Who Would Be The Best Interim Senator?

David Kravitz! - promoted by Bob_Neer

Someone who’s retiring from Congress at the end of his term in January 2013.

Imagine how great that would be.


51 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Barney Frank has been mentioned.

    I also like Michael Dukakis, but am not enthused by Vicki Kennedy.

    • I'm not suggesting Vicki Kennedy should get the assignment

      but I also don’t get the reticence to her. She’s exceptionally intelligent and has had a great career in her own right.

      By all means, Barney Frank or Michael Dukakis would be great choices… but I’d be perfectly fine with Vicki Kennedy, too.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 21 Dec 7:38 PM
    • Barney Frank on the Senate floor ...

      would be great. He has no long term political aspirations, why not? Timing is perfect, and he’ll be serving for a short period of time. It fits.

      I ‘d take it a step further, I’d like him in a Committee too, have Barney in the same room as Inhofe on the environment.

      David Kravitz a close second.

  2. It’s only five months. He will stand tough on issues, knows the game. He’s 79 but I saw him in Newton just before the elections and he looks energetic enough to serve a full term. Only issue is he teaches in LA in the winters and that would be disrupted.

  3. Frank has said he doesn't want the hassle

    He’s done his 30 years and has other things he’d like to do. I don’t blame him.

  4. So many good progressives to chose

    from. Hillary Clinton, Jamie Eldridge, Steve Grossman, stomv, Rachel Maddow….

    • Problems with some of those names

      Jamie Eldridge would have to give up his state senate seat for a few months of glory. I don’t want him to do that and I don’t think he would want it either. He is a strong voice for progressive values.

      Steve Grossman would likewise give up his position as Treasurer.

      Hillary Clinton is not a resident of MA.

      OTOH I really like the idea of Mike Dukakis. I also saw him recently and he is in great shape!

      • Obviously missed

        the word Interim.

        • Did not miss the word "interim"

          Either Jamie Eldridge or Steve Grossman would be under great pressure, if not a legal requirement, to give up their current positions if they were to accept a 5 month stint as interim U.S. Senator.

          Are you suggesting otherwise?

          As you may have noticed, I am a great admirer of Jamie Eldridge. I supported him in his run for Congress (lost in the primary to Niki Tsongas). He is not my state senator, but I have donated to his campaigns, marched with/for him in a Labor Day parade. We cannot afford to lose him in the state senate.

    • Hillary Clinton?

      That was a joke, right? (I don’t think her vacations to Martha’s Vineyard count as residency status… just saying.)

      RyansTake   @   Fri 21 Dec 7:40 PM
    • I wouldn't turn it down

      but only if my wife could get a transfer to DC. No way I’m missing my family for five months, and weekend trips up doesn’t cut it.

      But yeah, otherwise, let the governor know that I’m available, but only if david will come on as a staffer.

  5. John Olver?

    I presume that is who you are hinting at.

  6. The best option

    would be to change the law back to the norm and have a two-year appointment followed by a fair contest.

    Since that’s not likely, I’d cheer if Mike Dukakis went finally went to Washington, if only for 5 months.

    • no way

      This system is way fairer than an undemocratic appointment, even if we may not always get the result we want.

      RyansTake   @   Fri 21 Dec 10:56 PM
    • Two years is too long

      I agree that the very abbreviated schedule we have under current law is a problem; it greatly favors the already-prepared candidates whose statewide position is strong from some reason other than actually preparing for this particular race, while not giving anyone else the time to prepare to challenge them.

      However, we do not need two years of an unelected interim appointment.

      Give it something like a year, instead of the current 4-6 months.

      • Ryan and Cos

        Perhaps you each of you can flesh out exactly what fairness means or how it is served or not by various ways of doing things.

        Or, Cos, how you determine what is “too long” and how that leads you to conclude that a year, exactly, is just right, even though that would mean yet another election (!) some 9 months later.

        I’m not saying you are necessarily wrong, either, the both of you. But I suspect if you really try to make the case for this rationally you will discover that you are taking a lot of things for granted.

        Presumably your concerns involve the virtue of letting voters, not an elected governor, fill the seat as soon as is practicable. Okay. But think it out. With an emphasis on the “practicable.” Keep the actual calendar in mind

        Remember too that appointees do not really have the benefits of incumbency and that even first-term incumbents are vulnerable.

        The current system conferred an undeserved advantage on Martha Coakley, the only candidate with statewide name recognition coming up to a snap primary. It confers a similar unfair advantage this time around to Scott Brown in the general.

        Put that in your fairness pipe and smoke it, please.

        • BS.

          The current system conferred an undeserved advantage on Martha Coakley, the only candidate with statewide name recognition coming up to a snap primary. It confers a similar unfair advantage this time around to Scott Brown in the general.

