Markey Won't Run For Kennedy's Seat

From Roll Call:

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has opted not to run in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D), leaving the field wide open for several Democrats -- including at least two House Members -- to run in the Dec. 8 Democratic primary.

With Joe Kennedy, Meehan, and now Markey out, the betting money is probably on state Attorney General Martha Coakley, what with the state-wide name recognition and all.

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Joe Kennedy Says No To MA-Senate Run

With Vicki Kennedy having already made it clear to Governor Patrick that she has no interest in her late husband's Senate seat, we can now say that the Kennedy dynasty really is coming to an end. From the Associated Press:

Former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, the eldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, announced Monday he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat held for nearly 50 years by his late uncle, Edward M. Kennedy. The decision was certain to widen the race for the Democratic nomination.

In a statement, the former six-term congressman said he cares about those seeking decent housing, fair wages and health care. But he added, "The best way for me to contribute to those causes is by continuing my work at Citizens Energy Corp."...

The decision surrenders a seat the Kennedy family has held for all but two years since 1953, when John F. Kennedy moved from the U.S. House to the Senate, before being elected president in 1960. It became vacant Aug. 25, when Edward Kennedy died of brain cancer at age 77. He was first elected to the Senate in 1962.

It also removes an excuse for three veteran Massachusetts congressmen -- Reps. Michael Capuano, Edward J. Markey and John Tierney -- who have said they are considering campaigns but would not run against a member of the Kennedy family. The senator's widow, Vicki, had previously ruled out a campaign.

My quasi-uneducated guess as to what happens next: the state legislature allows Patrick to appoint an interim Senator; Patrick picks Senator Michael Dukakis; Dukakis is replaced in February by either Senator Martha Coakley or Senator Martin Meehan. But I've been wrong before.

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The Daily Pulse: Deep Six the Gang of Six

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire Blogger

Ed. note: The Weekly Pulse is becoming the Daily Pulse for September. Every weekday, we'll bring you highlights from the health care reform debate, including exclusive video interviews with leading experts and independent journalists each Friday. Even better, you can be a part of the conversation. Stay tuned to find out more!

A power shift is underway in Washington. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick announced on Monday that a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy would not take place until January 19, 2010. With Kennedy's seat empty, the Democrats no longer have the 60 votes they need to break a filibuster in the Senate. Up until this point, the White House was hoping for a compromise bill that the entire Democratic caucus, and maybe even a few Republicans, could agree on.

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We Must Fill the Void Ourselves


The topic below was originally posted yesterday, on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Like millions of my fellow citizens, I am reflecting after the death of Ted Kennedy. Death is an egocentric experience for the survivors. Indeed, rituals such as funerals, wakes or in the Jewish religion "sitting Shiva," is really about nurturing the souls of those left behind. That is also true when it is a public figure or celebrity that has died. We may never have met them or knew them yet they touched us nonetheless. The Kennedy family understands this better than anyone and is well practiced in rituals that not only honor the dead but comfort the living.

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Kennedy: "Incremental measures won't suffice anymore"

The media is abuzz today with speculation about how Ted Kennedy's absence will impact the health care reform debate. And, as usual, the conventional wisdom is starting to coalesce around a frame designed by Republicans and propagated by the traditional media.

It's clear that Republicans came up with this strategy at least a week ago: praise smear Kennedy as uniquely skilled at extracting concessions from liberals (what Republicans call "bipartisanship") and suggest that Kennedy's absence means reform will fail. They're trying to use the death of their "friend" to either kill health care reform outright, or to pressure House progressives into giving up on the public option.

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