As long expected, today President Obama has nominated Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to the Secretary of State position which is soon-to-be vacated by Hillary Clinton. Kerry has had a long and distinguished career in the Senate and even though there will be a special election to fill Kerry’s seat which could create headaches for the Democratic Party.
But Kerry does deserve the spot of the nation’s top diplomat. He’s been clamoring for it for a while and his heroism in Vietnam was almost desecrated by right-wing attack groups.
In his nomination presser, which just happened within the past five minutes, Kerry was praised by Obama for his credentials and Obama also touted the fact that Kerry chose him to speak as the keynote at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama also touted the role John Kerry played in his debate prep as he portrayed Mitt Romney in practice sessions.
Nonetheless, the appointment of Kerry won’t exactly send shockwaves throughout the Beltway but outside of Kerry; the happiest person in the world could very well be Scott Brown.
Brown, the soon-to-be former Senator, is already plotting his political comeback and Kerry’s seat is clearly the one that he pines for. But Democrats should be genuinely worried?
If Deval Patrick holds to the same form he did after the death of Ted Kennedy, he will likely tab a temporary Senator that will hold the seat until the special election. Most speculation has swirled around either former Governor and 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, Vicki Kennedy or even retiring Rep. Barney Frank.
When the special election takes the plunge we can likely expect Reps. Ed Markey, Mike Capuano and Stephen Lynch to throw their hat in the ring. Remember John Kerry and Ted Kennedy served Massachusetts since 1985. Since then there’s been plenty of rising Massachusetts Democrats who had to agonizingly wait their turn as the two liberal icons became institutions in the state.
Now the Massachusetts delegation will be led by Elizabeth Warren who won her first election that she ran in November. Talk about change.
But for Democrats, the possibility of Senator Scott Brown (again) has to create headaches. While he is popular, Massachusetts still has a blue tint and remember Brown partially (and some would say totally) won due to the poor campaigning of AG Martha Coakley. If Markey is the nominee, you’d have to think that the race would tighten up as progressive groups would rally around the Representative and his name became more well-known at the state level.
Still, the race is to be run and this is going to take a couple of months to sort out.