Open Thread: Kerry’s Confirmed

From his hometown paper, the Boston Globe:

Senator John Kerry wins confirmation as secretary of state; to replace Hillary Clinton at swearing-in ceremony later this week
WASHINGTON — The Senate Tuesday confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Senator John F. Kerry to be secretary of state, handing the Massachusetts Democrat a redemptive career victory that ensconces him in an elite echelon of national leadership nine years after his failed bid for the presidency.

The 94 to 3 vote was the final hurdle for Kerry, whose nomination soared through the Senate after Obama’s first choice of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice encountered stiff GOP opposition and never got off the ground.

Kerry met virtually no resistance, as his colleagues on both sides of the aisle lauded his 28 years of service in the Senate and his deep experience in international affairs, most recently as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is expected to give a farewell speech in the Senate on Wednesday and will be sworn in as Hillary Clinton’s replacement in a Department of State ceremony later this week….

The three nay votes in the full Senate vote cast by Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas, John Cornyn of Texas, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Kerry abstained….

Governor Deval Patrick is supposed to name Kerry’s “interim” replacement, who will serve only until June 25th, on Wednesday. He’s played his choice very close to the vest, but since it’s said he has Presidential ambitions, “pissing off the progressive wing of the Democratic party” should not be part of his agenda. Fingers crossed for Barney Frank!
***********

Apart from the horse race talk, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

73 replies
  1. 1
    Jack the Second says:

    Senators really have an unfair advantage getting confirmed.

    Maybe Elizabeth Warren will get to head the CFPB in a decade or two after all?

  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    Not much on tap. I may just watch some reruns on Netflix and play with the cat.

  3. 3
    JMG says:

    Patrick is very close to Obama. It’s unlikely he’d make this choice without Obama’s input, not to mention Kerry’s.

  4. 4
    rlrr says:

    The governorship of Massachusetts hasn’t shown itself to be a stepping stone to the White House…

  5. 5
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Still in Kokomo. I have decided to stop saying snarky things about this place. For one thing, every single person I’ve met here has been unfailingly polite and cheerful to a cranky out of towner. Plus a lot of them appear to own firearms. But mostly the first thing.

  6. 6

    Burrito night and continuing to go through work that piled up whilst I was vacationing.

  7. 7
    danielx says:

    Using Cajun roasted pork to make carnitas, taking care of chores, and waiting for the weather to get sporty. it’s 59 degrees outside right now, they’re predicting 60 mph winds tonight (with possibility of tornadoes), snow showers by Thursday night and a high of 17 on Friday. Winters here used to suck, but at least they were reasonably predictable.

    Tornadoes in Indiana in fucking January???

  8. 8
    yutsano says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Armed society, polite society, etc.

  9. 9
    Bruce S says:

    Even in a party crawling with dicks and assholes, Cruz, Cornyn and Inhofe stand out as dicks and assholes. I hate those guys. We’ll have to wait a decade, but Texas will go Blue and those guys will be forgotten footnotes from the past.

  10. 10
    replicnt6 says:

    …, but since it’s said he has Presidential ambitions, “pissing off the progressive wing of the Democratic party” should not be part of his agenda.

    Uh, I think you missed a step in the reasoning. I’m pretty sure “pissing off the progressive wing of the Democratic party” is pretty much de rigeur for a presidential hopeful.

  11. 11
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @yutsano:

    Armed society, polite society, etc.

    Yeah, that occurred to me. But I think it’s mostly correlation not causation. Politeness and armedness are both midwestern traits.

    One thing I haven’t figured out are all of the piercings on older factory dudes. Like, mid 50s and up. Grey hair, white beard, nose ring and two big barbells through the ears. Stuff you’d see at a Detroit Goth club at 4:00 am.
    I’m thinking biker variant but I’m not convinced.

  12. 12
    srv says:

    A great day for John and his BFF on the other side of the isle.

  13. 13
    muddy says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Wants to hook up with young women?

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    @Jack the Second:

    Maybe Elizabeth Warren will get to head the CFPB in a decade or two after all?

    I would think that being a senator is a step or two higher than being the head of a regulatory agency.

    Apart from the horse race talk, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

    Gotta work late. Will probably not be doing much more than trying to catch up on a few recorded tv shows.

  15. 15
    handsmile says:

    On his program last night, Lawrence O’Donnell announced that Governor Patrick would be a guest there on Wednesday night, i.e., after his appointment of an interim Massachusetts US Senator.

