Even more obnoxious than the Globe’s endless support for our corrupt ruling class is the occasional piece of Beltway-based punditry attempting to explain wacky Massachusetts politics to a befuddled country.
Here’s a typical example, where author E J Dionne bases his 2009 assessment on events of the 1950s:
Fall River, my home town in Massachusetts, has been a bastion of devotion to the Kennedy family since John F. Kennedy’s 1952 Senate race. We were so faithful that the turnout slogan in my dear city could well have been: “Vote for the Kennedy of your choice, but vote.” It’s like that in a lot of places around the state. A factory worker with no political credentials got elected state treasurer in 1954 just because his name happened to be John F. Kennedy. When that JFK later ran for governor, party leaders were so alarmed he might win that they put two other people named John Kennedy on the ballot just to split the Kennedy vote.
All the Democrats are running on a Be-Like-Ted ticket, but there are degrees of Ted-ness. The candidate embracing the Kennedy legacy most fiercely is Mike Capuano, a congressman whose district includes Cambridge and Somerville. He’s running as the liberal’s liberal, not a bad bet in Massachusetts and the best strategy for a man competing with a woman for progressive votes.
The woman to beat is Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has the most statewide recognition. Having voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in last year’s presidential primary, Massachusetts may well be in the mood this year to break with its history of not electing women to the top state offices. Coakley is also a former prosecutor, and a law-and-order woman scrambles the stereotypes.
I’m not going to dispute his childhood memories, but Be-Like-Ted? Where? So far, haven’t seen a trace of this from any of the candidates. Left, right and center are all ticked off at the Kennedy family’s move to install one of Ted’s friends as temporary senator. In fact, the most lingering criticism is from the left!
Is Martha planning a Be-Like-Ted candidacy? Hell no, she’s running the other way. She’s not stupid and intends to win the race. The Kennedy era is over, despite the four month extension by decree.
This kind of story is EXACTLY why I truly believe Scott Brown (top image) can win this race, because no one believes it is possible.
A combination of low voter turnout, an unmotivated Democrat base and a furious “unenrolled” center and right that is bursting for an opportunity to express their anger means this will NOT be a cakewalk for Martha & friends.
Remember, unenrolled voters now make up the MAJORITY of the Bay State’s electorate. Brown must immediately reach out to them to win without appearing as Democrat-lite. Stress independence from both parties.
Democrats win races in Massachusetts primarily because they lack effective opponents. But that’s not the case this year and they are in much worse shape than anyone realizes.