Senator Kennedy's wish to have the governor of Massachusetts (Democratic Governor Deval Patrick) appoint his successor in case his seat becomes vacant in the near future.
As Jessup pointed out, this is a reversal of a previous position that Senator Kennedy had taken.
In addition to that angle to the story, it is interesting to note that Governor Deval Patrick is not very popular in Massachusetts these days
. The report on a new Rasmussen Reports survey about Patrick noted that "Just 39% approve of Patrick’s performance as governor, with seven percent (7%) who strongly approve. Sixty percent (60%) disapprove of the job he is doing, including 34% who strongly disapprove."
So if the seat becomes vacant before January 2011, Senator Kennedy wants an unpopular Democratic Governor to choose his successor instead of waiting for the people of Massachusetts to vote on their own? The people of Massachusetts do not approve of the job Patrick is doing now so why give him the additional responsibility to possibly appoint a successor to Kennedy especially when Patrick himself may be voted out of office in next year's midterm election?