Wilson's Outburst May Put Dukakis in Kennedy's Seat

Anger at lawmaker's 'you lie!' could prompt change in Mass. law
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 15, 2009 9:37 AM CDT
In a Sept. 27, 2004 file photo Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., delivers his speech about the effect of the war in Iraq on America's security at George Washington University.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta/file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Anger at Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” attack may have provided the spark Massachusetts’ Democratic lawmakers needed to honor Ted Kennedy’s wish: that the state’s governor be given the power to appoint a temporary replacement for Kennedy, writes Dan Payne for the Daily Beast. The top candidate for the post is former Gov. Michael Dukakis, who’d give Massachusetts a second Senate voice ahead of the vote on health care.

Dukakis would be a powerful ally to health care reform supporters, writes his former media adviser: The “passionate” former governor “would do more than show up in committee and on floor votes. He’d be engaged in the back and forth of revamping health-care policy.” But changing the law to allow for a governor-appointed interim senator may not be easy: voters are split on the issue, a poll says.