On Tuesday night, msnbc's Lawrence O'Donnell asked his audience to help him with a critical decision--to ask Governor Deval Patrick to appoint him as interim Massachusetts Senator or to convince the governor of another worthy candidate for the job. "Let me know on Twitter or Facebook whether I should be appointed senator, whether I should ask the governor to appoint me senator, or if say Barney Frank should be the appointed senator or someone else should be the appointed senator."
With a flurry of responses on Facebook, Twitter, and the msnbc website, O'Donnell's suggestion of himself as the interim Massachusetts senator was kindly received. O'Donnell asked if he should call Governor Patrick to remind him of his service in the Senate, including as Chief of Staff of two committees--the Committee on the Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on Finance.
Because experience would bolster O'Donnell's candidacy, he thought about mentioning war stories about how he pushed the biggest tax increase in history 20 years ago, or his interactions on the Senate floor with the Republicans who "weren't half as crazy as they are now."
But O'Donnell realized that he did not have Governor Patrick's phone number, and that he would have to establish a residence in Massachusetts. Out of luck, O'Donnell resorted to appointing another candidate as John Kerry's successor as Massachusetts Senator.
Last week, Barney Frank expressed that he would like be the appointed temporary Senator from Massachusetts but Governor Deval Patrick tweeted this response.
No interim appointment announcement at this time.— Deval Patrick (@MassGovernor) December 21, 2012
"The Last Word" asked the governor's former chief of staff who the top contenders were for the position. He listed a former president of MIT who is also on the board of General Electric and Qualcomm, a retired Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice, a Bank of America executive, and the head of the Massachusetts Tax Payers Foundation.
O'Donnell said on his program Wednesday night, "In other words, no one with any idea how the United States Senate actually works. The Governor's former chief of staff, who clearly doesn't know how Congress or specifically how the United States Senate works then told the Boston Globe: the theory that we have to send experienced people to Washington to break the gridlock; the experienced people are the ones creating the gridlock."
O'Donnell went on to back Barney Frank as his pick for Massachusetts' next appointed senator.
"For a senator who will serve for over 100 days during critical budget negotiations over the future of Medicare and Social Security, Massachusetts will not be well-served by a retired judge or a bank executive or a former university president who has to leave her corporate boards and engage in a speed study of subjects she knows nothing about. The honorable Barney Frank is ready to serve, he has been trained to serve, he knows the subjects better than most senators will ever know the subjects. And Massachusetts will be lucky if he does serve as their next appointed Senator."