    Avidly encouraging the appointment of Barney Frank to that position, so much so that he labels his show the “Appoint Barney Frank” headquarters, O’Donnell slyly suggested that Patrick would have been reluctant to appear knowing he would face verbal abuse if someone else was selected.

    Take that for what its worth, but yeah, fingers and toes crossed that we’ll be reading about Senator Barney Frank tomorrow evening.

  16. 16
    lamh35 says:

    It has been the CW that John Kerry would be SoS. So Deval Patrick has had time to think about who’d he’d choose if Kerry was confirmed. I guess I’m the only one who thinks it’s unfair to Gov Patrick, who may have had another choice for interim Senator other than Frank, that now he’s going to be “pissing off progressives” if he does not appoint Frank.

    Now Frank may well have been on Patrick’s list, and he may well have been his #1 or #2. The flip side is that he was never on the list until he let it be known that he would be interested in interim Senator.

    Before Barney Frank said he was interested, who’s name was the “progressive” choice then

  17. 17
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @handsmile:

    Take that for what its worth, but yeah, fingers and toes crossed that I’ll be reading about Senator Barney Frank tomorrow evening.

    The World’s Most Self Serious Deliberative Body badly needs a dose of what Barney brings. Fingers crossed.

  18. 18
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    I want Frank to get the appointment because I love hearing wingnuts shriek with rage.

  19. 19
    muddy says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I think he and Bernie Sanders would make a good tag team.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    @lamh35:

    I have not heard a soul suggest anyone BUT Barney. And I, personally, don’t give a shit if Patrick’s feefees are hurt by the clamor to appoint Barney. Because it’s not about Deval Patrick. It’s about what is the right thing for the Democratic Party, the state of Massachusetts, and the country. Fuck Patrick’s preferences.

  21. 21
    Keith says:

    Apart from the horse race talk, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

    Recovering from failed surgery to remove a blood clot (which led to me having to have catheter port #3 installed in my chest). Alls I can say is thank goodness for opiates!

  22. 22
    muddy says:

    @Keith: Opiates + miralax = win. I hope you recover quickly.

  23. 23
    geg6 says:

    Oh and congratulations to Senator Kerry. I have always liked him, I adore his wife (have met her and worked on projects with her; she is a force of nature), and I may have been one of the ten people in the entire US who was an enthusiastic supporter of his presidential run and who cried disconsolately that election night. So great to see him take over State after Hilary. I think he’ll be just as awesome as she was in that office.

  24. 24
    Maude says:

    @handsmile:
    Kerry has to be sworn in before a new interim Senator is appointed.
    The article says end of week. Kerry should be sworn in tomorrow morning, I don’t understand the delay.

  25. 25
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    If Deval Patrick does run for president then I’ll be a lot more interested in his record and his policies than in whom he appoints as interim Senator.

    Does anyone know whether or not Barney Frank has said that he would run for the seat in June? If Frank is set on going back into retirement then we might be better served by having someone who would stick around.

  26. 26
    muddy says:

    @Maude: Gives a couple days for it to be all about Kerry before jumping into who’s next? The end of the week is only 2 days from tomorrow.

  27. 27
    redshirt says:

    I wish Frank would actually run for the seat. We need Democratic firebrands who give no shits about Republican fee-fees.

  28. 28
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Keith:

    Recovering from failed surgery to remove a blood clot (which led to me having to have catheter port #3 installed in my chest).

    Of course as a Real Red Blooded American you shot your doctor, right?

    A speedy recovery to you.

  29. 29
    danielx says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    Mixture of all the above. I knew guys like that when they were just starting out back in the day when the Kokomo factories were basically large scale detox facilities – you know, so they’d have to pass at least three days a week reasonably sober. Quit the weekend partying after Monday night, start getting tuned for the weekend on Thursday night. It wasn’t an unusual thing to see four guys go out in a car at lunchtime, buy a case of beer and knock off most of it before they went back to work…not wholly by coincidence, all the Big Three were building some really shitty cars at that time, design- and quality-wise. Couldn’t really blame them, if I’d had to build some of the cars Chrysler was producing back then I’d have been a serious substance abuser too. Kokomo had a serious problem with crack a few years back, and every town in the state has problems with meth now.

