The buzz is that John Kerry will be nominated as Secretary of State, so the next question is who will take his seat in the Senate. First there would have to be a placeholder before an interim election this spring, and The Hill is speculating that Mike Dukakis will fill in:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, may be headed back to the political spotlight as he’s considered a likely interim replacement for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Dukakis, who is 79, has remained politically active. He campaigned for Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) this fall and teaches at Northeastern University.

This seems like a reasonable choice to sit in just for a few months, though I hope he doesn’t sit for the full election. Scott Brown will naturally be in the running on the Republican side, and Dukakis is frankly a bit old to be starting a senate term. But as a placeholder, he’d be fine.

It’s again strange that the president is pulling so many Democratic senators out of the chamber. He did it before with Ken Salazar, and the Dems barely held on to that seat. Brown has a pretty good chance of winning the election, which would make Obama’s negotiating position that much weaker, not to mention the fate of things like filibuster reform. In any case, we’ll keep you posted.


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Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanlcooper. Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, and The Nation.