          Martha Coakley beat three extraordinarily well funded candidates in a primary that was longer than the general… and she gathered 50% of the primary vote. That’s a pretty impressive feat.

          Whatever you think of the general election and it’s results, you can’t say that the primary election was fixed, rigged, slanted, teased or in any way weighted. It was long. It was brutal. It was comprehensive. It was fair.

          Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

          • It produced a LOSER

            By construction, the primary campaign that nominated Martha Coakley in 2010 was broken. Broken because Massachusetts is an overwhelmingly Democratic state, and that election should have been a shoo-in. I’m not suggesting that the primary was “fixed, rigged, slanted, teased or in any way weighted”, nor do I challenge your observation that it was “brutal”, “comprehensive” or “fair”.

            It produced a LOSER.

            It resulted in an election where a large number of voters who normally vote Democratic instead voted for Scott Brown.

            Martha Coakley lost because she was (and is) a horrible candidate for Senate. The suggestion that she is any more electable today than she was in 2010 is misguided fantasy.

            We can do better.

            • BS (again)

              This is politics, not sudoku: there’s no outcome, like it was a jigsaw puzzle piece, that’ll fit squarely and snugly. The sooner you get over that the happier you’ll be over all.

              The differences between Martha Coakley and Elizabeth Warren are miniscule… as are the differences between Scott Brown and Charlie Baker… as are the differences between Bob Dole, circa 1996, and Barack Obama today…

              The distance between winner and loser in politics could be measured in nanometers.

              • Say what?

                Nanometers? Coakley = Warren?

                I honestly do not understand what your point is here.

                in any case, in politics the difference between wining and losing is measured in votes.

              • Sorry, no deal

                I think your claim is badly mistaken.

                I see marked differences between Martha Coakley, just as I see marked differences between Bob Dole and Barack Obama. I suggest that your cynicism is badly distorting your worldview.

                Meanwhile, the difference between Martha Coakley’s 5% loss (52% to 47%) and Elizabeth Warren’s 8% victory (54% to 46%) is profound. If your attempt to measure that distance results in a “nanometers”, then I suggest you recalibrate your instruments.

            • Here here

              She is an incompetent and politically motivated AG and the epitomy of a party hack who waited her turn on a cruise ship and then got handed the most embarassing defeat in recent politica; history. Way past her expiration date and any talk of her running for Gov or Senate is ridiculous. Had she campaigned well and lost over Obamacare or something like that than maybe she could have a comeback, but a loss like this was staggering and self inflicted. She will likely be AG for life but I honestly don’t want her there and definitely don’t want her anywhere else.

              And if her defenders want to play the gender card they can just look at the fact that our Senator-elect was a superior candidate and was easily able to become the first female Senator in our state. Look at Therese Murray or Nikki Tsongas. The ‘i lost because Im a woman’ excuse to me is more sexist and self defeating and allows mediocre candidates like Swift, O’Brien and Coakley to hide personal failures under the shadow of sexism.

          • On what planet?

            Coakley was the first candidate to declare for Senate on September 3 2009. She won the primary on December 8, 3 months and some change. Her opponents struggled with recognition and funding during that abnormally short time period.

            Despite his 8th district base, Capuano never had a chance to overcome Coakley’s built-in advantage. Even today, after what you call a “long” and “comprehensive” campaign, he has about the same name recognition statewide (70%) as Ed Markey (67%), who didn’t run.

            Recall that Warren announced her candidacy on September 13 2011, a year before the September 6 2012 primary. Deval Patrick launched his first campaign for Governor in January of 2005, more than a year and a half (!) out from the primary.

            Three months is nothing, and confers unfair advantages on, this year, Scott Brown.

            Seems to me the best you can say is that these people (Coakley, Brown) earned their advantage by winning a statewide election. Candidates with that advantage will always have a head start, but the race should not be so truncates as to turn that into an insurmountable lead.

            I stand by my original characterization.

            • Excellent point

              We keep revising the law to fix one set of perceived problems, while generating the next set of problems. Perhaps, when the Kerry seat is permanently filled, we can go back to the drawing board.

              The special election short-circuits the regular election process, because the caucus and convention process is removed from the game. The 15% requirement serves to engage the party faithful, and keep the wealthy vanity candidates off the ballot, as you can buy signatures but it’s much harder to buy 15% of the convention delegates.

              We have a special election to prevent Mitt Romney from appointing the senator, and we have the interim appointment to prevent a vacancy from altering the balance of power in the senate between the vacancy and the special election. What should we do? Can we come up with some sort of a hybrid process that allows for a temporary appointment followed by a more traditional primary and general election? Can we incorporate a provision where the temporary appointee must be a member of the departing member’s political party?

