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Leading Off:

MA-Sen: I guess the games can finally begin: On Friday afternoon, Barack Obama formally nominated Sen. John Kerry as Secretary of State, to replace Hillary Clinton. If Kerry's confirmed by the Senate, then Gov. Deval Patrick will appoint a temporary replacement; a special election to fill Kerry's seat (including a primary) will take place later this year. The seat will then be up for grabs once more in 2014, for the next full six-year term.

Speculation about potential appointments and special election candidates has already run rampant, but let's see if Kerry actually gets the job. Given what already happened to Susan Rice and what's happening now to Chuck Hagel—and just given what the modern Republican Party looks like—I'd say his confirmation is no sure thing. Of course, the GOP may decide not to put up a fight simply to give soon-to-be-ex-Sen. Scott Brown a crack at winning back a Senate seat. We'll soon see.

Of course, none of these "ifs" has stopped the Great Mentioner from spinning up into an even more manic gear than before. Fortunately, the Cook Political Report's Jennifer Duffy has already done a very good job of rounding up the main names that have been circulating:

On the Democratic side, there are two Kennedys mentioned: Ted Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Senator, and Vicki Kennedy, the Senator's widow. Ted Kennedy, Jr. is thought to be more interested in the seat than Vicki Kennedy is. His challenge is that he currently lives in Connecticut where he owns a health care consulting firm. Other potential candidates include: U.S. Reps. Michael Capuano, Stephen Lynch, and Ed Markey; Attorney General and 2010 special election nominee Martha Coakley; state Treasurer Steve Grossman; U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz; Newton Mayor Setti Warren; state Sen. Benjamin Downing; City Year co-founder and 2010 special election primary candidate Alan Khazei, attorney and 2012 Senate candidate Marisa DeFranco; and activist Bob Massie. Former Rep. Marty Meehan has said that he will not be a candidate. [...]

On the Republican side, soon-to-be-former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown leads the list of potential nominees. Brown famously won the 2010 special election to replace Sen. Kennedy, but lost the general election is November to Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, 46 percent to 53 percent. Other names mentioned include: Charles Baker, the former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and 2010 gubernatorial nominee; former state Sen. Richard Tisei, the party's nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 and in the 6th congressional district in 2012; former Gov. and 1996 Senate nominee Bill Weld; and state Rep. Daniel Winslow.

Then there's also the matter of the temporary appointment. Gov. Deval Patrick previously said he expects to tap a placeholder who won't run in the special election, saying "it's hard for me to imagine how you could serve in the Senate for a four-month period and also run a statewide campaign in a four-month period and do both of them well." One possibility: retiring Rep. Barney Frank, who says he wouldn't rule out a brief stint as senator if Patrick were to tap him. But we'll undoubtedly be hearing plenty more speculation on this front in the coming weeks.

Senate:

KY-Sen: Is Mitch McConnell playing with fire? On Thursday, I wondered why he'd release internal poll numbers showing himself up just 47-43 over actress Ashley Judd, after his own campaign squealed like mad about identical results from PPP just a week earlier. I mean, those are crummy numbers no matter who comes up with them, so why put them out there? Well, Josh Kraushaar speculates that McConnell is trying to rope-a-dope Judd into the race, saying that unnamed "McConnell insiders" privately are "rooting Judd on, convinced her liberal views would make her a sitting duck in such a conservative state."

Okay, I guess I could believe it, as far as it goes. But there's a huge problem with this theory: If you're trying to con someone into running against you—picking you opponent, Harry Reid-style—you can't alert them to the con! Yet that's exactly what these supposed insiders have done, by chatting up Kraushaar and then by releasing some additional results following negative message testing (Judd "lives in Scotland" and believes the "era of the coal plant is over," etc.) that give McConnell a 56-36 edge instead.

You don't put out data like that to sucker someone in—you put out data like that to frighten someone off! So either the McConnell campaign has no idea what it's doing (which figures, since this is probably what they teach at Republican Campaign Manager School), or they think they're playing some kind of deep game by trying to mess with Judd's mind. But this certainly ain't no rope-a-dope as Ali would have recognized it.

