Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

February 17, 2004

by J

Kerry to Keep Senate Seat

Kerry's campaign is saying that he will not give up his Senate seat even if he wins the nomination. Here's the thing: according to some, if he resigned the seat in early summer, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts would appoint someone who'd have to run this November to keep the seat. If he were to keep the seat and win the Presidency, Romney can appoint a Republican to serve through 2006.
Under Massachusetts law and the constitution, if a vacancy occurs Romney would appoint an interim senator, who would serve until the next state election in 2006. There would then be an election to fill the final two years of Kerry's term, which ends in 2008. And in 2008 there would be an election for a full six-year term.
So the tradeoff for Kerry seems to be:
  • resign now and hope that in November a Democrat would defeat the Republican appointed by the Governor or
  • keep the seat and know that if you win there will be an additional Republican in the Senate for at least the first two years of your Presidency.
Surely the first option is preferable. And surely the thought he might lose the election is not going through Senator Kerry's head as part of the calculation. Surely he believes in his campaign and in the American people strongly enough to take a stand and show that he's actually taking a measure of personal risk to get Bush out of the White House. Surely Senator War Hero would demonstrate some faith in his campaign and put himself on the line. Surely he would. Surely.

Oh. I guess not.
Posted by J at February 17, 2004 10:35 AM

Let's face reality here. Kerry's chances are about 50/50 against Shrub. Kerry resigning from the Senate won't change that at all. (Or it could work both ways, actually, but very minor.)

The trade off is:
* Either Kerry wins, and his Senate seat for two years compared to the White house is like a dime for a hundred-dollar bill. And if he wins, he will provide coat-tails elsewhere. (Also adjust for the possibility that Mass. can change their laws regarding appointments.)

* Or, Kerry loses, and he retains his Senate seat on very, very safe democratic hands.

I don't see how any of these fall-outs suggests he should resign, and risk a lose-lose situation.

Posted by: PoliticGeek Pro at February 17, 2004 03:34 PM

That's because you're a fuckin' moron.

Posted by: Millard at April 22, 2004 06:32 PM

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