PoliticsNation | January 30, 2013
on thinkorswim from td ameritrade .
>>> after 28 years, john kerry bid good-bye to the united states senate today in an emotional lookback on his career. he talked about the importance of listening, not just to his fellow senators, but to the people they represent. .
>> i came to the national mall , 1971 with fellow veterans who wanted to talk to our leaders about the war. president nixon tried to kick us off the mall. but we knocked on door after door of capitol hill and too often couldn't get an audience. a precious few, including ted kennedy and hubert humphery came to where we were camped out. i saw firsthand that our political process works only when leaders are willing to listen.
>> he left the floor to a standing ovation capping off nearly three decades of public service . and it set off a mad political scramble to his senate seat. today, massachusetts governor picked boston lawyer as an interim replacement.
>> so who is mr. callan ? and is scott brown gearing up for a comeback?
>> joining me now is susan mil ler ligan and contributor to the last lion, the biography of the late senator ted kennedy . thank you both for coming on the show tonight.
>> i was pretty moved by it. i never thought that i would see john kerry , of all people, almost break down in tears to the point where he had to drink a glass of water and it was genuine because he loves the institution of the senate and i think he's quite pained over how the institution has changed and still hopeful to be what it used to be where members had genuine friendships across the aisle. he loved the senate . i was very touched by his speech, actually.
>> i was a little surprised. i've gotten to know him well after the 2004 election. and to see them emotional like that is rare. but he also addressed the gridlock in the senate , susan . look at this.
>> we can't ignore the fact that today, treaties that only a few years ago would have passed 100 to nothing don't pass at all. people who want to vote for something that they believe in actually don't do so. for fear retrobugs. if the senate gimmicks over common ground , the risk is not that we will fail to move forward, it is that we will fall behind.
>> very, very true. and he uses his emotion to drive like a wampbi inwarning and a message to his colleagues.
>> rook, senator kerry was there at a time when we genuinely did have friendships across the island. he pointed us something very important where people think the rules need to be changed. the rules have always been there. people didn't abuse him before. the problem now is that you don't have people coming in with more extreme views. it's that they come in with an idea that they don't have to get in. they shouldn't have to compromise. the thing that made ted kennedy such a great senator is that he understood as big and as important as he was, the institution of the senate was going to be long around after he was gone. kerry has that attitude as well. it's not so common anymore in the senate , i'm afraid.
>> you have to have leaders that understand it's more than about them. jamal, talking about leaders, we have a new one now in the appointee of william moe callan . chosen by governor patrick . most people surprised. he's former chief of staff to governor patrick . first time in history now we have two african american senators who will serve at the same time. callan now becomes the ailgt black senator in u.s. history . in fact, it was a republican that was elected first since reconstruction in massachusetts , ed brook. tell us about krarks allan. you know him?
>> i do. and he's a relly good man. he's a family man from north carolina , went to duke, went to law school up in massachusetts . and he has served governor patrick . it's a real strong testament that he chose to go. a lot of people are just appointed that barney frank didn't get the appointment.
>> he wanted it. he came out publically. and it was a testament that he wouldn't get push into apointing someone. and i think it's a profound statement. i expect do see moe cowan be a champion for justice and opportunity.
>> snou, hee eel be there until june. he says he's not running. tim scott will probably run. an african american was in a position to take a lot of shots as the president. does cowan count a balance?
>> he does. and i think he gives african americans and all americans, truthly. they're looking to have a voice for them in the senate . give them an opportunity to have a couple different choices. let's see if maybe they can find a couple things to work on it together. it would be great. he showed this in the previous segment. it would be great if over the next six months, that those two senators would keep people from having to stand in line for hours and hours just to cast the vote. that would be one thing, i think, they ought to be able to find some common ground on.
>> susan , let me ask about scott brown . you know the state well. we are reading reports that he's leaning strongly toward running for kerry 's seat. ef b though many say if he waited to run for governor in two years, it would be easier. it would be an easier race. but he's leading the run for kerry 's seat, especially given the competition. take a listen.
>> victory and defeet is only temporary.
>> so, susan , he's taking shots at mr. marquee. he's the likely democrat that he'll face that's running for senate ?
>> i know that senator brown made comments about how mr. marquee's wife works down here. that's going to be a tough one on the trail. i'm not sure if it's a big plus if you're going back to massachusetts all of the time. what's so important is to develop relationships down here, to get things down. i think markey is a pretty formidable candidate. and, in some ways, he's a much stronger candidate than elizabeth warren was. she's a terrific mind and a terrific senator. massachusetts is not a very hospitable place for female candidates. she is sort of portrayed as a school elitist and she still won. so i think that it would be form midble. the problem for brown is if he runs and luszs, he's done for politics. so he's got to decide. if he ran against markey who we asumt will get the nomination and lost, then i don't see how