NJ-Sen: While Cory Booker rather transparently tried to make it seem like he wasn't hoping to shove Frank Lautenberg out the door with his announcement on Thursday that he's "exploring" a run for Senate, and while Lautenberg's camp responded with equanimity at first, it looks like that brief moment of détente may already be fraying. On Twitter, Lautenberg joined those hammering NRA chief Wayne LaPierre for his widely-panned public statement on Friday, while Booker reacted by saying: "Can't agree with much NRA head is saying right now BUT yes, I agree lets improve fed background checks for those mentally unfit to buy guns." That prompted Lautenberg to fire back: "Nothing they spew should be validated." Be curious to see where this all goes.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, entirely predictably, is backing Lautenberg for re-election, explaining: "I always support incumbent senators." Of course, he's saying that publicly; who knows what, if any, behind-the-scenes maneuvering is going on.

Gubernatorial:

AR-Gov: That was quick: A day after a report came out suggesting that Democrats might try to recruit outgoing Rep. Mike Ross to run for governor despite his repeated statements that he won't, Ross is saying... that he won't. Some unnamed Dems apparently hoped to get Ross back in the game after frontrunner Dustin McDaniel revealed he'd had an affair. But McDaniel, the state AG, is staying put, and so is Ross.

IL-Gov: Can someone tell me why this story has started making news all over again? Back in November, former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley said he was considering a run in the Democratic primary against Gov. Pat Quinn... and now he's again saying the same thing but has managed to wring a whole new round of news coverage despite their being no new news. Ordinarily, I might chalk it up to it being a slow time of year news-wise, but with the fiscal cliff and Newtown tragedy, I don't think you can say it is. Anyhow, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, too.

NC-Gov: This is a little outside our normal scope, since it's more governmental than electoral, but it's amazing enough that it merits a mention here: North Carolina's new Republican governor-elect, Pat McCrory, has just named wealthy conservative activist Art Pope as his "top budget-writer." To analogize, this would be like President Romney naming David Koch as his OMB director—Pope is simply a homebrew Koch bro focused largely on poisoning North Carolina rather than the nation as a whole. When we talk about elections having consequences, hoo boy—this is exactly what we mean.

RI-Gov: Strike another name off the list for the GOP: Businessman Barry Hinckley, who got pounded by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse last month, says he has no interest in running for governor in 2014.

House:

SC-01: This would be too much fun: According to unnamed sources, South Carolina's The State reports ex-Gov. Mark Sanford is "90 percent certain to run" in the 1st District special election that will be necessitated by Rep. Tim Scott's elevation to the Senate following Jim DeMint's expected resignation next month. Even more amazing is the possibility that Sanford's ex-wife Jenny could also run in the Republican primary, and as unlikely as that is, it would be so amazing that I might actually have to expend a little mental energy rooting for it. One interesting side-note: Sanford still has $100K left over in a federal campaign account from the last time he ran for re-election to Congress, over a decade ago. And I'd really love to see him win, since he's exactly the kind of dystopian wrecker who would make life absolutely miserable for John Boehner. Bring it on!

Grab Bag:

Babka: In case you missed it, Jeff just posted the results of the Daily Kos Elections 2012 predictions contest. Congratulations to our winner, StephenCLE, who nailed 36 of 40 races, narrowly beating out two others on the tiebreaker question to earn the babka! Click through to see how you did!

Census: The Census Bureau is out with their new state-by-state 2012 population estimates, the second such update we've gotten since the full-blown 2010 census which was used to reapportion the House of Representatives. Here's a Google Doc of the main chart with each state's population figures; I've appended the 2011-12 growth rate in the far-right column. (You can also explore the bureau's complete datasets, as well as all sorts of maps.) The fastest increase over the last year belongs to North Dakota, at 2.17 percent, thanks to the booming oil industry in the western part of the state, with Washington, DC, interestingly enough, very close behind. (Here's a good news report on what North Dakota's growth has looked like.) At the other end, Vermont and Rhode Island were the only two states that saw population decreases.

Meanwhile, Real Clear Politics' Sean Trende decided to have some fun with these new numbers, extrapolating out recent growth rates using a few different models to see how reapportionment might play out in 2020. For those who follow demographic trends, the winners and losers are pretty predictable, though notably, looking just at 2010 to 2012 growth, New York would not lose a seat (whereas it would under Trende's other scenarios). Of course, as Trende acknowledges, it's awful early to predict what will happen at the next census, but he notes that by 2003, we already had a decent sense of what 2010 would look like, so these projections can offer some meaning.

