Senator John Kerry has been green-stamped by the Senate to be the new Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton — setting in motion a big political scramble in Massachussetts for a special election.
The questions now become:
(1) Will former Rep. Barney Frank return One More Time to Congress to get his wish to fill Kerry’s seat until the special election is held? Many liberals (including MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell) are lobbying for him.
(2)Will former Senator Scott Brown return One More Time to run for Kerry’s seat and win? A recent poll finds Brown with a big lead over his Democratic challengers for the seat.
The Senate approved Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be the next secretary of State on Tuesday, opening up the seat for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to appoint an interim senator on Wednesday.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be the next secretary of State earlier on Tuesday, setting up a vote on the Senate floor later in the day. Kerry’s nomination later passed the Senate with overwhelming support.
Kerry, the former chairman of the committee, received a voice vote from his colleagues. His nomination had been expected to sail through after Republicans urged President Obama to nominate him instead of Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, after her role in the administration’s reaction to the Benghazi attacks last year.
Patrick will announce his appointment to Kerry’s seat on Wednesday. Patrick’s former chief of staff, William “Mo” Cowan, and Victoria Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), are considered frontrunners for the pick.
Patrick has set the special election primary date for April 30, and the general election for June 25.
Kerry is yet another politico considered a serious “adult in the room” and has made no secret of his longtime desire to be Secretary of State. With the exception of Senator Lindsay Graham (who says she “got away with murder” in Benghazi) and some conservative talk show hosts, most analysts feel Hillary Clinton was an excellent Secretary of State. And most of the buzz suggests expectations are that Kerry will be, too.
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Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.