    Nowadays, they’re more sober and build a lot better products. But yeah, it’s an Indiana factory town and they like to look like badasses, and some of them are. All UAW guys, but a lot of them vote Republican – go figure.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That would be a real free market solution, indeed. Surgeon fucks up, you shoot him. Eventually there’ll be just good surgeons.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    @geg6:

    I have not heard a soul suggest anyone BUT Barney. And I, personally, don’t give a shit if Patrick’s feefees are hurt by the clamor to appoint Barney. Because it’s not about Deval Patrick. It’s about what is the right thing for the Democratic Party, the state of Massachusetts, and the country. Fuck Patrick’s preferences.

    Recent news story:

    Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz of Hawaii was appointed Wednesday to succeed the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
    __
    Inouye died Dec. 17 of respiratory complications at the age of 88. He had sent Abercrombie a letter that day, saying he would like Hanabusa, 61, to succeed him.
    __
    “Sen. Inouye conveyed his final wish to Gov. Abercrombie. While we are very disappointed that it was not honored, it was the governor’s decision to make,” Jennifer Sabas, Inouye’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “We wish Brian Schatz the best of luck.”

    It’s the governor’s call to make. If he doesn’t want Barney Frank, for whatever reason, nobody has any right to grouse about it.

  32. 32
    Maude says:

    @muddy:
    Usually the new SoS is sworn in right away. This isn’t right.

  33. 33
    Keith says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Thankfully, I don’t own any firearms, so the world is safe from my pain-induced rage. I am thankful for the fentanyl I got during the procedure, but for the last 6 hours, I was feeling like major crap with nothing to take for it.

  34. 34
    handsmile says:

    @geg6:

    What you said! And how!

    @lamh35:

    There was some support for Margaret Marshall, first woman to serve as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, who retired in 2010. The names of both Michael Dukakis (remember him?) and Victoria Kennedy, Senator Ted’s widow, were also bandied about though not likely by “progessives.”

    @Maude:

    You’re correct, my phrasing was imprecise. Gov, Patrick will be announcing tomorrow his selection for that appointment.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: He has said he doesn’t want a full term, and I think Patrick has said he wants to appoint someone who will only be a caretaker, not sure why, IIRC they did the same thing with Kennedy’s replacement, appointing a longtime Kennedy aide. MA tradition or part of the new law they wrote to get around Willard.

    The only names I heard were leaked by a close but ex-staffer of Patrick’s (so, FWIW) but they were pretty uninspiring, including a high level BOA executive, which seems almost a parodic attempt to ‘balance” Elizabeth Warren. Frank has pretty much said we need liberal firebrand in the Senate in the up-coming sequester debate to be the Dem point on defending the safety net, in the chamber and on TV, and I find his argument pretty persuasive. It sets a high bar for Patrick if he does go with someone else.

  36. 36
    drkrick says:

    Hilary resigned effective Friday, so there’s no vacancy until then.

  37. 37
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    and I’m happy for Kerry. I always liked him, like Al Gore he was just a really poor fit for modern politics. If he proves to be the climate hawk some are predicting as SOS, this could be a big fucking deal.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Keith: Morphine pumps rule. Too bad they crash my blood pressure. Enjoy it while you can and get better soon.

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I am so glad Kerry will be at State.
    He has stood up to a lot of hatred since he came home from the war.
    I understand now what you meant.

  40. 40
    Maude says:

    @drkrick:
    That makes no sense.

  41. 41
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    A caretaker? WTF? We’re already confronted with a not-majority majority in the Senate so it seems to me that giving the Democratic candidate in MA as much help as possible would be the wiser thing to do.

  42. 42
    handsmile says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Frank has already announced his support for Ed Markey, Congressman from northeastern Massachusetts since 1976. Markey is among the most progressive members in Congress on the issues of climate change and energy policy, and he is very good on telecommunications.

    Perhaps most importantly, he is well-positioned (and well-supported in-state) to send Scott “Cosmo” Brown to his second consecutive electoral defeat. With Barney Frank serving as interim Senator until June, Markey will be able to devote more time securing additional financial and political support for his campaign.

    N.B. There was a recent (Saturday or Sunday night) thread on this subject, probably posted by Anne Laurie but I can’t remember its title.

  43. 43
    Ben Franklin says:

    In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01.....&_r=0

    Kittehs?