WATN?: Hah hah! Just as predicted! Soon-to-be-ex-Rep. Chip Cravaack is getting set to bail on his nominal home state of Minnesota following his loss last month to Democrat Rick Nolan and head off for the mountains of New Hampshire. During the campaign, Cravaack's commitment to the Land of 10,000 Lakes was repeatedly questioned because his wife, who works in Boston, decamped for the northeast, taking their two children. Assuming Cravaack joins them, which sounds likely, that means he definitely won't seek a rematch against Nolan in 2014.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know some are not Ted Kennedy, Jr. fans but I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IM, JBraden

    think he'd be a good choice. Aside from name rec. he lives in a nearby state, also with I believe a residence in the Hyannis Compound (hey, that's more of a residence then Romney's unfurnished cellar in a son's house), and he has been a U. S. House Rep.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:11:52 AM PST

    •  Patrick Kennedy (11+ / 0-)

      was a US House Rep, Teddy Jr. was not.

    •  Why not just revert back to (6+ / 0-)

      the hereditary aristocracies of Europe? Considering someone a "good choice" simply because of who their relatives are/were is an idea that has been tried and failed. The Kennedy "mystique" is a bunch of bull.

      •  If Ted Jr.'s dad had been a dentist, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snazzzybird

        people wouldn't whine about a monarchy if he decided to go into dentistry.  Why should politics be any different?  Fact is, those born into political families have the advantage of having grown up knowing how the game is played, just as the children of restaurateurs, dry cleaners or doctors have a leg up in those pursuits.  The Kennedys have played this game for several generations now, quite successfully, and Ted had the advantage of growing up in the business.

        More importantly, Ted Jr. appears to have inherited the single most important quality a politician can possess: likeability.  More than any in his generation (with the possible exception of Joe), the guy seems to have personal charisma and charm.  Assuming there aren't any really scary skeletons in his closet (cuz seriously, why hasn't he gotten into the game by now?), he seems, based on his somewhat limited public appearances to date, to be a political animal.

        •  Hmm, do you think that could possibly be because (0+ / 0-)

          politicians actually have POLITICAL POWER, and dentists don't? Seriously, what a completely ridiculous comparison.

          Plus, dentists (and virtually all non-politician professions) do not attain their positions by dint of a popular vote. The name recognition element matters much more in politics than it does most other places, which I agree is harmful to the process.

        •  Being a dentist is honorable and doesn't give you (0+ / 0-)

          any particular power over other people's lives.

          It really is not the same thing.  A dentist earns a degree and gets a license.  A politician running on his family name has no more credentials than you or me.  Except his name.  Or hers, Madam Secretary.

          We need lots of dentists.  We only have 100 senators.  Give other people a chance.

    •  As a rule (0+ / 0-)

      I generally oppose blatant carpetbagging. Even when that Carpetbagging is just in a neighboring state. It's bad press, and gives a legitimate line of attack.

    •  Please, no more Kennedys (0+ / 0-)

      We do not live in a monarchy.  We are not supposed to have hereditary political dynasties.  I don't care if Ted Jr. Is the second coming of JFK.  I want new families to take their turns.

      Same reason I'm not for Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush.  The precedent is really dangerous.

    •  He's not running. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99
  •  I think we can assume Kerry is confirmed, he'll be (0+ / 0-)

    cheering his own hearing, right? :)

    i'm actually curious as to how that works, i guess Menendez will become chair before then.

  •  It will be interesting to hear from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    DKos folks from Massachusetts on how that Senate race plays out.  

    'Am wondering if Ted Kennedy, Jr. decides to run, would that spur Scott Brown to run or dissuade him?  Is Ted Jr. felt by Massachusetts Democrats to be "of the Commonwealth," or would be be felt to be an outsider?  The polling on this might be worth a look.  

    The potential Democratic primary field there looks a lot more attractive than the GOP primary field.  I don't want to try on any red shoes.  Send me several pairs of the blue ones, though.

