Kennedy Successor Lined Up

There's no winning move for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who risks alienating a key political faction no matter whom he appoints as interim senator to replace Edward Kennedy until January 19's special election. The Boston Globe reports that Patrick is likely to appoint former Democratic National Committee chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. at an 11 a.m. press conference Thursday. Kennedy's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and sons U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy Jr. have evidently named Kirk, a Kennedy friend and former staff member, as their first choice. However, a core group of Patrick supporters are loyal to former governor Michael Dukakis, also a frontrunner for the spot. If Patrick selects Kirk, he may have to contend with irate followers.