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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 09:59 AM

John Kerry and the ghost of Scott Brown


It's possible, but fears of a GOP comeback in Massachusetts shouldn't affect Obama's choice for Secretary of State

BY STEVE KORNACKI


Apparently, Barack Obama is serious about rewarding John Kerry with a top Cabinet post in his second administration. The Massachusetts senator, who delivered a rousing convention speech in Charlotte and played Mitt Romney in the president’s debate prep sessions, is reportedly under consideration to run either the Defense or State Departments.

Right now, most of the speculation is focused on the Pentagon, with Obama preferring to place his longtime friend Susan Rice at State. But Republican attacks on Rice over the Benghazi episode threaten to produce a bloody confirmation battle if Obama taps her. Democrats will have 55 votes (counting Angus King and Bernie Sanders) in the Senate come January, so in theory Obama would have the numbers to win that battle. But some of those Democrats – like, for instance, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – could face home state pressure to defect if it became a clearly partisan fight.

Maybe Obama, emboldened by his victory last week, will embrace a confrontation with the GOP over Rice. But if he’s dissuaded, then Kerry could be his fallback option. And if not State, then Kerry is being floated as a potential replacement for Leon Panetta at the Defense Department.

Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would obviously prefer the more prestigious State post. For the first two decades of his Senate career, he sought to position himself for the presidency, but since his loss to George W. Bush in 2004 he’s carved out a role as his party’s point man in the Senate on international affairs – and has made little secret of his hopes for a career-capping run as Secretary of State in a Democratic administration. He’ll turn 69 next month, so this is probably his last, best hope, and there’s reason to believe he’d accept a Defense appointment as a consolation prize, if it comes to it.

The stumbling block is this: If Kerry takes an administration post, it will open his Senate seat and trigger a special election sometime in 2013. And that, Democrats fear, could open the door for Scott Brown, who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren last week, to make a comeback.

-snip-

read more:
http://www.salon.com/2012/11/13/john_kerry_and_the_ghost_of_scott_brown/

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply John Kerry and the ghost of Scott Brown (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
Anthony McCarthy Nov 2012 #1
Liberal_Stalwart71 Nov 2012 #2
NCLefty Nov 2012 #10
Liberal_Stalwart71 Nov 2012 #11
bigdarryl Nov 2012 #3
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #4
NHDEMFORLIFE Nov 2012 #5
geek tragedy Nov 2012 #6
PsychProfessor Nov 2012 #7
warrior1 Nov 2012 #8
politicasista Nov 2012 #9

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:04 AM

1. I'd hate to see it happen

 

Scott Brown would likely win. I'd rather have Mike Capuano in the senate than John Kerry but it's a pretty big gamble.

I'm not a fan of Democratic presidents appointing sitting legislators to cabinet posts. I remember what happened when Clinton did that.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:04 AM

2. Why are people freaking out about Scott Brown? If the MA voters didn't want him in 2012,

what makes us think that they'll want his ass know? As far as I'm concerned his political career is over!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 06:49 PM

10. Primary/special election voters are a different breed.

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Response to NCLefty (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 07:23 PM

11. Sure, but we just need to get our ground game back into gear. We have to do our job.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:07 AM

3. Why on earth would Obama risk taking Kerry out of the Senate for a four year job

There's no guarantee that the seat will stay democratic.Unless one of the Kennedy's run for the seat

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:07 AM

4. Roll of the dice..... nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:12 AM

5. Off-year special election ... major gamble

Turnout would be a lot lower. Beyond Coakley running an awful campaign, that was a big factor in Brown's win.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:17 AM

6. Not worth it. Brown didn't lose--Elizabeth Warren won.

He made it relatively close.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:56 AM

7. John Kerry wants a cabinet post and he has earned it.

I know it is not like Democrats to be overly confident but Elizabeth Warren didn't barely beat Brown she creamed him. If this special election happened sooner than later, I believe the democrats would prevail. Remember the woman Brown beat ran a terrible campaign by all accounts. That will never happen again.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 10:57 AM

8. They should be looking for a strong democratic candidate.

Well before we lose Kerry in the senate.

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