  •  If I recall correctly Obama Campaign sitting (4+ / 0-)

    on a lot of cash and Kerry has a big re-election fund.  Both better commit to heavily fund the Dem candidate in the special or we may well see a repeat of the last special election in MA.  Of course, someone who knows how to campaign for office would also help.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 05:22:01 AM PST

  •  Ted Jr. (6+ / 0-)

    Nice guy but with no experience and I'm sure would be considered a carpetbagger by many

    His cousin Joe Kennedy won a house seat easily but he has paid his dues.  Always lived in the state and served as county attorney in two counties.

    I don't know who I want but I think we can find a stronger candidate. I hope the Warren ground campaign that I worked on will resurrect itself for this race because it will be needed.

  •  Capuano and Markey (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, majcmb1, stevenaxelrod, betelgeux

    need to get together and work out which one of them is running. Otherwise we'll have a vote split and we might get Lynch as a candidate, or even worse, Coakley again.

    Is there anything personal between those two guys? Or is it just the usual everyone-wants-it ambition?

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:12:02 AM PST

  •  Sen Barney Frank would be awesome (16+ / 0-)

    Even just for a few months

    "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Nespolo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:32:23 AM PST

  •  Ashley Judd (6+ / 0-)

    is definitely on the right side of the mountain top removal issue and would get my vote for that reason alone. McConnell would be the recipient of big jack from the coal industry which just finished burying Ben Chandler despite the fact there's not an active mountain top removal site in his district. Less than 1% of Kentuckians are now employed by the coal industry but it would be an uphill battle for Judd; nevertheless, it's way past time Democrats here got with the program on environmental issues in general.

    Being toadies of the coal companies has worked so well for Democrats they're down to one Congressman, Yarmuth from Louisville, in the congressional delegation. The statewide base that's left is increasingly less religious and more progressive which will make it more difficult for Democrats to get elected acting like Republicans on environmental issues. So hey, why not give Judd a chance if she wants to lock horns with McConnell.  

  •  Connecticut resident for Mass. Senator? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    R30A, OGGoldy, Nespolo

    Why would the Democrats nominate someone from another state to run for U.S. Senator in Massachusetts?  I just don't get it.  Ted Kennedy Jr lives in Connecticut, not Massachusetts.

    When the Dem nominee defeated GOP Rep Chip Cravaack (MN-8) in Minnesota on Nov 6, the Dems used the argument that Cravaack was no longer from Minnesota and was a carpetbagger.  [Cravaack's wife had taken a job in Boston and moved with the 2 kids to New Hampshire, so the Democrats argued in the campaign that Cravaack was no longer really a Minnesota resident - he was a carpetbagger.]

    Heck, when someone runs for Congress who happens to live in a different Congressional District in the same state, in almost all cases the candidate moves his or her home to be within the Congressional District lines, so the "carpetbagger" argument cannot be used against the candidate in the election.

    Running someone from out of state has to be Scott Brown's favorite option.  Just as KY Sen Mitch McConnell is trying to bait the Dems to nominate liberal Ashley Judd, Scott Brown and his people must be hoping the Massachusetts Democrats nominate Connecticut resident Ted Kennedy, Jr.

    !!! Maybe PPP should do some polling on whether voters are more likely or less likely to vote for or against a Senate nominee who lives in another state.

    •  Someone from another state for Senate (5+ / 0-)

      Um, Hilary Clinton comes to mind. RFK is another example. Both were good candidates.

      I don't think a Kennedy who lives in another state would be a problem, but I'm not from Massachusetts, so I don't speak for them. I think there would be no doubt that the Kennedy family is devoted to Massachusetts.

      I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

      My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

      by pucklady on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:43:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NY voters accepted that; other states' voters not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM

        I doubt that practice of running a famous person who lives out of state would work in too many other states besides New York.  I cannot conceive of Pennsylvania voters electing someone who is not genuinely a Pennsylvanian.

        North Carolina voters ousted Sen. Libby Dole when she ran for reelection in 2008 when it was disclosed that in the 5 years of her Senate term she had returned to North Carolina from her home in the Watergate complex in DC only a handful of times. The Democrats claimed Dole was a carpetbagger - not really a North Carolinian - and based on that and other issues, they whupped her handily.

