September 10th, 2009
10:38 AM ET
13 years ago

Former Bush chief of staff likely to run for Kennedy seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush, said Wednesday he'll likely run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat."](CNN) - Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush, said Wednesday he'll likely run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat that was held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy for more than four decades.

Card, a Massachusetts native who served four terms as a state representative in the late 1970s and early 1980s, told reporters the chances of him running for the seat are "much better than 50 percent," according to the Boston Globe.

The comments came at a Republican state committee meeting Wednesday evening, during which Card said he had "a phenomenal desire" to run, but expressed concern his wife - a Methodist minister in Virginia - might have to leave her job as a result.

"I am not going to ask my wife to leave her church," he said.

Republican State Sen. Scott Brown has also expressed interest in running for the seat, but said Thursday he would back off should Card decide to launch his own bid. At Thursday's GOP committee hearing, Brown also actively encouraged his colleagues to support the former Bush insider.

"If you want to talk about a person that can bring back the bacon to Massachusetts, it's this guy right here," he said of Card, according to the Globe. "I am going to encourage all of you to support Andy and encourage him to run."

Card, a well-known figure in Massachusetts and a veteran Washington hand who has served three GOP presidents, was well-regarded by Republicans and Democrats alike when he served as Bush's chief of staff, a post he left in 2006.

But he is perhaps most well known as the man who informed Bush the country was under attack on September 11, 2001, when the former president was reading to school children in Florida. Card said he would make a formal decision about the race after observing the upcoming eight-year anniversary of that day.

At the committee meeting Wednesday, Card downplayed the notion his background as a Bush insider might make it especially difficult to run in one of the most Democratic-leaning states, saying, "I’m Andy Card. I’m not George W. Bush.’’

“I didn’t agree with every decision he made,’’ he also said. “I respected how he made his decisions."

On the Democratic side, state attorney general Martha Coakley has already announced she is running for the seat. Reps. Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano have also taken formal steps to enter the race.

Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Ken H.

    There is always a boost after a speech then it soon drops. Obama made a few good points last night but he dragged the speech on and started playing politics and playing the blame game again. Obama has been president for 8 months and has caused more debt in that very short time than all presidents from Washington to GW Bush, COMBINED.
    Obama's health care plan is not for us and if it does pass, goodbye democrats!

    September 10, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Amen!

    Good lord! god help the state of Massachusetts if any of Bush's cabinet members become leader of ANY position in our government! he like Bush even LOOKS like the devil!

    September 10, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. republican VICTIM

    We truly don't need any more republicans in office, haven't republicans screwed this country enough?

    September 10, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Deuce

    It will not make any difference now. Who wins or who loses what.

    You are slowly losing your cause in the World affairs. That is why you are losing in Afghanistan. Youre Cause is lost. Why bother trying?

    My future is ruined! That is the feeling Obama is bringing into the world..

    September 10, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Spelmanite08

    Ted Kennedy would roll over in his grave if that Republican got his seat and misrepresented not Republicans or Democrats, but the American Dream and citizens.

    September 10, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. ch

    The connection to GW Bush will not help!!

    If Bush's nationwide approval was 35% or so, it's probably -35% in MA.

    NOBODY connected with the failed administration of GW Bush should ever hold public office gain.

    He was the WORST president EVER!

    September 10, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Esparza

    All I know is that I want the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we never get it, Main fact, the amount of tax money our government takes from us and spends on PORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we would have had health insurance for everyone without government run , our government does not care about us not at all it is all show, they care about themselves they want to run our lives, they want power, they want us to bow down to them that is it, their are so many solutions to our problems, we need to clean house, start fresh fresh people people with different ideas we need a new party, who really loves this country, and not themselves

    September 10, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. victim of republican greed

    What about McCain's choice, Kurt Schilling? As a baseball player, Kurt worked 9 months out of the year, and of those days, he actually pitched every one out of five days. Yet that would be better than having a Bush insider representing MA.

    September 10, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. gl, From Pittsburgh

    I really dont' think the Repubicans have a chance at win Ted Kenney seat exspecail any one that have any associsation with the Bush air.

    September 10, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Post always rejected by CNN

    Gee you think any body from the bush administration has a chance at a position in government. If Card thinks so he is stupider than the rest of the republican party.

    September 10, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Mike Moderate are a loser that W counted on to be a flunkey.

    Do you really think that Massachusetts is going to choose you.

    What did you have in mind, bringing Karl Rove out of the Fox closet and cut an opponent to pieces?

    September 10, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Theresa

    Why can't we respond to the jaded title about Obama's speech swinging the polls double-digits?

    September 10, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Hopey Changey Guy

    He doesn't really think he stands a snowball's chance in the deepest chambers of Hell, of winning the seat does he? The citizens of Massachusetts love to reelect the same old bought and paid for entrenched Politiicians to tax them into oblivion, all the while passing laws that run every aspect of their lives, but serve no real purpose.

    September 10, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Andrew Card, the former chief of staff to President Bush.
    He was the chief of Staff to Bush who knew first hand about all Bush dirty deeds. Thanks, but no Thanks.

    September 10, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. KING

    I don't really think his wife will have to leave her job. He has about minus-zero chance of winning.

    September 10, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Deuce

    That was just plain Gravity. Thats the reason you stay put. You live in an Electronic Field..

    September 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Ernesto

    A Bush anything will do nothing for MA. Perhaps he could invade New Hampshire seeking WMD's?

    September 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. looking for punishment

    too funny, should be in jail

    September 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. Card doesn't stand a chance in a liberal state such as Massachusetts. Not to mention any relations to Bush is a definite NO.

    September 10, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Bill

    I would be willing to "bet the farm" that most of the politicians who oppose the proposed health care reform suffer from Cranial/Rectal Inversion due to PACitis. This simply means that they have their head so firmly planted up the behinds of the Insurance PACs, they can't see anything! I know a great Proctologist who specializes in Rectal Craniotomies!

    September 10, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. katiec

    I cannot imagine anyone voting for any person with close ties to Bush and the previous administration.
    We will not ever forget what they have done to our country.

    September 10, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Poor soul doesn't have a chance. The state is run by corrupt unions and an honest man terrifies them. ACORN and the union thugs will be out in force to make sure they elect another corrupt drunk murderer like they did for the past 40 years.

    September 10, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Sam Sixpack

    When you're paying all you can "afford" to fat, rich, greedy insurance execs and then discover you can't "afford" the deductible to actually get any treatment, you'll wish you had voted for Card.

    September 10, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. Hopey Changey Guy

    According to Congressman Lamar Smith, "the legislation contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants do not apply for benefits" and the legislation "leaves open the possibility that if one citizen family member is eligible for benefits, then the entire family-including illegal immigrants-is also eligible for benefits". So illegal immigrants will be able to be covered by these benefits, even though the legislation does not specifically authorize. The legislation intentionally leaves out language preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining this benefit, so they can get it through a loophole. Typical Washington doublespeak. Incidentally, I don't care if an illegal immigrant is covered with the benefits, I just can't stand liers, especially when its my President. I'm a life long Dem so don't waste the anti Repub attack posts. Not that CNN will post logic or facts contrary to their Messiah.

    September 10, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Andy should try in South Carolina,where their should be a lot of GOP jobs soon.hahaha

    September 10, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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