BOSTON (CBS) – With the appointment of his advisor and friend, William “Mo” Cowan, to serve as interim Senator until we elect a successor to John Kerry in late June, Gov. Deval Patrick achieved several goals.
He took another in a series of steps to promote minority-group presence in the power circles of Massachusetts politics.
He ensured there will be no drama or unexpected headlines coming from the interim appointment, something that would have been far from certain had he bowed to outside pressure to appoint mercurial, dyspeptic former Congressman Barney Frank.
And he paraphrased a saying made famous by comedian Chevy Chase of “Saturday Night Live” fame – I’m governor, and you’re not.
As he enters the final two years of his time in office, Patrick, freed from the constraints of seeking re-election and clearly feeling his oats, has been flexing his muscles in a variety of ways, most notably with the eye-popping spending and taxing plans he unveiled in the State of the Commonwealth address.
Gone is the governor who felt compelled to appoint Paul Kirk, a longtime friend of the Kennedy family, to be interim Senator in 2009 after Sen. Ted Kennedy’s passing.
This time around, sources tell WBZ-TV, the senator’s widow, Vicky Kennedy, believed she was in the mix for the interim appointment up to the end, as were several other notable local power players who just discovered that they may have overestimated the clout they thought they wielded with Patrick.
Local liberals who wanted Frank or some other fire-breather in there can consider themselves officially brushed off.
None of this should come as a surprise.
The governor was sending clear signals he wanted a person of color to have this plum, and was not going to be swayed by anyone who thought they could elbow him in another direction.
Message sent, and received – he’s the governor, and you’re not.
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