Martha Coakley

The favorite for Senator Kennedy’s seat will surprise many people.

According to a Boston Globe poll, Martha Coakley, the state attorney general, is ahead of both Joe Kennedy and Vicki Kennedy. Coakley picked up filing papers for the job on Wednesday.

It is rather surprising that Coakley would lead Joe and Vicki Kennedy in the week after Teddy’s death when emotions are still running high in Massachusetts.

It perhaps makes clear a major weakness in the Kennedy for Senate argument, that any Kennedy in Massachusetts could get elected now.

Rather like Caroline Kennedy’s failed efforts in New York, this generation of Kennedys lacks the outright charisma and electability factor which makes them shoo-ins.

Joe has been out of elected office for 10 years and has shown little signs of interest in running again. Vicki is not truly a Kennedy by the Massachusetts family definition, and may have problems with members of the family who consider her a far too recent entry to the clan.