MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT John Kerry
On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow laid out a compelling narrative for speculation that has been caroming around the Internet: why John McCain, Lindsay Graham and their new member of the three amigos -- Senator Kelly Ayotte (R- NH), replacing Joe Lieberman – are so virulently attacking Susan Rice. Is it to give the GOP a shot at picking up John Kerry's senate seat in Massachusetts?
To put it quite simply, if Obama backs down from appointing Rice due to the Republican Benghazi brigade, conventional wisdom has it that he is likely to appoint John Kerry to become Secretary of State. If that were to be the case, Kerry's seat would become vacant. A temporary replacement would be selected by Democratic Governor Deval Patrick (Kennedy family favorite Paul Kirk was chosen as a place holder senator after Kennedy's death), but the seat would then be contested in a special election.
Enter Republican Scott Brown, who remains personally popular in Massachusetts after being dislodged from Ted Kennedy's former senate seat by Democrat (now Senator-elect) Elizabeth Warren in the November election. Warren fought hard to defeat Brown, who voted with the GOP basically whenever they needed him, but tossed a few social progressive bones out to make him acceptable to many Massachusetts Democratic voters. Against a candidate with less savvy, gumption, campaign contributions and progressive credentials than Warren, Brown could conceivably pick up the seat presently held by Kerry.
Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout dissected the hypocrisy of the Republican three amigos unrelenting buzz saw attack on Susan Rice. On Thursday, we will further explore the GOP double standard in relation to Colin Powell's infamous "yellow cake" UN speech that gave false cover for launching the war on Iraq.
But in speculating about the insidious farce of the tenacious Republican Benghazi political distraction from the great challenges the nation faces, it is worthy of note to consider the Republican senate pick-up strategy to explain the vitriolic and exponentially out of proportion attacks on Susan Rice.
As BuzzFlash at Truthout reader Emiliano de la Fuente e-mailed us today: "If the GOP is successful in squashing the idea of Susan Rice for Secretary of State and the President nominates John Kerry, it will immediately eliminate a Democratic senator and will give Scott Brown a chance to wiggle into position….Since he just ran in 2012, his name will be fresh in many voters’ minds."
In modern campaigns, political brand names are significant and Brown is one of those guys who even Democratic pundits and politicians in DC like to call in their village way "a very likeable person."
It may be Massachusetts, and this theory may be a stretch, but remember that Brown was elected to the Senate once already – and remember that not too long ago Massachusetts elected Mitt Romney as governor.
And remember that the Republicans are indicating that they would be prone to give Kerry a relatively easy confirmation hearing in the Senate. That's a scenario that will test Obama's mettle and how many chits he wants to call in for Rice at a time he is trying to proceed with budget negotiations.