Posted by Rojas @ 3:52 pm on August 26th 2009

Ted Kennedy’s last political act on earth…

…was to write a letter to the Massachusetts State Legislature to request that the procedure for the selection of a replacement Senator be changed.

Robert Kulak points out the following:

The Massachusetts senate selection law itself is only five years old. In 2004, the law was changed from what Kennedy is now recommending to its present status. What’s changed since 2004?

In 2004, Massachusetts Democratic Senator John Kerry was running for president and had he been elected to the presidency, the Massachusetts governor who would have appointed his successor was a Republican. So the law was changed to take away the appointment prerogative from the governor to a more democratic process – a special election.

In 2009, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy’s health prognosis is poor and the current governor is a Democrat. If the Massachusetts governor, after a senate vacancy occurs, immediately appoints a new senator, then Democrats will maintain 60 votes in the U.S. Senate – a position that enables them to unilaterally pass any legislation.

The political epitath for the Kennedy clan must surely be: “Rules were for other people.”


  1. Nobody ever accused Ted Kennedy of not being partisan enough.

    Comment by Brad — 8/26/2009 @ 5:17 pm

  2. As irritating as you might find the partisan aspect of this selection method defined by political expediency situation, the idea that this confirms some sort of perceived “Rules were for other people” aspect to Kennedy is rather over the top, if not absurd. This is a classic case calling for a “Don’t hate the player, hate the game” response. Kennedy was, and whomever supports the revert back to a pre-2004 Senator replacement method, are following the rules as defined by the Massechussettes constitution and applicable laws. They are explicitely following the rules, which allow said rules to be changed.

    Comment by Jack — 8/26/2009 @ 8:21 pm

  3. You have a point; I shouldn’t have cited this incident as evidence for that claim.

    Still strikes me as a hell of a note to go out on. But as Brad notes, it was in character for him, and he always did things his way.

    Comment by Rojas — 8/26/2009 @ 11:32 pm

  4. It’s “epitaph”.

    Comment by James — 8/27/2009 @ 2:15 pm

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