Monday Open Thread [12.17.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 17, 2012

First Read:

“For the first time ever in the NBC/WSJ poll, a majority of respondents — 51% — support same-sex marriage. That percentage in support is up from 30% in 2004, 41% in 2009 and 49% in March 2012, demonstrating how quickly public opinion on this issue has changed in just eight years.”

Has any national issue swung this greatly in another direction this quickly?

Multiple reports over the weekend have Senator John Kerry being nominated to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. If that is the case, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) will have to appoint an interim Senator who will serve until a special election can be held to fill the remainder of Senator Kerry’s term. That special election must be held no later than 180 and no earlier than 160 days after Senator Kerry resigns.

Assuming that Kerry resigns at some point on or near January 20, then the election won’t be until July 8 at the earliest. So we will need an interim Senator for six months. Jonathan Karl has heard that Governor Patrick has talked to Senator Kennedy’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, “about the possibility of replacing Kerry in the Senate and that she did not rule it out.”

Another reported possibility is a blast from the past. Former Governor and 1988 Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis (D) “may be headed back to the political spotlight as he’s considered a likely interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA),” The Hill reports.

Dukakis, who is 79, has remained politically active. He campaigned for Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this fall and teaches at Northeastern University.

The Democratic primary for Kerry’s seat will be intense and Patrick is expected to tap someone as an interim replacement who would promise not to run in the special election.

“He’ll most likely appoint a placeholder. A lot of people speculating that’s Mike Dukakis,” said Jim Spencer, president of the Campaign Network, a Boston-based political consulting group. “That’s the most obvious choice. Everybody thinks it’s Dukakis.”

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has chosen Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) to replace Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) in the United States Senate, the New York Times reports. “The move will make Mr. Scott the first black senator from the South since the late 19th century.”

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  1. Jason330 says:

    I don’t get the placeholder idea. Patrick should endorse someone for the special election and seal that endorsement by making them the incumbent.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    I can see both sides to the question. My preference would be for the new Rep. Joseph Kennedy to run for the seat, but I prefer he earn it rather than have it given to him in the form of an appointment.

  3. cassandra m says:

    So am I the only one not so excited about the John Kerry choice? I’m more than a little disturbed over how Susan Rice got run out of competition. And I don’t doubt that Kerry will do a good job, it is just that this is likely to be his last job, and now is the time to be building an Executive Dem bench.

  4. Liberal Elite says:

    @c “So am I the only one not so excited about the John Kerry choice?”


  5. puck says:

    Obama negotiates with self, makes deal crappier. Expiration becomes more attractive.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Yeah. I hear the $400,000 figure this morning on WDDE.


  7. Dave says:

    At least John Kerry is not likely to overshadow Clinton’s performance. He will merely be a footnote in history – a care taker.

  8. Jason330 says:

    Chained CPI as well. Pitiful. I realize that if we didn’t have so many blue dogs like Carper clamoring to kill off Social Security, the President would be in a better negotiating position – still.. a little leadership would be nice.

  9. puck says:

    The only upside to a deal is the mayhem that will ensue in the GOP when half of them vote for tax increases. Otherwise there really is no policy upside to a deal, compared with expiration.

    I wish Obama wouldn’t focus so much on total revenue, and would worry more about rebalancing the rates. For me, the main thing is the behavioral change that will happen to the rich when their taxes go back to Clinton levels (especially investment taxes). That, plus a few good anti-vulture regulations might turn America’s wealthy back into job creators again.

  10. Jason330 says:

    Rebalance the rates, make sound investments and total revenue would increase. It is the opposite of the trickle down magic unicorn.

  11. puck says:

    At least Boehner rejected the offer. I’m actually grateful to John Boehner.