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Payne’s Pick: Michael Dukakis

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Sen. John Kerry, left, with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and then gubernatorial candidate Michael Dukakis in 1982. (AP)

A proposal to let Gov. Deval Patrick name a temporary replacement to Edward M. Kennedy’s vacant Senate seat drew hundreds to the State House in Boston on Wednesday, where legislators opened a public hearing on the bill.

Should lawmakers grant that power to the governor, a number of names have emerged as possible interim successors: Vicki Kennedy, the late senator’s wife; Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor; and Peter Meade, who leads the Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate at UMass Boston; among others.

Democratic political analyst Dan Payne has narrowed his list to just one: Mike Dukakis, “by many lengths,” Payne tells WBUR.org.

The pros:

  • He’s 75 and will be happy to serve a five month-stint
  • He has respect and name recognition in DC

The cons:

  • He’ll take Amtrak to Washington and not get there until January
  • When confronted with votes on health care reform, he’ll ask: “How come we’re not doing single-payer?”
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