Yesterday, Senators Orin Hatch and Chris (bottom half of the Waitress Sandwich) Dodd expressed suppport for the idea of Ted Kennedy’s widow filling his seat until a special election. Neither Hatch nor Dodd mentioned that for this to happen the MA Legislature would have to change the law that they changed in 2004 when a Republican occupied the corner office on Beacon Hill.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who considered himself the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s est Republican friend in the Senate, suggested on Sunday that Kennedy’s widow, Vicki, could serve as an interim successor to her husband.
“I think Vicki ought to be considered,” Hatch said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “She’s a very brilliant lawyer. She’s a very solid individual. She certainly made a difference in Ted’s life, let me tell you. And I have nothing but great respect for her.”
A week before his death, Senator Kennedy asked Massachusetts state legislative leaders to give the state’s Democratic governor, Deval Patrick, the authority to appoint an interim senator before the state holds a special election to elect a permanent replacement.
On the same program, another Kennedy confidant, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn), left the door open for Vicki to temporarily take over for her husband.
“Whatever Vicki wants to do, I’m in her corner,” Dodd said. “I leave it up to her decision making process.”
“Whatever she thinks is best, I’m for her,” he added.
Vicki Kennedy has reportedly told friends that she is not interested in assuming her husband’s Senate seat.
Legislators in Massachusetts said on Friday that they are likely to begin debating a bill that would give the governor the power to choose an interim successor.
The Massachusetts secretary of state presented the governor with two possible dates — both in January 2010 — for voters to go to the polls in a special election to fill Kennedy’s seat, leaving a gap of several months when the state could be without a second senator.
Forgive me for being cynical, but I am not convinced Mrs. Kennedy wouldn’t run for the seat if she were named the successor. Now that would be interesting. Many sharks are circling in the waters waiting for the appropriate time to throw their hats in the ring and it would be a huge political risk to run against any Kennedy – let alone the widow of the Liberal Lion.