        Has anyone heard Teddy Junior make a speech?  Remember how AWFUL Caroline Kennedy sounded when she was being considered as Sen. Hillary Clinton's replacement.  Caroline has many fine qualities, but public speaking is not one of them.  Is he quick on his feet, or wooden like a Mitt Romney?

  •  Ted Jr. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo, wishingwell, tari, JBraden

    Was born in Massachusetts unlike Scotty.  He is smart and perceived as a nice guy.  I think he would excite the liberal base which we need in a special election.  

    I am worried about Lynch winning the nomination by default - I wouldn't vote for Lynch if he won the nomination.  I don't want a social conservative Senator - I'd rather wait till 2014 and hope we could get a real Democrat in there.

  •  Barney! (10+ / 0-)

    The first 4 months of the 2013 session will see a lot of action, I think.  Barney would be in there punching.  

  •  Tell you what. (7+ / 0-)

    I live in Mass and I need a job. I'll take a four-month stint as placeholder so I can keep looking for tech jobs.

    Email is in my profile, Governor.

  •  Attention NRA members: (8+ / 0-)

    Santa is on his way. Please do not shoot the fat guy in a red suit sliding down your chimney with presents on his back.  He may not have visited my house yet!

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:46:55 AM PST

    •  But, Red State Santa carries two AK-47s (0+ / 0-)

      and has his reindeer armed with specially sharpened antlers.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:50:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I used to be a member of the NRA (0+ / 0-)

      most gun owners are not crazy people, FYI. It's a Fe bad apples that make most of us gun owners look bad.

      Oh, and I left the NRA because I didn't agree with some of their political positions, not because I gave up on hunting and trap shooting.

  •  Happily for me, I don't live in Massachusetts. (0+ / 0-)

    I would conceivably face the choice of voting for Markey or staying home and not voting at all, something I've never done.

    I would hope that the nominee is anyone else.

    His scientific ignorance is legion.

  •  Trende is what passes for intelligent analysis on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, JBraden

    the right. He seems to think that the population gain by red states is good for his side.

  •  Kerry Nomination is a Slam Dunk (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, tari, IM, JBraden

    No doubt about it.

    " ...but let's see if Kerry actually gets the job. Given what already happened to Susan Rice and what's happening now to Chuck Hagel — and just given what the modern Republican Party looks like — I'd say his confirmation is no sure thing."
    Hey, the United States Senate is the quintessential Old Boy crowd. There is zero chance that long-time Senator John Forbes Kerry (at 27 years and five terms, he is the tenth most senior Senator) will not get confirmed. His hearing will be a love in. After all, up 'til now, he's been chair of the Committee. On the floor, Republicans will climb over themselves to say great things about him. That will not be for the crass reason they want the MA set for ex-Senator Scott the Brown. (That was a very key reason for piling on Ambassador Rice, but not now, not to obstruct One of Their Own.) No, the GOP will cluster about John Kerry because he has served, he is one of them.

    Oh sure, the Senate GOPpers will harumpf about making sure we never have another the Benghazi disaster (Hah! Like terrorism in all our locations around the world is preventable.). How strong a military the State Department needs to use its diplomatic leverage well. (Hog wash.) How vital such-and-so interest is.

    But as for Senator Kerry himself, nothing but slathering praise and a very fast track to confirmation.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 06:57:22 AM PST

    •  I think Kerry will get a pass, too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nespolo, JBraden

      but I do think this will at least come into play a bit:

      Of course, the GOP may decide not to put up a fight simply to give soon-to-be-ex-Sen. Scott Brown a crack at winning back a Senate seat.
      Republicans are dreaming of repeating 2010 in 2014 and re-taking the Senate.

      Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

      by bear83 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:30:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, a good ol' boys club (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99

      So that's why ex-Sen. Chuck Hagel is sailing through? Why ex-Sen. Tom Daschle is HHS Secretary now?

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:57:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point taken, though Daschle ducked taxes and... (0+ / 0-)

        ... Hagel has apparently disillusioned the Jewish community.

        Daschle's rather egregious nonpayment of Federal income taxes was a tough challenge to survive, although I grant you that Kerry's early failure to belly up to sales/use taxes on his $7 million yacht purchase edges on that problem. (I'm thinking millionaires duck sales taxes by offshoring purchases at least as often as travelers abroad, if not more, so there may be less stigma associated with that.)

