Kennedy bullish on Reed as Sec Def

UPDATE II: Let's go to the tape.

Here's part of the relevant transcript from 10 News Conference, as provided by the senator's office:

TARICANI: Let’s talk a little bit about your future, we’ve asked you this before, should a Democrat get elected president in ’08 and should you be requested or nominated to be Secretary of Defense, would you accept that position?

REED: No. My intention and hope is that I will be re-elected by the people of Rhode Island.  I’m very privileged to serve as a United States Senator and I hope they will give me the opportunity to serve the state and the nation for six more years.

TARICANI: So you are ruling that out.

REED: Yes.

RAPPLEYE: Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army, any… you want to stay a Senator?

REED: Yes, very much and I’m going to wage a campaign and hope that the people of RI will again give me the opportunity to do that. I feel extraordinarily fortunate. I can’t think of a better place to represent people I know, people I grew up with, people who work hard, respect this country, serve the country well and I hope in some simple way I get to serve them.

UPDATE: Reed rules it out.

Kennedy's comment notwithstanding, Reed is apparently uninterested in the position of Secretary of Defense. WJAR, which yesterday featured the senator on 10 News Conference, reports that Reed says he would not accept such a nomination.

. . . .

One of the more interesting tidbits in Scott MacKay and Mark Arsenault's look yesterday at the maturation of US Representative Patrick Kennedy was the congressman's certitude about US Senator Jack Reed's possible place in a Democratic administration:

“I’m very comfortable in the House,” says Kennedy in an interview. “My dad asked me whether, if Senator [Jack] Reed got tapped for secretary of defense, whether I’d think of running for his seat.

“I think it’s a very probable scenario under a Democratic administration that Jack Reed would be tapped for secretary of defense, and I assume he would accept it in a heartbeat. But I’m so far along, both seniority-wise and also personally and politically in the House. … I feel I have my own territory where I don’t have to worry about comparisons made with my dad.”

Reed, of course, sounded a quite different message when I asked him about this subject in April. When I wrote that he was being coy -- the senator had cited a desire to remain in the Senate -- his spokesman called me to characterize his remark as "pretty categorical."

The really interesting thing, of course, as Matt has noted, is whether the General Assembly will try to take from the governor the appointing authority for elevating a successor, should Reed leave in mid-term. Something tells me the answer is "yes."

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