Surprisingly enough, Michael Dukakis apparently doesn’t want to upend his schedule for the next few months to play placeholder for a bunch of Democratic Senate hopefuls. He waved off rumors that he’d accept a temporary appointment to the seat until a special election is convened, in an interview with WBZ-TV yesterday (h/t HotAir):
Former Gov. Michael Dukakis says he will not be a candidate for appointment as interim senator should Sen. John Kerry resign to accept appointment as Secretary of State.
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. Dukakis also said he had not been contacted by the governor’s office in regard to a possible appointment.
The Hill reports that Governor Deval Patrick may appoint Michael Dukakis to Senator John Kerry’s seat if Kerry is nominated for secretary of state. Choosing Dukakis as a temporary placeholder until the special election isn’t a bad idea. He’s a trusted figure in state Democratic circles, and, even better, he doesn’t appear to have long-term ambitions for the seat. That’s a huge benefit since Patrick doesn’t want to appoint anyone who would run in the special election, according to The Hill:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, may be headed back to the political spotlight as he’s considered a likely interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
President Obama is set to tap Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, according to media reports.
This means Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) needs to find someone to fill Kerry’s seat until a special election can be held in the late spring or early summer. …
The Democratic primary for Kerry’s seat will be intense and Patrick is expected to tap someone as an interim replacement who would promise not to run in the special election.
Though there has been no official announcement, it appears John Kerry will be nominated to serve as the next secretary of state. This isn’t surprising, and one of the reasons newspapers feel so confident reporting it is that there have been no other names mentioned seriously for the post since conventional wisdom solidified around Susan Rice and Kerry as the two main choices. (Earlier in the process there were indeed other names floated, but the same process that brought down Rice’s shot at the post elevated Kerry.)
The question, then, is not who will be nominated but why there isn’t any such question. One answer is that President Obama had a clear first choice–Rice–and never intended to use her understudy. Kerry’s name was bandied about as an easier way to flatter the longtime senator. Since Kerry was always the bridesmaid but never the bride, having been passed over for this position before, it would have seemed cruel to make him compete for second place. Like a football team that goes into a game with only two activated quarterbacks and then loses its starter, the second-string quarterback gets the ball without much fuss. But that raises another question, posed by Yochi Dreazen in the Washington Post: Why would the Democrats have so few options in the first place?