  44. 44
    RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @danielx:

    I can’t speak for the old days but it’s like frikkin NASA here now. I almost got run down by a robot parts hauler but it saw me before I saw it. And they’re building a new 9 speed transmission. A NINE SPEED. The factory is really clean and safe. Had to watch two safety videos before they’d open the door. Sent me back out to get a hard hat. Already had my prescription shop goggles, ear plugs and steel toes on.
    You need an electrician or a pipefitter, one shows up on a 3-wheel bike with his tools & parts in the basket. I’d guess any losers and head cases didn’t make it past the pre-bailout staff reductions.

  45. 45
    kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Agreed. Even when I was watching him struggle to connect with Democrats in Ohio I got a sense that he knew what his “problem” was, and had a sense of humor about it. Humility is what it is, I think. He wasn’t completely convinced of his own fabulousness :)

  46. 46
    aimai says:

    @Brachiator:
    Of course we have a “right to grouse about it.” If not us, who?

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    @aimai:

    Of course we have a “right to grouse about it.” If not us, who?

    Hah. Point noted.

    All together, now:

    I’ve got a right to sing the blues
    Got a right to moan and sigh
    I’ve got a right to sit and cry
    Down along the river

  49. 49
    Anne Laurie says:

    @lamh35:

    I guess I’m the only one who thinks it’s unfair to Gov Patrick, who may have had another choice for interim Senator other than Frank, that now he’s going to be “pissing off progressives” if he does not appoint Frank.

    Due to the arcane no-backsies rules of Masshole politics, the Feb-thru-June slot was always labelled a “placeholder” before the actual election of a Kerry replacement. A strictly ceremonial ‘honor’ for a party elder, one more line on a distinguished resume.

    The first name I heard mooted — I’m not politically active, all I know is what I read — was former Justice Margeret Marshall, the lady responsible for making Masschusetts the first gay-marriage state. But she left the bench a couple years back, because her husband has Parkinson’s and she wanted to spend more time with him & less at the office. Maybe she would have taken the offer, but it’s not something she wanted in her life.

    Other potential choices were Mike Dukakis, who didn’t expect the offer, and Vicki Lawrence Kennedy, Teddy’s widow, who’s not politically active outside of tending the family legacy.

    Barney Frank, on the other hand, only got interested in the job as a short-term capper to his illustrious career… mostly because he wants to harrass the Repubs in the other house, for a change. He thinks, given the current Rep austerity-bombing intransigence, it would be better to have a committed Dem fighter in that seat, rather than someone who’s just a guaranteed vote for our side.

    Governor Patrick doens’t give up anything valuable by giving Barney the seat. If he has a protege in mind, he would be better off getting him/her to run in June… or in 2014, when the ‘winner’ will have to run all over again. I haven’t read about such an individual; the only reason I can see why Patrick wouldn’t appoint Frank is if he had a grudge against Frank (which I haven’t heard) or against progressives (which would be counter-productive for someone who’s already announced he’s leaving the governor’s office when his current term ends, presumably to run for a different office).

  50. 50
    Amanda says:

    @handsmile: Lots of good discussion here re: the latest in MA-Sen newsland…so I thought you (and others) might be interested in the latest batch of news (a busy news day here in the Commonwealth, God Save it!):

    Congressman Ed Markey campaign kickoff for US Senate this Saturday morning in his hometown of Malden, MA

    Senate special election primary April 30, general June 25

    Congressman Steve Lynch will announce his candidacy for Senate on Thursday, setting up a contentious primary for the Dem nomination

    Markey and Lynch have both agreed to the “People’s Pledge” to keep outside PAC spending out

    There’s been a lot of concern among some progressive activists in MA about Markey’s radio silence over the past few weeks and lack of website, etc. as well as a recent poll that showed Scott Brown ahead of him by 20 points. See this thread as one example:

    http://bluemassgroup.com/2013/.....-campaign/

    Markey’s going to have to work his ass off to win this if Brown runs. There are some folks who are glad there’s a primary, the thinking being that it will light a much needed fire under Markey and make him a stronger candidate for the general. I am to be honest a bit concerned about the primary since the schedule is so compressed, but we have no choice at this point. That said, Lynch is pretty conservative on many issues close to the hearts of progressives, so it’s unclear if he can win the Democratic nomination. If Lynch gets the nomination it would be very tough for a lot of Dems to vote for him (he’s anti-choice, voted against Obamacare, etc). My hope is that he and Markey have a spirited but not nasty primary so Markey goes into the general stronger. Fingers crossed.

