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The Hiller Instinct

Gov. Patrick names Cowan interim senator

By the time Mo Cowan was posing for pictures with his wife and their sons this morning, everyone knew who the new interim senator would be.

But give the governor credit-- he and his staff kept Cowan's appointment a secret until it was made official.

In picking Cowan, Patrick selected a personal friend and a political ally-- someone long on loyalty and with no famous name.

"Governor, do you look at Mr. Cowan and see some of yourself?" I asked.

"Geeze. . . I'm not that cool," Gov. Patrick replies. "What I do, Andy, see is an affirmation of the American Dream."

I got a pretty good tip last night that Cowan might be the choice, but the governor wouldn't confirm it on his way into Faneuil Hall.

"Mo Cowan, Governor," I said.

"Is that who you're voting for?" the governor replied.

"It is, that's my bet," I said.

On his way out, I tried again.

"Will you just say, 'No, it's not Mo Cowan' so I can feel smarter?" I asked.

The governor laughed.

"Say, "no, it's not Mo Cowan,"" I continued.

"Good night, Andy," he replied with a laugh.

Today I asked Gov. Patrick, "What advice do you have for reporters who ask you a direct question about whom you might appoint the day before you make the appointment?"

"What advice do I have? I guess I'd say the same thing I said to you yesterday, which is wait until it's time for the appointment," he replied.

Don't be surprised if this is the biggest surprise surrounding Senator Mo Cowan. Because he's not going to Washington to make waves-- he's going to keep everything calm until you elect his replacement.