John Kerry's confirmation hearings for secretary of State haven't yet started, but that's not stopping quite a crowd from measuring the drapes for his Senate office. According to Massachusetts state law, Gov. Deval Patrick would appoint Kerry's successor—likely a placeholder—then a special election would be held between 145 and 160 days after Kerry's resignation. MSNBC runs down the list of contenders:
- Scott Brown: The soon-to-be-former-senator is all but a shoo-in on the Republican side, and would hold a significant advantage (having just narrowly lost to Elizabeth Warren) over many potential Democrat challengers. Some 58% of respondents in a recent poll had a favorable view of Brown.
- The Kennedys: Ted Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, has dropped hints that she might run, as has his son, Ted Kennedy Jr.
- Other Democrats: Lawmakers Ed Markey, Steven Lynch, and Michael Capuano have all expressed interest.
- And Hollywood: Ben Affleck isn't exactly killing himself with denials that he's considering a run. “One never knows. I’m not one to get into conjecture,” he said this week.