    And a hearty congrats to John Kerry…and to my new senior Senator, Elizabeth Warren. :-)

  51. 51
    Origuy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Having Frank as the caretaker frees Markey or whomever to campaign full time. It’s not like four months or so in the Senate will give him the incumbent’s edge.

  52. 52
    Amanda says:

    Forgot to say: Fingers crossed for Barney Frank :-)

  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @RossinDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I’m in Tupelo, Mississippi for the night. So, with thanks for saving me the trouble:

    Still in Kokomo Tupelo. I have decided to stop saying snarky things about this place. For one thing, every single person I’ve met here has been unfailingly polite and cheerful to a cranky out of towner. Plus a lot of them appear to own firearms. But mostly the first thing.

    P.S. Tupelo has turned into quite the metropolis since the last time I was here — traffic jams and 45-minute wait at the best restaurant in town.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’m in Tupelo, Mississippi for the night

    How’s the honey in Tupelo?

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @geg6:

    I may have been one of the ten people in the entire US who was an enthusiastic supporter of his presidential run and who cried disconsolately that election night.

    Actually, you weren’t :-)

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    How’s the honey in Tupelo?

    Just like honey from the bee. Duh.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    @geg6:

    I may have been one of the ten people in the entire US who was an enthusiastic supporter of his presidential run and who cried disconsolately that election night. So great to see him take over State after Hilary. I think he’ll be just as awesome as she was in that office.

    Count me in that Band of Sisters — on both counts!

  58. 58
    Maude says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    That was a sad and dreadful night when Kerry lost. It meant four more years of Stupid.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    But̴ but…

    SWIFTBOAT!

    Purple Band-Aids!

    /snarkstalgia*

    *Just now coined that. Think it may be a keeper. :)

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    If there is a silver lining to Kerry’s loss, it’s that he may not have been able to stave off Bush’s economic collapse. If that had happened on his watch, we might have had 20 years of solid GOP rule. /alternativehistory

  61. 61
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Yeah, this is great. Just dandy.

    Kerry advances his career and personal sense of power while increasing his future corporate value; Obama further weakens the already shaky position of the Dem Senate majority and gives Scott fucking Brown, of whom we just got rid, an excellent shot at retaking a Senate seat; and the people of Massachusetts, of whom I am one, who hired John Kerry for a specific term to do a specific job, can just generally fuck off.

    Yeah, you’re right. Winners all round.

    National Dems suck.

  62. 62
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Yeah, this is great. Just dandy.

    Kerry advances his career and personal sense of power while increasing his future corporate value; Obama further weakens the already shaky position of the Dem Senate majority and gives Scott fucking Brown, of whom we just got rid, an excellent shot at retaking a Senate seat; and the people of Massachusetts, of whom I am one, who hired John Kerry for a specific term to do a specific job, can just generally fuck off.

    Yeah, you’re right. Winners all round.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Maude:

    For me it was not only the reinforcement of the negative (four more years of stupid) but the rejection of the positive that was so distressing. To put it another way, I actively supported Kerry for his own sake, not simply because he was “not-Dubya.”

    In retrospect, of course, I might wish he had chosen another running mate — but then if Kerry-Edwards had prevailed, the Edwards saga might have taken quite a different, and happier, path (although maybe not for Elizabeth, FSM rest her).

  64. 64
    muddy says:

    I first noticed Bush talking the economy down in the summer of 2000. I used to shout at the tv, Don’t say it, it’s the talking about it that makes it come true! It erodes confidence and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy!

    I figured they had him do that because they knew he’d tank the economy and they wanted to pretend like he warned against it, when really he was cheerleading a forthcoming slump.

  65. 65
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @geg6:

    It’s about what is the right thing for the Democratic Party, the state of Massachusetts, and the country.

    Too bad Obama doesn’t agree with you. If he did, he wouldn’t have nominated Kerry to begin with.

    We live in a plutocracy and the plutocrats do what is best for THEM.

  66. 66
    Ruckus says:

    @Bruce S:
    I hope they are not forgotten. That’s how assholes slip in, too many have forgotten what happened the last time they elected assholes.

  67. 67
    Gravenstone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Might make Republicans rethink their knee jerk opposition to malpractice suits, mightn’t it?

