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Payne's Pick: Michael Dukakis

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

This program aired on September 9, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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