        As for Hagel, it looks to me like the Israel lobby has sharpened its knives against him. It doesn't take much to agitate that crowd. Failing to anoint whoever is the prime minister with the label "man of peace" - no matter how much he's favored building settlements in disputed territory - is enough to do it.

        Chuck Hagel is a moderate, yet one who seems to piss off both Democrats and Republicans. Go figure. Kerry, on the other hand, is a Democrat, so it may well be that the Senate Republicans won't fault him for his politics and he hasn't made enemies in a leadership position like Daschle did.

        I still think Kerry's confirmation will be a slam dunk, despite being a podium for the Republicans to find foreign policy failures. I'd let him take all the fire the McCains of the Senate want to aim at him and if he flounders, the President must call on Colin Powell "for the good of the country." Let McCain and his naysayers tell us Powell shouldn't have said what he was briefed to say!

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:46:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another thing ... Gov. Patrick, "a placeholder"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, bear83, JBraden

    Ye Gods, that was Mistake No. 1 that brought us Scott Brown. True, we were all mourning the passing of Senator Kennedy. Perhaps it was meet and right then to instal a "placeholder" who evinced his memory. Then ...

    ... But please, Governor Patrick, not this time. Do not do your statesmanlike placeholder trick now. You are a Democrat. Keeping both MA Senate seats Democratic is very important. You can be a political animal as well as a statesman, at the same time.The next four months are only four months of a two-year cycle, and an election that will happen again in 2014. Senate campaigns for re-election are always underway two years early; what the hell is four months in that context?

    It will be one continuous election.
    Tap someone:

    (1) known - it's an off-off year election, right?,

    (2) who actually likes campaigning - rather than avoids handshakes like Queen Elizabeth and takes a vacation with only weeks to go,

    (3) who is a Democrat, who Mayor Menino can endorse at the get go, and get out his troops for - unlike the tepid reaction to the second last MA Senate candidate and his extraordinarily delayed response to the most recent one,

    (4) is actually electable - enough said on that.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:16:49 AM PST

  •  How about Robert Reich? I know that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, betelgeux

    ...he's been teaching in CA, but I assume he still maintains a residence in MA.

    I was a Reich delegate when he ran for Governor in 2002, and I would be delighted to support him for the Senate.

    NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

    by Obama Amabo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:17:10 AM PST

    •  Another professor? (0+ / 0-)

      Don't get me wrong.  I love college professors, and have been known to practice that occupation myself.  But I'd hate to give Scotty another opportunity to spit "Professor..." at every turn.

      "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Nespolo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:32:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  class warfare (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nespolo, JBraden

        Yeah, he played the class warfare card incessantly, and effectively. It's all he had. There are plenty of people in "liberal" Massachusetts who fall for the same anti-intellectual, defend-the-1%-at-all-costs three card monte as those in Kentucky.

        That's one reason I like Capuano. He's not just a real progressive, he's a street fighter from Someville and would brook no shit from Brown.

      •  Um - how'd that work out for him last time? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

        by Obama Amabo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:37:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, David. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook, David Nir, JBraden

    I wonder how many others there are like me who receive your Daily Digest in e-mail. Enjoy reading it on e-mail and don't come back to DK to thank you for an interesting read.

    Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your "babka" analysis - delicious and cheerful; chock full of interesting detail, yet light  and easy to digest!

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:25:58 AM PST

  •  Barney Frank for Senate gets me excited!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Not just temporary, but as the real thing. Plus, he would win against Scott Brown just like Warren did!

  •  if we really are jsut talking placeholder then (0+ / 0-)

    either Barney or Vicki are the most logical.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:40:05 AM PST

  •  No Pundit Roundup this AM? (0+ / 0-)

    Stupid holidays!

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:41:36 AM PST

  •  NC-Gov - Pope Appointment an Eye-opener (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IM, KingofSpades, David Nir
    North Carolina's new Republican governor-elect, Pat McCrory, has just named wealthy conservative activist Art Pope as his "top budget-writer."
    Pat McCrory was viewed by some in NC as a 'moderate' Republican, based on his time as mayor of Charlotte, and won some votes because of it. With the Pope appointment, I know some voters already regret their choice.

