September 24th, 2009
08:31 AM ET
13 years ago

Sources: Patrick to pick Kirk as Kennedy replacement

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sources tell CNN longtime Kennedy friend Paul Kirk is the Kennedy family's choice for an interim replacement."] (CNN) - Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will announce an interim replacement Thursday for the U.S. Senate seat left open by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, and hours before the announcement, two Democratic sources, one of whom is close the Kennedy family, tell CNN that Patrick has picked Paul Kirk.

Wednesday two Kennedy family associates told CNN that Kirk, a longtime senior aide to the late Sen. Kennedy and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is the family's favorite to fill his vacant Senate seat – and that the late senator's sons have relayed this view to Patrick. One source said the late senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, was among the family members supporting a Kirk appointment.

The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET at the State House in Boston.

The appointment would give Democrats a crucial 60th vote in the Senate as the chamber weighs President Barack Obama's health care proposal.

The measure, which Wednesday afternoon passed the Massachusetts House and Senate,
would not go into effect for 90 days - a period that ends just a month before the scheduled special election for a permanent successor to complete the remainder of Kennedy's Senate term– unless two-thirds of the state House voted to bypass the delay and enact the measure immediately.

Democrats fell just short of that mark, with a final state House vote of 95-59. But Patrick also has the power to declare an emergency, which would allow the provision to go into effect right away.

Primaries to fill the seat for the remaining three years of Kennedy's six year term are set for December 8, while the general election will take place on January 19.

Republican State Sen. Scott Brown has announced that he will run for the seat on the Republican side, while state attorney Gen. Martha Coakley, Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca and Rep. Mike Capuano are battling for the Democratic nomination.

–CNN's John King, Gloria Borger and Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this report

Filed under: Deval Patrick • Ted Kennedy
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Paterson's wife is acting like a dutifukl and loyal wife. Kudos to her. However she needs to be reminded that it could be her husband's poor performance after assuming the office of Governor that may have a more credible bearing on his being requested not to run.IMO

    September 24, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. Alan

    Democratic party hypocracy at its best. I love it when their shameless actions come to light.

    When Romney was gov ( a Republican) the Mass leg changed the laws so he couldn't name a senate replacement if need be. Now that a Dem is in office and a replacement is needed to further Obama's agenda, the leg. has had a change of heart and has decided that it is best is the gov names a replacement.

    Why is it that when either party is iin power they get STUPID!!!

    September 24, 2009 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    The critical 60th vote is only meaningful if the Democratic leadership can compel all 60 of them to vote for something or against something. The Democratic Party is composed of three groups.

    Conservative Democrats, who are just Conservatives and therefore opposed to any action by government to solve the nation's problems

    Liberal Democrats, who try to use government to solve the nation's problems

    Career Politicians who have a really cushy job and who don't intend to lose it. They blow with the wind.

    The big problem is Conservatism, which is opposed to any effort to solve the nation's problems. Conservatism represents the interest of the special interests only.

    September 24, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. snood

    just shows no matter what party the rules can be changed to benifit there needs. Change & then rechange so we can get the vote we need. Where was MN vote for the stimulas and Bailouts. Oh thats right we didnt have a Kennedy

    September 24, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. Proc

    Completely ridiculous. If it was a Republican governor, the Mass representatives would not do this.

    September 24, 2009 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  6. Bill

    This whole process is a crock. Oh, well, what would one expect?

    September 24, 2009 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "Patrick also has the power to declare an emergency, which would allow the provision to go into effect right away."

    So where was the "emergency" for the 18 months Kennedy didn't show up for work. All of the sudden it's an "emergency"???

    Castro, Chavez, and Ahmedinejad must be so proud of us here in Massachusetts.

    Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and Nathan Hale are probably shedding tears.

    September 24, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  8. Vigla

    It's an interim appointment, but I would prefer someone like a Mike Dukakis. He is a former Democratic Presidential nominee and former Governor. He has done a lot of good things since leaving public life. I say give it to him.

