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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