The cold, hard politics of the situation is this: Kennedy’s death makes passing healthcare reform tougher not easier. His seat will likely remain vacant until late January since there will be no interim appointment in Massachusetts and state law calls only for a special election to be held within 145 to 160 days. That is one extra tough-to-find vote Democrats will need if they try and shut down any GOP filibuster attempts. And if Democrats try to ram through a bill under reconciliation, a special budget procedure, Kennedy could have been helpful in rallying squeamish Dems and lobbying groups for the tough parliamentary battle, points out veteran Capitol Hill watcher Pete Davis, who tracks Washington politics for financial institutions.A fascinating insight into this evolving situation. If Ted Kennedy hadn't clung to power (he was one of the Senate's Crypt-Keepers after all - yes, I went there), Massachusetts would have two Senators. Now they have just one, until they have the special election. Read the whole thing.
A SOBER LOOK AT TED KENNEDY is also worth a read. Very even-handed.