    September 24, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Will He Protect Seniors From Obama

    Mr. Baucus’s bill would cut payments to Medicare Advantage plans by $123 billion over 10 years. Under a companion bill approved by three House committees, the cuts would total $156 billion. Mr. Obama proposed cuts totaling $175 billion.

    September 24, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  10. munchmom

    Nepotism at work again-hand picking a replacement that the Kennedy's want and guaranteeing that Obama gets what he wants in health care reform. Ethics investigation, anyone????

    September 24, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    How could anyone possible construe Democrats as having 'only' 59 votes in the Senate as an emergency? Oh that's right, Democratic rules in effect. If you don't like the rules change them at will to suit yourselves.

    September 24, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  12. Bob the Observer

    So they are not even going to pretend to change the law that Kennedy and his ilk imposed on the state in 2004? I guess anything can be an "emergency," but nothing as big is some socialists not getting their way.

    These are the same people who were filibustering every judicial appointment just a few years ago. Now, with trillions of dollars about to be spent, rules are going out the window.

    I have not, in my lifetime, seen politics that are so brazenly, shamelessly corrupt and dirty. The whole Kennedy clan would be proud of this one.

    September 24, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. MAngeline

    The Kennedys really think they "own" Massachusetts and the Senate seat as well. I am an Independent Massachusetts voter who never again voted for Teddy after the Chappy incident. I am sure Paul Kirk is a good man who stood by our morally bankrupt senior Senator for years, and this is the "reward" for his good service. This seat belongs to us the voters of MA, not the Kennedy clan!!

    September 24, 2009 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Unbelievable. Corrupt. Underhanded. Wake up America, the democrats are taking total control of your lives and your future, and this is just one example.

    September 24, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. and the voters?

    this sounds like royalty

    let the Kennedy family decide? what happened to voters?

    September 24, 2009 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. jp,michigan

    Did the governor get Obama's approval? It is now the Obama democratic party!

    September 24, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  17. Enough

    Yup, Democrats do what it takes to cram this crappy healthcare bill through. Gotta love the Democrats, always changing the rules to suit their needs and if their rule change might benefit a Republican, change it back. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    September 24, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  18. Right Leaning Independent

    Mass – Change your motto to – "The Hypocrite State". Mass Dems are living up to Kennedy's low standards.....

    September 24, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  19. rr

    "Patrick also has the power to declare an emergency, which would allow the provision to go into effect right away."

    This is an emergency?

    Just another way for the entrenched politicians to subvert democracy and the rule of law. Just claim any situation is an emergency.

    September 24, 2009 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  20. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    We're democrats. We don't follow laws. We only MAKE laws for OTHERS to follow. The only time we follow laws is when they benefit our party and our own thirst for power. When a law no longer does that, what do we do? We CHANGE it so it does.


    GO REPUBLICANS 2010!!!

    September 24, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Why hasn't the liberal press made a big deal of overturning the state statute? It was implemented during the time a Republican governor was in charge and everyone thought John Kerry would be elected president, leaving the Republican governor a chance to appoint someone from his party as a replacement. What a sham!

    September 24, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  22. Wake Up

    Forget party love....please admit this is ridiculous. I hate when any politicians think they can change the laws to get someone they choose elected. Be honest with yourselves. What happened to "Change". ..Obama is worse, he's a political animal but just lies about it. I wonder if their was a Repub governor, if Obama would want him to skirt the laws and choose someone?

    September 24, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  23. AstroTurf This

    Are we surprised by this? Hillary Clinton did the same thing in the primary last year. The DNC will skirt the law or change it whenever it is politically advantagous. The Democrats don't care what's right for the country. They care what's right for their party.

    September 24, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. Vietnam Combat Veteran, Ohio

    Shouldn't be any reason we don't get a health bill with a public option passed now, right? Oh yeh, I forgot, we have blue dog a__holes that would lose money in their pockets. DNC should get all 60 Senators in a room and tell them they WILL vote for it or else!!!

    September 24, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  25. Scott, Tucson

    I guess the next time a Republican becomes Governor, the Dem's would rewrite the laws once again to suit them.

    September 24, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
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