Brown Will Be Sworn In At 5 P.M., But Won't Get Ted's Desk

Sen.-elect Scott Brown will become Sen. Scott Brown later this afternoon.

The Massachusetts Republican is expected to be sworn in by Vice President Biden at 5 p.m. Brown originally was planning on a Feb. 11 swearing in — to give him more time to hire staff, etc. — but he told member station WBUR, "I want to do my job. ... There are votes to be taken." Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said, "If he wants to be sworn in [Thursday], we will do so."

Conservatives have urged Brown to request a speeded-up process, in part to vote against the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker, the associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union, faces strong opposition by the business community.

Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr, on the likelihood of a Brown swearing in today: "About damn time":

Whoever's fault this delay in seating the new senator was, can you imagine Martha Coakley having to wait two-plus weeks to be sworn in? Of course not. And what would have happened to an unelected Republican senator desperately hanging on for one bad vote after another, doing everything but taking hostages in his office?

Carr also takes a swipe at the Kennedys:

Something else happens today that's as significant as Scott Brown's swearing in. Today is the end of Camelot, as in the old show tune, "for one brief shining moment...."

Brief? The Kennedys (and their placeholders, Ben Smith and now Paul Kirk) owned this seat for 57 years - one for each state in Barack Obama's union. In that last debate, Scott Brown was wrong. The Kennedys really did own this seat.

Joe Kennedy purchased it for his boy Jack, back in 1952. Bought off the owner of the old Boston Post and drenched the state in bootlegger cash and - strike up the band - "dont let it be forgot/ for one brief shining moment/ that once there was a spot/ that was known as Camelot."

Until Ted Kennedy ordered the Legislature to change the law on Senate succession in 2004. And then demanded last year that it be changed again. If Ted Kennedy hadn't pulled that one final "Do-you-know-who-I-am?" his family would still own the seat.

Boy, karma really is a bummer, isn't it? And what can you say about Scott Brown except, he's the straw who broke the Camelot's back.

Speaking of Ted Kennedy, it looks like while Brown will be getting his seat, he won't be getting the desk the senator had for his nearly 47 years in the Senate. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is claiming it. The desk is situated well in the back of the Senate chamber and Kennedy, given his seniority, could have moved closer to the front. But it's also the desk that his brother, John Kennedy, used during his tenure (1953-60) in the Senate.

(Update at 11:49 a.m.: I received this Tweet from halljasonc: "The 'Seat' & desk used during the Kennedy tenure belong to the People. Don't forget that!")

And while the Scott Brown era is likely to begin today, one reader, Gus Sperrazza of Washington, D.C., is still looking back:

I was just thinking how things would have been different had Ted Kennedy resigned when it was clear that he really couldn't continue being an active senator. Of course, no one could have foreseen Sen. Scott Brown, but I wonder if anybody suggested to Kennedy that he resign. Surely if he had still been alive during the race to succeed him he could have been a force in the campaign. When it was clear that he really wasn't going to return to the Senate physically, I wondered why he didn't quit.

Here's another question that has no answer. Paul Kirk, the longtime Kennedy friend and ex-DNC chair who was appointed to fill the seat until the special election winner was sworn in, will give his Senate farewell speech today at 3:45 p.m. A question I would ask of Kirk if I could: Do you think you made a mistake, during the Senate campaign, when you said that even if Scott Brown wins the election, you will vote for the health care bill? My personal feeling was that by doing that, it played into the hands of those who felt it showed an almost elitist disregard for what the voters may have wanted. Plus, it signaled that the Democrats were preparing for a Brown victory (even when they were publicly poo-poohing the possibility).

It's on my list of things I think about.

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