Because what America needs is more failed presidential candidates from Massachusetts on the national stage, right? The Hill reports that Governor Deval Patrick might consider replacing John Kerry, who lost the 2004 election to George W. Bush, with someone who feels his pain, and a former governor who knows Massachusetts well and who isn’t interested in keeping the seat. And if you think I’m talking about Mitt Romney, you’re probably under 35 years of age:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, may be headed back to the political spotlight as he’s considered a likely interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
President Obama is set to tap Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, according to media reports.
This means Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) needs to find someone to fill Kerry’s seat until a special election can be held in the late spring or early summer.
So what happened to Vicki Kennedy? Good question. The Hill’s Alexander Bolton writes that Patrick needs to find an interim appointee who won’t muddy the primary waters. Perhaps Ted Kennedy’s widow is considering jumping into the election herself, or maybe she utterly refused to entertain the notion of holding public office, even as a placeholder. If so, she’d be one of the few Kennedys to do so.
Dukakis would be a pretty good choice for an interim appointee, all snark aside. He has been a loyal activist for the Democrats, campaigning on behalf of the party in each election cycle, and makes occasional talking-head appearances on the cable shows. Presumably he’s current on issues, but he’ll end up voting the way Harry Reid tells him to vote, which is one of the key prerequisites of the job. He won’t embarrass Patrick, and seems to have no ambition to remain in Washington.
Still, why choose a man who has been out of elective office for more than 20 years? That seems out of touch, and makes the Democratic bench (or retirement village, as it were) looking a little thin. Why not someone who knows Washington and can give the appointment a little more effectiveness? Last I looked, Barney Frank was still available — unless he’s thinking about that special-election primary too.