Governor Deval Patrick today named Paul G. Kirk Jr. to serve as interim US senator, making the announcement in the presence of the immediate family of the late Edward M. Kennedy.
"He is a distinguished lawyer, volunteer, and citizen, and he shares the sense of service that so distinguished Senator Ted Kennedy," Patrick said at a news conference at the State House. "Paul will not seek the open seat in the special election coming up in January. But for the next few months, he will carry on the work and the focus of Senator Kennedy, mindful of his mission, and his values, and his love of Massachusetts."
The late senator's widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, and one of his sons, Ted Kennedy Jr., watched from the audience as Patrick introduced his selection.
"This appointment is a profound honor," Kirk said. "I accept it with sincere humility."
Kirk, a longtime Kennedy family friend, reiterated that he would not run in the special election and said he planned to keep the late senator's staff.
I am still not sold on this move, but again it had damn well better equal 60 votes against a filibuster or the Democrats are screwed.