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So last week I wrote that newly-elected U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D. MA) would be sworn in this Wednesday:

Well Markey's swearing in date has been pushed back to next week:

Representative Edward J. Markey, the Malden Democrat elected to the Senate in a special election last month, will be sworn in to replace Secretary of State John F. Kerry on July 16, his office said today.

Markey defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez on June 25, following Kerry’s elevation to the State Department in February. Though Markey spent more than 36 years in the House and is one of its most senior members, he will become the junior senator from Massachusetts, lower in seniority than Elizabeth Warren, who took office in January and is currently last overall in seniority. - Boston Globe, 7/9/13

There's a reason for the delay:

There is one remaining formality and that is certification by the Governor's Council of the results of the June 25 special election in which Markey defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez. The council is expected to do that during a meeting on Wednesday.

Markey would also formally resign the U.S. House seat he has held since 1976, clearing the way for state officials to schedule a special election to fill that seat. - AP, 7/9/13

The change of date will also give interim Senator Mo Cowan (D. MA) some more time in the Senate.  Cowan's been making the most of his short stint as a U.S. Senator:

Although Cowan has had no time to make a legislative mark, he quickly became popular among his colleagues. Cowan acknowledged a frustration with the gridlock that characterizes Washington, but refused to blame individual senators, who he says are surprisingly friendly across party lines.

“The presumption is if there’s so much gridlock, people don’t like each other. People don’t engage each other,” he said. But “I have been warmly welcomed here and I see how well senators interact with each other, old and new.”

Instead, he blames the “pervasive, pernicious influence of money,” unleashed by the US Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision that paved the way for outside groups to collect unlimited contributions. Senators who might otherwise be inclined to seek compromise are forced to extreme positions out of fear that a political group will spend money to try to defeat them, he said.

“It feeds a culture of extremism on the political landscape, left and right,” he said.

Cowan said he was especially disappointed at the failure, in April, of a high-profile gun control measure that included expanded background checks, one of the few major votes he cast since joining the Senate. He cited polls showing overwhelming support for the legislation, and lamented how support in the chamber was eroded by foes’ scare tactics.

Cowan, however, has not exactly built a bipartisan bridge during his brief tenure. A Washington Post online database shows he voted with his party 98 percent of the time in the 109 votes he has taken since entering Congress.

Cowan, who has not written any stand-alone bills, has not used his power to take any outspoken positions. He is rarely sought by the media. And when he is, he avoids controversy. - Boston Globe, 6/10/13

I thank Senator Cowan for holding the seat for Markey and wish him the best of luck with his future.  Markey will have to run again next year for a full term after handily defeating Gabriel Gomez (R. MA) in the special election.  Gomez's defeat is causing Massachusetts Republicans to rethink their strategy:

Janet Leombruno, a Republican state committeewoman from Framingham who was active in the Gomez campaign, said part of the challenge is that Republicans disagree on why Gomez lost.

“He lost because he was too liberal or he was too conservative. This is what you’re hearing,” Leombruno said.

Massachusetts Republicans need a better way of getting their message out, rather than letting themselves be defined by the national Republican Party or the Tea Party, Leombruno said. She points out that Brown lost among women after Democrats tied him to two Republican senators who made controversial comments about rape and abortion.

“It’s just frustrating,” Leombruno said. “I saw a lot of it in this race with Gabriel. They tried to define him as just another Republican.”

Leombruno said a candidate in Massachusetts must be moderate to appeal to independents and be successful. Leombruno believes Republicans must stop talking about abortion and gay marriage, and focus on pocketbook issues like college affordability and taxes.

“We have to agree to give up a little something,” she said. “It may not be our perfect candidate but there’s never any one perfect candidate out there.”

Not everyone agrees that moderation is key.

Paul Santaniello, a Republican political activist and Longmeadow selectman, said one problem the GOP faces is that candidates like Gomez act too much like Democrats, and have lost their own vision.

“You try to run in the middle of the street, you tend to get run over,” Santaniello said. “That’s what’s happening to Republican Party.”

Santaniello said he believes it is a mistake for Massachusetts Republicans to distance themselves from Tea Party activists. “Those are the same kind of folks who will stand out for you in the rain or a driving hail storm to hold your sign,” he said. - The Republican, 7/6/13

Good luck with that.  I for one am looking forward to officially saying Senator Ed Markey (D. MA) next week.

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 11:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, LatinoKos, In Support of Labor and Unions, Milk Men And Women, Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Boston Kossacks.

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