything the could using reconcilation process in the senate and now want to say there is something wrong if Obama does it on healthcare. The pot calling the kettle black.

    September 22, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. phoenix86

    And this is why Massachusets is such a crappy state.

    September 22, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. kimberly

    OK, for you people using the tired FAUX news spin here, lets get it right ok. They stopped him in 04 BECAUSE it would NOT have been right for the then republican gov to appoint a republican to take the place of a Democrat, and THATS what he was going to do, play politics, instead of what the VOTERS VOTED FOR! NOW, we have lost a Democrat, and he should be replaced with one! I feel the same should be the case either Democrat OR Republican, please get your facts right before spreading vile hate and lies!!!!! Its UN AMERICAN!

    September 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Jerry Butler

    Why does taxachewsus keep going backward? Change a law put in by democrat hypocrites to protect the same and now change the law again to protect the democrat hypocrites in Congress. Naw it's not transparent you morons.

    September 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Sideliner

    Regardless of your party association, this is yet another example of "Big Government"changing the rules at will to gain a political advantage.

    Wake up people! It's time to stop watching this debacle from the sidelines and get engaged to throw the whole lot of them out of the Washington.

    September 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "the will of the people means nothing, "

    What exactly would you have called Romney appointing a GOPer as a Senator in MASSACHUSETTS of all places? Do you really think that would have jived with the will of the vast majority of MA voters?

    September 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. John Sorrenson

    Democrats' democracy at work, folks... Change the laws to suit your whims.

    September 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. BJD

    Since when is Northeastern University outside Boston?

    September 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    There goes the wealthy and powerful, usurping the right to vote, yet again.

    The government wonders why people are angry???? Lord, don't they have an ounce of sense?

    September 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. ghostwriter

    This was voted on and if voted thru the state congress, there's nothing you angry folks can do about it. Man, don't you just hate it when the rules just don't swing your way?

    September 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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