    Republicans have a super-majority in both houses of the legislature, so there's not a lot McCrory could have done to stop them from the crazy train they'll be on the next 2 years. But the appointment of Pope shows McCrory will be right in there with them, with Pope driving the crazy train.

    I hope NC Democrats get their shit together by 2016. McCrory's record, in combo with the TeaBagger legislature, will be unlike any Governor's record any living NC voter has ever seen.  

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:49:48 AM PST

  •  Morning roundup on Christmas Eve? (0+ / 0-)

    I figured even David Nir would take a holiday, even if not for religious reasons.

  •  Barney Frank for placeholder. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    I faxed a letter to Gov. Patrick suggesting that he ask Barney to fill that position. I pointed out that Barney probably isn't interested in a complete term, let alone another campaign. So, therefore he's perfect for the job.

    Phone calls and snail mail would probably be good, too.

  •  Summary, please? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't have the eyesight, time, or patience to read essays.

    I'd love to have a list of names with good, bad, neutral attached to them....and/or how likely they can get elected.

    Plus, it's never too soon to start writing letters to editors and donating money if ACTION will help.

    Media Contact Kit:
    http://www.fair.org/...

  •  i'm encouraged to hear that Barney Frank (0+ / 0-)

    is interested in being the placeholder.

    He said repeatedly he did not want to run for the seat but it would be cool to have him in the Senate even if just for a little while

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:14:08 AM PST

  •  Why we need to decide now, not in 2014. (0+ / 0-)

    If we were to collectively wait until 2014 and allow a primary at that point, and if Scott Brown was already holding that seat for 2 years, he would certainly have a leg up on his competition.  I realize that we already beat him once, but, he also beat us once too, and I'm sure he'd rather run in a midterm election (Obama's 6 year point, not historically a great election for an incumbent president).

    In addition, while a hard fought primary would certainly be preferable, certainly there is a progressive Democrat out there that we could all coalesce around.  I was intrigued by the mention of Robert Reich, for example, he is certainly telegenic and is well-connected, which is important for fundraising.  He is intelligent and not afraid to speak his mind.

    There are certainly others too.   None of the incumbent Massachusetts members of the US House have anything to lose in running in a special election, unless they totally bomb, and even Martha Coakley seems to have rebuilt herself.  

    At the end of the day, each side will put someone up, and only one person will win.  As political prognosticators, we will always pick every candidate apart, but, that is what we do here.  However, we can certainly find someone that will work hard and of course, since power in the US Senate comes from building up seniority and friendships, the sooner the new Senator gets to work, the sooner they can start making change.

  •  KY-Sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JBraden

    I personally think that Ashley Judd would be a good Senator, but in all honesty, I don't think she would be able to win in Kentucky. Normally, I'm all for nominating progressives instead of moderates, even if the progressives are more likely to lose. In this case, however, I think the Dems need every senate seat they can get and should run a winnable candidate, even if that candidate isn't totally progressive.

    I can think of lots of more winnable alternatives to Judd, like Bruce Lunsford (a veteran who narrowly lost to McConnell in 2008), Jack Conway (AG and 2010 Senate nominee), Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson (although I think he'd be more inclined to run for Governor in 2015) Sec. of State Alison Grimes, and former Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo.

    Sometimes, as much as it might hurt to do it, it helps to run a winnable moderate instead of an unwinnable progressive. Don't forget, KY IS a red state that is one of the largest coal producers in the country. 2014 is going to be tough for the Dems, and we need to win every seat we possibly can.

    Student, Proud Progressive, Science Nerd, and Skeptic. Born and raised in CT-03.

    by betelgeux on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:01:28 PM PST

  •  Just a comment on Hagel (0+ / 0-)

    This, for me, is becoming a test case for the administration.

    If Obama is cowed into not nominating Hagel, it will be final proof that a) tribal neocons dominate Middle East policy in this counry and b) Obama is a wimp.

    I really don't want to see that.  I'd have rather seen a Democrat's name floated first.  But at this point, getting Hagel installed at DoD has become a litmus test of whether our foreign and defense policy has a serious chance of being sane.

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