TPMDC Morning Roundup


Democrats Scramble On Health Care Reforms, Post-Kennedy
The Associated Press reports that Senate Democrats could end up being more forceful on the issue of health care reform, in the wake of Ted Kennedy’s death — but it’s unclear whether they’ll be more effective. “I think there is going to be a real rallying among Democrats ‘to do this one for Teddy.’ This was his life work,” said Jim Kessler of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. “At the same time there is nobody in the caucus who would have been better at solving our internal disagreements.”

Today: Private Funeral For Ted Kennedy
The public viewing of Ted Kennedy’s body will continue today until 3 p.m. ET. At 7 p.m. ET, a private memorial service will be held at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.Biden Attending Kennedy Memorial Service
Vice President Biden and his wife Jill will travel in the afternoon to Boston. They will attend the Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Massachusetts Special Election To Be Held In January
Massachusetts Sec. of State William Galvin has selected the dates of January 19 or January 26 as the choices for holding a special election election for Senate in Massachusetts, with the primaries being held in December of this year. The big question is whether the law will be changed to allow for an interim gubernatorial appointment.

Boston Globe Endorses Senate Appointment Law, Gives Thumbs-Up To Dukakis For Interim Senator
The Boston Globe has published an editorial endorsing a change to the state law, to allow an interim Senate appointment, and endorsing former Governor and 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis as one possible choice for the role. “There is no mourning period when it comes to ensuring adequate representation for Massachusetts residents in the US Senate. Important votes on health care and climate change draw near,” the Globe says.

Reid Endorses Senate Appointment Law In Massachusetts
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has endorsed the proposal to change the law in Massachusetts to allow for an interim Senate appointment.”While it is ultimately up to the people of Massachusetts and their representatives at the State House to decide this matter, Senator Reid agrees with Senator Kennedy and Gov. Patrick that the law should be changed,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley told CNN. “With so many important matters to be decided, the people of the Commonwealth need two Senators to represent Massachusetts until the special election.”

Kennedy’s Death Calls Greater Attention To System Of Replacing Senators
The Associated Press reports that Ted Kennedy’s death, the seventh Senate vacancy so far during this Congress, has brought increasing attention on the ways that vacancies are filled. FairVote, a non-partisan reform group, points out that almost 27 percent of the U.S. population will be represented in part by unelected Senators.