A missed opportunity

I don’t want to make it look like I’m in the tank for fellow Northeastern professor Michael Dukakis. So I’ll leave it at this: Paul Kirk will probably do a fine job as interim senator. But Gov. Deval Patrick could have made a better pick by choosing former governor Dukakis.

Joan Vennochi and Margery Eagan have more to say. And the Herald’s Jessica Van Sack and Hillary Chabot note some conflicts Kirk will need to avoid.

13 thoughts on “A missed opportunity

  1. Ken

    Dan,

    It’s a three-month appointment, for heaven’s sake. And if Dukakis has so much to offer, let him run for the open seat. I’d consider voting for him.

  2. paul

    Kirk will be fine, but Gov. Patrick once again proves he is completely tone-deaf. Having his hand forced by leaks from the Kennedy family, he could have earned some points for independence by ignoring their wishes. But instead he comes off looking weak as he rubber-stamps the guy the family wanted all along. Glad we turned the laws of the state upside down for this…

  3. Bob Gardner

    So the big emergency is that we need to get a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies into the senate? And according to reports, Dukakis was too outspoken on health care and would complicate efforts to “moderate” the health care bill. So I guess the big emergency is that they need someone in the Senate to water down the proposal.
    Can anyone still say with a straight face that health care was the primary motivation for this appointment or for the people who orchestrated it?
    Notice also that Kirk hasn’t been seen in public and won’t return reporters’ phone calls. Instead of running for senate, he’s hiding for senate.

  4. bill ricker

    As a fan of AmTrak, I too would like to have seen it go to The Duke, but the family’s wish is in line with tradition. Kirk better do Teddy’s seat proud during the short but critical time he has it.
    Given how the Gov’s poll numbers are going, I wonder that he didn’t give himself a graceful exit strategy by keeping the Letters of Transit for himself. He better hope there’s a vacancy in top tier of DoJ when he finds how strong his primary fight will be. Unless he can pass muster for Ambassador to Mexico …
    What is the procedure for replacing the ailing Sen Byrd?

  5. Lou

    Oh Puh-leese…Michael Dukakis?

    Another re-tread?

    The man takes the title of “worst governor in Massachusetts history”.

    You can’t be serious?

  6. Newshound

    Lou – I’ll second that. Just what does Mr. Dukakis have to offer. He politics were way to shrewd and extraordinarily self-serving.

    The Democrats have just shot themselves in the foot with this one – Mr. Kirk – not such a good idea either. Not saying Republican blend is any better. It is a one-party system with diverse sides.

    If the law in Massachusetts was wrong, it should have been changed years ago, and after voters filled the seat this time.

    This is misrepresentation.

    Politics first. Principles – hardly ever unless a useful tool for politics.

  7. Al

    The purpose of the appointment is to vote on bills, and the maintain the viability of the Kennedy staff to continue with their constituent services work. After Kennedy dies, the staff, in effect, ceased to exist. Money was provided to wind down business, but no efforts could be made on furthering constituent cases, and no work could be done to further initiatives that were worked on while Kennedy was alive. Now, that can all continue, until a new Senator is elected in the special election in January. With that short horizon, it’s just as well that Kirk, a veteran of the Kennedy team, got the appointment. At least he already knows the ropes and the issues.

  8. LFNeilson

    Well, it’s moot. But calling the Duke the worst gov. in Mass. history really ignores a lot of history. Besides, there’s no yardstick; it’s all subjective.

  9. I don’t know Bob Gardner but he nails it big time.
    This is such a terrible pick … they go through all this to “save” the healthcare reform proposal and then Deval names an insurance lobbyist … what an absolute moron …

  10. Ben

    The national story here could easily become: “Democrats give the keys to the cloakroom to a lobbyist”. No one consulted me, but it seems like a risky move given the state of Democratic healthcare reform.

  11. amused

    At least Dukakis stood up for election, as state rep, as Kevin H. White’s running mate, on four occasions for governor and for president.

    And Patrick thinks someone who has never had to face the voters is a better choice?

    Anyone who calls dukakis the worst governor in state history is parading his or her own ignorance. His efforts on transportation and health care alone elevate him above many of his predecessors. It is amazing how the right-wing wackos like to give dispensation to national Republicans for the recession of the early 90s, but fall all over themselves to blame Dukakis for the local impact.

    What we have from Patrick is a lack of what Gene Burns would call testicular fortitude.

  12. DESPITE YOUR AND MY ENDORSEMENT GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK HAS FAILED BY NOT NAMING FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR FOR THE INTERIM VACANT MASSACHUSETTS UNITED STATES SENATE SEAT. THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR BOTH OF US THAT APPEAR TO HAVE DIFFERENT AGENDAS. MINE IS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND OVERSIGHT IN GOVERNMENT AND YOUR MOTIVATION? HOWEVER, WE SHOULD UNITE AND LAUNCH A MASSIVE CAMPAIGN TO ELECT MICHAEL DUKAKIS AS A WRITE IN CANDIDATE.

    Dukakis was the architect of the Big Dig with Fred Salvucci and Bectel which is the world most expensive deteriorating construction project riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse. No bid cost plus construction awards with conserted little or no oversight by design. The project went from $2.3 Billion to $24+ Billion. A true international monument AIG, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Wall Street Bankers who profited must be proud!

    Michael Dukakis was the architect of destruction of the State Human Services delivery system that has made life worse for the mentally challenged, Developmentally Disabled, and those in need of public health and nursing services.Dukakis actions was a birth of a system of little accountability and oversight allowing vendors, providers,consultants to be allowed high executive salaries and those served and taxpayers to be exploited

    I would suggest the first order of business when Dukakis takes office is an appearence before several Congressional Investigative Committees and testify about his meritorius terms as Govenror of a state and contributions to inefficiency,waste, and mismanagement in state government operations. He is our national and international model that all Special Interests should envy.

    http://oversightwatchmassachusetts.blogspot.com/

  13. raccoonradio

    Good news! Joe Kennedy is running for the seat! Er, not THAT Joe Kennedy, but as today’s Herald points out one Joseph L. Kennedy (the L is for Libertarian), 37, of Dedham is running as an independent for Senator. Unlike most Dems, he is for smaller government, no more giveaways to illegals, and he does not favor the proposed health care plan. But if he gets the signatures you may well see a Kennedy on your ballot…hmm.

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