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It’s Senate Place Holder Naming Day

Looks like we’ll be getting names for the replacement U.S. Senators to South Carolina’s Jim DeMint (who’s leaving to take over the Heritage Foundation) and possibly Massachusetts’ John Kerry (likely to be named the next Sec. of State).

Fun, fun, fun.

So who are the leading candidates? Here’s what National Journal says to about South Carolina:

Haley spokesperson Rob Godfrey tweeted Monday morning that the governor will make the announcement at the statehouse at a noon news conference.

Haley’s short list reportedly includes GOP Reps. Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy, former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford, former Attorney General Henry McMaster and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton.

I’m partial to Tim Scott.

Meanwhile, an old name appears to be the choice in the Bay State.

Michael Dukakis, the former Democratic presidential nominee, could be appointed to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat as a “placeholder,” reports indicate. Kerry is expected to be named secretary of state by President Barack Obama.

With Kerry then moving out of the Senate, Governor Deval Patrick will have to appoint someone to replace Kerry. That person could be Dukakis, if Patrick is looking only for a “placeholder,” someone who would not run in the special election for that Senate seat.

But Kerry has not officially been nominated for the secretary of state position.

“He’ll most likely appoint a placeholder. A lot of people speculating that’s Mike Dukakis,” Boston political consultant Jim Spencer tells the Hill newspaper. “That’s the most obvious choice. Everybody thinks it’s Dukakis.”

Patrick and Dukakis are reportedly very close.

Another choice being looked at is Ted Kennedy’s widow Vicki.  In Massachusetts, there will be an eventual special election in the spring if and when Kerry is nominated and confirmed.

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