WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers are suggesting that U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki, could fill his seat despite her professed reluctance to take the job.
"Whatever Vicki wants to do, I'm in her corner," Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd said Sunday, speaking to CNN television.
Dodd noted that Vicki Kennedy, 55, had said she is not interested in succeeding her late husband, "but she could change her mind, and if she did, I'm for it. I think she'd be great."
The longtime Democratic senator added: "I think she brings talent and ability to it and to fill that spot I think is something the people of Massachusetts would welcome. We could use her in the Senate.
"I know (that) talking with her children ... they'll come to the right decision," Dodd added.
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told CNN Sunday that the former Victoria Reggie, who was married to the senator for 17 years, "ought to be considered" to fill the vacant seat representing the state of Massachusetts.
Hatch praised her as a "very brilliant lawyer" and "solid individual."
"She certainly made a difference in Ted's life, let me tell you. And I have nothing but great respect for her," Hatch said.
Kennedy was laid to rest Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery, with no clear successor. The third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history, Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer last week at the age of 77.
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