William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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HOW CAN WE SURVIVE? – AT 12:07 P.M. ET:  One of the main questions in political parlor games right now is: Who will grab John Kerry's Senate seat in Massachusetts once Kerry is confirmed as secretary of state?

On the Republican side, there is an assumption that Scott Brown, who recently lost his Senate seat to flake-in-chief Elizabeth Warren, will run again.  That may or may not be so, as Brown might have his eye on the governorship.  If I were him, I'd lean that way.  If he makes another Senate run, he may be seen, unfairly, as a retread.

The action is on the Democratic side, where any number of mediocrities are available.  I was shocked, shocked, to find that two giants of politics, actor Ben Affleck and Ted Kennedy Jr., have dropped out.  I don't know what America will do without their service in the Senate.  There is also talk of Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki, but there are reports that she lacks the fire.  The Kennedy family is running out of prospects who aren't in some kind of trouble.

The major figure to watch is the governor Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.  He is African-American, a close pal of President Obama, and someone Obama would like to see on the national scene.  It is expected that Patrick will name a placeholder to Kerry's seat, someone who won't run in the special election for the post, which will be held later.  Will Patrick himself run?  It's possible.  If he wins, and he'd be heavily favored in Democratic Massachusetts, he could claim a place on the 2016 Democratic national ticket, as a former governor and current senator.  He could even wind up as a competitor to Hillary Clinton, which Obama would enjoy.

December 25, 2012