  7. There is no residency requirement for US Senate

    From the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website:

    United States Senator
    Must be at least 30 years of age.
    Must be a registered voter.
    Must be a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years prior to the date of the election.
    Must be an inhabitant of Massachusetts when elected.
    Requires certified signatures of at least 10,000 voters registered in Massachusetts.

    From the United States Constitution:

    No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen. [U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 3, clause 3]

    The key here is “when elected, shall be an Inhabitant of that State..,.”

    So Ted Jr. , Hillary, or anyone with name recognition and who voters view as acceptable can run and win if they are not residents ( even Ed Markey – ok I’m being snarky now)

  8. Barny Freakin' Frank.

    Mostly for the entertainment value.

  9. David Kravitz?? Come on, Bob...

    David can’t possibly be senator – according to Rob Eno, he has yet to comment on Elizabeth Warren’s unlicensed practice of law!

    • It does seem almost incredible that Warren won without a formal opinion from Kravitz on that burning issue. The Commonwealth’s Bar Association owes a real debt to Rob for taking it upon himself to become the prosecutorial arm of the organization. Maybe the Massachusetts GOP will file a lawsuit and demand an injunction before she can be sworn in.

      Which might create a second seat that David could be appointed to.

      The full dimensions of his plot become clear. He is thinking 10 moves ahead: a real Jedi chess master.

  10. Not the Duke

    I think all y’all missed this from a few days ago.

    In a brief State House interview Monday, Dukakis told WBZ-TV: “I’m headed for the West to teach,” alluding to his annual spring-semester teaching duties at UCLA.

    “That’s a no,” said Dukakis in reference to a possible appointment by Gov. Deval Patrick to fill the seat until a special election can be held.

  11. no respect

    At some point when I was listening to NPR today I heard that Massachusetts Governor “Patrick Deval” would be making the interim appointment for Kerry’s seat. And no one corrected the guy.

    I imagined Deval giving his collar a Dangerfieldesque tug and uttering, “I don’t get no respect!”

    • Unbelievable.

      The guy is a second term governor and a national figure in the party, and this is still happening? Have to say, you don’t hear about Florida governor “Scott Rick,” or Indiana governor “Daniel Mitch,” or Mississippi governor “Bryan Phil,” or Texas governor “Perry Rick.” Now, what’s different…?

      • David, please. A simple verbal slip up and you imply racism?

        If Hubert Humphrey were black, would you suggest Jimmy Carter was a racist when he butchered Humphrey’s name (Hubert Horatio Hornblower!) after nearly thirty years of national public service?

        • Hornblower

          was a one-off (and a thoroughly bizarre one). This is far from the first time our Gov has been called “Patrick Deval.”

      • What's different is that

        Patrick is a common first name and a less-common last name. Deval is a not-so-common first name that could easily be mistaken for a last name.

        My problem is that you’d think they’d know about him by now. But if they don’t, this mix-up doesn’t really surprise me.

  12. Best filibuster ever

    David would do the best filibusters ever especially if the new rules proposals are passed. I imagine CSPAN viewership would skyrocket every time he burst out in to song in order to stop some silly vote. :D

  13. Senator Frank!

    I think Barney Frank would be an excellent choice for interim Senator.

    He has the experience to actually BE a Senator for those five months — and not just fill the seat.

    And he doesn’t want to run for the office.

    Meet’s the Governor’s criteria very well.

  14. Senator Susan Hochfield or Senator Eric Lander!

    How about a scientist from MIT? It’s time that somebody taught senators that science actually exists, that climate change is real, and that federal funding for research is critically important.

    Susan Hochfield from MIT would be a perfect interim Senator.

    Eric Lander would also work very well.

    • Why I <3 Bill Foster out here in IL

      Someone willing to run front and center saying that he is a scientist who approaches policy problems the way he approaches physics problems-looks at the data and picks the best course of action that makes the most sense. Would love to see more scientists run.

  15. Derik Sanderson

    He’ seen it all. Know’s the world from the rich man’s view and the poor man’s view.
    And if things get a little chippy in the chamber he’s always willing to mix it up.
    Just what this state needs to round out its delegation.

    C’mon Deval, show me something. Appoint Derek Sanderson. If you’re nervous about it send Bobby Orr to Washington too to keep an eye on him.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 23 Dec 9:41 PM
    • Really Governor,....

      with steady top-shely advice like this I can’t believe I haven’t heard from your office re: a job.

      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 23 Dec 9:42 PM
    • That's D-E-R-E-K Sanderson

      If this was Japan I would kill myself right now for making that humiliating mistake.

      eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Sun 23 Dec 9:44 PM
  16. What's Paul Kirk up to these days?


  17. Doug Flutie

    For the Hail Mary Appointment.

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