In what is described as a "stunning admission of his frailty", the Boston Globe reports the ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is worried that he could die or be too ill to vote on health care reform legislation and wants Massachusetts law changed to expedite the replacement process.
Kennedy’s request comes in the midst of the heated national debate over health care, which has been the senior senator’s focus in Congress for decades. He does not address his battle with brain cancer in a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick and state leaders, but Kennedy does signal his struggle could be nearing an end. "I am now writing to you about an issue that concerns me deeply - the continuity of representation for Massachusetts should a Senate vacancy occur," Kennedy wrote in July 2 letter to Patrick, state Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. In the letter, Kennedy asks that legislation be passed to change a law adopted in 2004 to provide for a special election to choose a new U.S. Senator in the event of a vacancy.
The 2004 law, which was clearly flawed, stripped the Massachusetts governor of the power of appointment. The law was written to prevent anti-gay, socially conservative Massachusetts Gov. "Multiple Choice" Mitt Romney from replacing Sen. John Kerry, who at the time was the Democratic presidential nominee.
Country, nation and the people first. Yet another example why Ted Kennedy is probably the greatest living Senator of my generation.