Balkinization  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two Bites at the Apple

Gerard N. Magliocca

One of the most exciting Senate races this year is in Massachusetts between Senator Scott Brown, who won Ted Kennedy's seat in a 2010 special election, and Elizabeth Warren, the former Harvard Law professor.  I can't help but wonder, though, whether this election matters.

What am I talking about?  If President Obama is reelected, Hillary Clinton insists that she will step down as Secretary of State.  Who is the leading candidate to replace her?  None other than Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts (who gave the "foreign policy" speech at the DNC).  If Senator Kerry is confirmed to the Cabinet, there will have to be a special election to replace him (Massachusetts only lets the Governor appoint an interim Senator for a short period of time).

This means, oddly enough, that Warren and Brown may both end up in the Senate.  If Warren wins in November, Brown has an excellent chance to win a special election next year.  If Brown wins, Warren could be appointed to Kerry's Senate seat and then run and win the special election.  This may explain why they are not encouraging negative ads against each other.

Comments:

How Brown got there suggests nothing's guaranteed, but that is a bit quirky, huh?
 

Seems unlikely that Obama would appoint Kerry if it might flip control of the Senate though.
 

Well, it wouldn't flip control of the Senate because Patrick can appoint another Dem.

But while the election may not matter to Warren or Brown personally, it surely matters to their respective parties for purposes of controlling the Senate.
 

Mark- thanks for stating the blindingly obvious, thereby forcing me to battle the robot guards to point out the equally obvious- there would still have to be a special election which could result in flipping the Senate. Hence my use of the word "might."
 

The risk of losing the Senate would cut this scenario off by preventing Kerry's elevation to the Cabinet, but you'd need a 50/50 split with Biden as VP for that to happen.
 

I assume that Liz will win and that Brown will not be tagged a looser, fail against new Republican candidates who want their chance.
 

I guess "might" is technically true, but it assumes that MA elects 2 Republican Senators. Them's thin odds.
 

The risk of losing the Senate would cut this scenario off by preventing Kerry's elevation to the Cabinet, but you'd need a 50/50 split with Biden as VP for that to happen.Windows 7 Pro product Key
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I'm not convinced that Brown, having hypothetically lost to Warren, would be an automatic winner in a special election to replace Kerry.

He would certainly have serious opposition, and the bloom would be off the rose. Further, in a special election the implications for Senate votes would be clearer than they are now.
 

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