Last Requests

Kennedy: Replace Me Quickly

Ted Kennedy is coming to grips with his own mortality. The Boston Globe reports that the senator, who is suffering from brain cancer, has written a letter to Mass. Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo asking that the law be changed so that Patrick can appoint a temporary senator to serve the state during the 5-month gap between Kennedy's potential death and the ensuing special election. The governor had this authority until 2004, when the legislature changed the law to prevent then-Governor Mitt Romney from filling John Kerry's seat with a Republican, should Kerry win the presidency. Kennedy never liked the new law, but is particularly averse to it now, as Senate Democrats try to rally the troops in advance of a health-care vote. Kennedy and his advisers adamantly denied that the timing of the letter corresponded to any immediate worsening of the senator's condition.