RealClearPolitics Cross Tabs Blog

« NY Budget Battle Continues | Cross Tabs Blog Home Page | Colin Powell: Most Important Endorsement This Campaign Season? »

Kerry for VP?

By Jon Keller

Alert Boston Phoenix scribe David Bernstein has picked up some cable TV chatter about the possibility that Sen. John Kerry might be on the Obama list of possible vice-presidential nominees, to which I say - bring it on!

But wait just a darn second - isn't Kerry also seeking re-election to the US Senate? Why, yes he is, with primary opponent Ed O'Reilly and, should he advance, presumptive Republican nominee Jeff Beatty in line to challenge him.

So enquiring minds want to know - what happens if this Kerry-for-VP talk turns out to be more than just the delusional speculation of mid-August ennui? These are the key facts:

* There is no legal barrier to Kerry running for both VP and Senate. If he does and wins both, under the state law rammed through Beacon Hill in anticipation of Kerry's 2004 election to the presidency, Gov. Deval Patrick (if he's still governor) would have to set an election for the vacated Senate seat within 145 to 160 days of Kerry's Senate resignation. Of course, the legislature could conceivably change the law back again to empower Patrick to simply appoint someone to fill out the six-year term Kerry had just been re-elected to. Gosh, whom do you think he might appoint? Discuss.

* It's too late for Kerry to pull his name off the September primary ballot even if he wanted to, and too late for any other Democrat to get on there in light of a Kerry VP nomination. The only alternative would be to run on stickers, and he or she would have to beat both Kerry and O'Reilly.

* Let's say VP nominee Kerry wins the primary over O'Reilly and sticker candidate John Buonomo. (Or should that be sticky-fingered candidate?) And let's say public outcry over Kerry's electoral double-dip prompts anxious Democrats to prevail on him end his Senate candidacy. (Fat chance, but we're in fantasy land now, pipe down.) What then? Massachusetts law appears to stipulate that the Democratic State Committee would select a replacement. Oh brother. (I recommend DSC member Helen Corrigan of Somerville, as fine a political mind as our commonwealth has ever produced. Sorry Helen, that's probably the kiss of death.)

Jon Keller blogs regularly for WBZ-TV Boston at Keller @ Large