It just came to me: Massachusetts politics are like a sandbox. There are turf battles, prized possessions (the green bucket, for example), and sharp elbows. All for a patch of arid wasteland.
See if that doesn’t apply to this situation, in which a fake Indian holds a fake ceremony to stump for a colleague to be a fake Senator—all in front of a fake Secretary of State and a real Supreme Court Justice pretending to perform a mock swearing-in.
Only in Massachusetts (and maybe Illinois):
With months of fiscal wrangling ahead on Capitol Hill, newly christened — and soon-to-be senior — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called retiring Bay State Congressman Barney Frank an “extraordinary” choice to temporarily fill John Kerry’s seat yesterday, adding to what mounted to an impassioned stump speech for the Newton Democrat.
Warren, speaking at a mock swearing-in ceremony to celebrate her admission as Massachusetts’ first female U.S. senator, lauded Frank for his fiscal prowess, calling him “my tutor, my guide” and a “champion” of consumer protection.
The remarks came a day after Frank, citing a desire to be part of the debt ceiling debate, said he asked Gov. Deval Patrick to name him interim senator upon Kerry’s expected appointment to secretary of state.
Patrick, who left yesterday’s event without speaking to reporters, said Friday that Frank would make a “great senator,” but would only go as far as to say “he’s definitely on the list.” Patrick was forced to address the matter after Frank announced his desire for the seat on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier in the day.
In a departure, Kerry himself even touched upon his nomination by President Obama.
“I was a junior senator for 26 years,” he said, referring to working alongside late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
“In terms of legislative days, if — IF — I’m confirmed and if I’m confirmed on time, (Warren) may have been junior senator for three legislative days.
“I’m not allowed to get ahead of myself,” he added. “I have to keep saying ‘if.’?”
Oh, ick. The fix is in, hairdo, give up the pretense.
BTW, the only reason we’re in this position is that our fake democracy has contorted itself and the law into this legislative Gordian knot. They’ve changed the law of succession so many times (to avoid letting Republicans take office) that even they haven’t the balls to change it again.
Massachusetts voters have gotten used to their elected leaders pulling bizarre stunts, but this one’s right up there with Bill Weld jumping into the Charles River.
There was the newly unemployed Barney Frank going on one last ego trip to reveal how he pressed Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint him to the U.S. Senate. And there was Patrick, facing a horde of media inside his office, squirming to respond to Frank’s begging.
Awkward, to say the least.
“He’d be a great, uh, he’d be a great senator, even on an interim, um, basis,” Patrick said, dancing around the question.
It’s especially strange for a guy who, just a few weeks ago, said he wasn’t interested in the expected Senate vacancy. And when Frank announced he wasn’t running for re-election, he basically said it was because he didn’t feel like asking for the votes of the 325,000 new voters in his reconfigured district.
“One of the advantages to me of not running for office is I don’t even have to try to pretend to be nice to people I don’t like,” Frank said.
Whether Frank’s planned ploy will work is still up in the air, but it definitely stunned the governor and even state Democrats who are used to Frank’s arrogant antics.
“He just announced himself to be a United States senator,” one veteran Democrat said, calling Frank’s move “the deep end of arrogance.”
At last, an honest and true assessment! Who let this guy in the sandbox?
But imagine the humiliation it would be if Governor Patrick doesn’t appoint Frank to the position. Like kicking sand in his face. Can’t wait!