Yeah, I felt the same way as a lot of folks when I heard Paul Kirk was the choice for Senate. a.) Who's that? b.) Great, another lifelong hack. c.) What, do the Kennedys just get to name their pick? d.) And the Gov just lets himself get rolled? etc. etc.
But actually … now I'm good with it. We wanted a caretaker Senator, and that's exactly what we got. If you wanted someone to carry out Ted Kennedy's wishes with the greatest fidelity possible, that's very likely who we've got. More than any of the other possibilities, Kirk is the person who can …
- Credibly invoke the memory and will of Ted Kennedy for the purpose of a better health care bill — as Ted explicitly wanted to happen;
- Know who Ted Kennedy knew;
- Know what he knew;
- Know how Ted operated; know more than anyone else “What would Ted Kennedy do” in any particular situation;
- Deftly manage TK's staff, who are the ones who know the current state of play in the very fluid state of health care legislation.
So, choosing another one of the clubby, in-the-know inside-y insiders doesn't have much romance. But there's a very specific task before the Senate right now, and frankly, we need an operator. Here's hoping Kirk gets it done.
And that's all I gotta say about that.