  68. 68
    TS says:

    @lamh35:

    It has been the CW that John Kerry would be SoS. So Deval Patrick has had time to think about who’d he’d choose if Kerry was confirmed. I guess I’m the only one who thinks it’s unfair to Gov Patrick, who may have had another choice for interim Senator other than Frank, that now he’s going to be “pissing off progressives” if he does not appoint Frank.

    Sorry I can’t answer your question – but with Barney Frank coming out initially against Chuck Hagel – I don’t think he would be a good choice – touting for the job doesn’t do much for me either.

  69. 69

    Patrick is not going to run for President. I’m pretty damn confident of that. I’d be delighted to be wrong, but I’m not feeling it.

    Also not feeling that he’s going to appoint Barney. He may go for a longer-term play, trying to get someone younger some exposure in a big-time position, maybe with an eye to 2014 Gov’s race.

    And he’s stubborn. He doesn’t like being told what to do — perhaps particularly not from Barney, who’s not the suavest guy around.

    I think he’ll make a good and defensible choice — but it’ll be his. This’ll be fun.

  70. 70
    J R in W Va says:

    Given that Senator Kerry was probably elected President 8 years ago but for illegal voting and counting activities by the very Republican Secretary of State for Ohio, I’m proud that he’s chosen to work even harder for his country than he already has.

    Congratulations to him for the promotion.

    Best of luck to him, he will need it, just as we all do. Probably one of the 2 or 3 hardest jobs in the world.

  71. 71
    handsmile says:

    @Amanda:

    It’s hours after you posted your comment and it’s likely you won’t be checking back here, but…

    Thanks very much for all the links on the upcoming Senate primary! I’ll now have to add bluemassgroup (clever name) to those blogs worth keeping an eye on.

    I am dismayed and frankly baffled by Lynch’s decision to pose a primary challenge to Ed Markey. Is he some kind of Massachusetts “Blue Dog” stalking horse (now that’s what I call a mixed metaphor!) for those who might be concerned that Markey would appear too liberal without some genuflection to more conservative values? I don’t understand what Lynch hopes to gain by this, except perhaps greater state visibility should he entertain gubernatorial ambitions in 2014. Of course, inflicting real damage on Markey in the primary would only benefit Brown and serve to antagonize state and national Democratic Party figures.

    Particularly if “Cosmo” Brown can present a serious threat (and I’ve read opinions ranging from your “Markey’s going to have to work his ass off to win” to “Brown’s toast, exposed now as a bully and a lightweight”), then I have to think that Markey would have a better prospect of victory in June without a primary campaign to distract attention and deplete funds. Or perhaps I’m simply misinformed that the state party apparatus and power brokers like Menino are already committed to Markey.

    I would certainly appreciate any illumination you could shed on all this. And how fortunate you are to have the inspirational Elizabeth Warren as your senior Senator! (With Chuck Schumer as mine, the benefits can seem a little more muddled.)

  72. 72
    Amanda says:

    @handsmile: Most welcome, definitely do check out BMG, it’s a great group of people :-)

    Not sure if I can provide much illumination (Charley up thread is much more in the know re: MA politics than I am) but here are a few thoughts…

    The thing about Brown is even though he ran a really obnoxious (mildest word I can use) campaign against Elizabeth Warren — and made people like me go from disliking him to intensely loathing him — somehow his favorable ratings are still pretty high in Mass. Sadly there are a lot of voters (and the media here) who’ve fallen hard for his everyman shtick and there are sadly many folks here who actually like his sexist/racist side. They also don’t seem to mind that he’s clearly a fairly dim bulb and he did next to nothing while in office except shill for Wall Street. Depressing…

    In some ways Lynch could be the best thing that happens to Markey — forcing him to dig deep rather than coasting — which has been the impression he’s left recently on many activists. At least this is my hope — bc the prospect of having to vote for Steve Lynch in the general is pretty awful, imo. And I worry Lynch could lose against Brown bc the Dem base would be fairly split/demoralized and there’s almost no time for post-primary mending of feelings/slights etc.

    All that said, if Elizabeth Warren unleashes her formidable volunteer/donor list on this fubar of a special election scenario — and Markey’s operation is savvy enough to take full advantage if it — then that could go a long way in a low turnout primary and general. Not sure if she will endorse in the primary (she may not), but she certainly will back the Dem nominee to the hilt, I would assume.

    It’s going to be an eventful Spring…

    Cheers

  73. 73
    Amanda says:

    @Charley on the MTA: Well you were spot on re: the interim appointment. Sigh…

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