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Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Kerry is "supporting" Ed Markey
Hel-lo! The DSCC just sent out an email on Friday afternoon with a statement from Dem Sen. John Kerry, saying he "supports" Rep. Ed Markey's decision to run to succeed him... which essentially means the DSCC is doing the same thing. Kerry could have sent the press release to his own list (though perhaps he did that as well), and the DSCC doesn't typically act as a messenger for such announcement, so in this case, the medium really is the message. But lest there be any confusion about where their sympathies lie, the DS followed up with its own formal endorsement soon after.

In any event, Kerry's don't-call-it-an-endorsement would alone have been quite the coup in a Democratic primary, but the fact that the DSCC is also getting on board means they're hoping to avoided a protracted nomination battle and would like to see everyone rally around Markey. And indeed, sandwiched between the initial Kerry email and the subsequent DSCC missive, Vicki Kennedy, the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who herself was mentioned as a possible candidate, said that she, too, would be getting behind Markey. You can practically hear the wagons rustling as they draw into circular formation.

But this all seems like good news to me: The DS must have positive polling data on Markey, a strong progressive, and it also means we're less likely to see someone awful like Rep. Stephen Lynch (who betrayed Democrats by voting against the Affordable Care Act) enter the race. Of course, if these moves are seen as "interference" by D.C. Democrats, it could provoke a backlash. But we went through something very much like this not long ago, when national Dems and progressive groups successfully propelled Elizabeth Warren's candidacy forward, despite opposition from the local establishment (who had nothing and no one better to offer).

And with a little luck, Scott Brown won't bother to run again. Hopefully these coordinated efforts are meant to give the appearance of strength and scare Brown off, rather than a reflection of any kind of worry that if Democrats don't unite immediatelyrightnow, we'd be in some sort of trouble. I'm choosing to be cautiously optimistic for the moment, and with a little more luck, Markey will succeed both in uniting all the various factions behind him and in running a strong campaign.

P.S. If Kerry is indeed confirmed as Secretary of State, and if Markey does secure the Democratic nomination and wins the ensuing special election, there would be another special election for his 5th District congressional seat. Interest and speculation in that race will also be high, no doubt, and as always, we'll be following both the Senate and House side of things closely.

1:20 PM PT: P.P.S. No surprise: Dem Rep. Nikki Tsongas also says she won't run.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Daily Kos.

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