No sooner had President Obama made his long-awaited appointment of John Kerry as secretary of state than the early speculation and maneuvering began over the Senate seat the Massachusetts Democrat has held for 28 years.
‚??Scott is certainly looking at it,‚?Ě Rob Wellington, a top consultant to outgoing Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) told Human Events shortly before Obama made the appointment official at the White House. Elected in a nationally-watched special election in January of 2010 to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), moderate GOPer Brown was unseated last month by former Obama administration official Elizabeth Warren.
But the senator remains popular with grass-roots Republicans throughout the Bay State and had been thought to be a strong candidate for governor when Democratic incumbent DeVal Patrick’s term runs out in 2014. But Wellington and others close to him say Brown will now make the race for the other Senate seat from Massachusetts. If successful, Brown would be the first senator defeated for re-election to go on to win his state‚??s other Senate seat since Washington State Republican Slade Gorton lost re-election in 1986 and returned to the Senate in ‚??88.
The name that comes to Democratic lips quickly is that of Kennedy. The late senator‚??s widow Vickie has been mentioned, as has his oldest son Edward, Jr. (who actually lives in Branford, Connecticut and runs a New York-based financial services company but could claim his summer home in Hyannisport as a residence should he decided to run).
After the Kennedys, the ‚??usual suspects‚?Ě‚??well-known politicians‚??are mentioned for the Democratic standard in the special election to be held later this year for Kerry‚??s seat. Among them are State Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost the nationally-watched special election to Brown two years ago, 36-year Rep. Ed Markey, and State Sen. Ben Downing‚??all committed liberals in the mold of Kerry (lifetime ACU rating: 5 percent).
Another figure, little-known except among political insiders, nonetheless gets increasing mention as a Democratic hopeful. David Simas, director of opinion research for President Obama‚??s re-election campaign, is considered an excellent speaker and is well-connected enough to raise the funds to be a formidable candidate. The 42-year-old Simas is a longtime adviser to Gov. Patrick and has played much the same role in Patrick‚??s career as John Connally did for Lyndon Johnson before successfully running for governor of Texas in 1962.
Under state law, Gov. Patrick would appoint a senator to fill the vacant Senate seat as soon as Kerry resigns and that a special election would most likely be held by May of 2013. Bay State sources expect he will tap a ‚??caretaker‚?Ě senator who would not run in the special election and the most-oft heard candidate being, like Kerry, a past Democratic nominee for president: Michael Dukakis, former three-term governor and 1988 Democratic nominee against George H.W. Bush.