Shortsighted Hypocrisy: The Kennedy Legacy Lives On

If anything, the word “hypocrite” should be part of the proposed legislation’s name.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he would support changing state law to allow him to appoint an interim successor to Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat while a special election is held.

The succession law was changed in 2004, when Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., became his party’s presidential nominee and Republican Mitt Romney was the state’s governor. Before the change, the governor would have appointed a replacement to serve until the next general election.

Guess who was behind that…?

What Mr. Kennedy doesn’t volunteer is that he orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision that now requires a special election, and for similarly partisan reasons.

John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004, and Mr. Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry’s replacement.

“Prodded by a personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy,” reported the Boston Globe in 2004, “Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to take up a stalled bill creating a special election process to replace U.S. Senator John F. Kerry if he wins the presidency.”

Now that the state has a Democratic Governor, Mr. Kennedy wants to revert to gubernatorial appointments.

Here’s the “personal appeal from Senator Edward M. Kennedy” for your inspection.

If Senator Byrd can rename the health care bill after Senator Kennedy, then we can call this partisan flip what it is: the Kennedy Hypocrisy Act.

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