Merry Christmas, Massachusetts, Santa brought you a senate race! Democratic primary first week of December, and tonight, we saw the hopefuls all in a row.
In this corner.....
Your attorney general (cannon)
Your Congressman (cowboy)
Your community organizer (wheelbarrow)
Your business leader (top hat)
Your moderator Peter Meade (as the scottie dog).
The first challenge for this slate of candidates, and the Party in general, is explaining that Massachusetts has two Senate seats. We did not actually retire Senator-for-Life Kennedy's desk after his passing. Do you say you'll do it differently, or exactly the same? and how much space between you and this guy?
Meade asked for the candidates to describe the moment when they wanted to run, expecting us to go to videotape, or at least for a kilted pipesplayer to emerge from the wings. The candidates showed the proper respect for the Late Senator Emeritus, and refrained from saying the obvious answer, respectively:
- The cool murders disappeared the minute I became AG
- It is the natural next career move for me
- I want the President to notice me
- I am a spoiler
Out of tonight's showing, I like Capuano, and reserve the Mass Dem's right to flip-flop on that as soon as it suits me. I liked how he put Meade in his place for asking questions based on "what ifs." I actually wanted Capuano to say, "Well, Peter, you could ask would I vote for mandatory push-ups for everyone -- that isn't going to happen and you are deliberately trying to provoke crazy sound bites." But instead he stuck with, "That's not how it would happen, so it's not a real example." I shouldn't put that in quotes; it is not exactly what he said. I did write this one down, "Our mission was not to conquer Afghanistan."
Mike reminded us all he has been to Afghanistan. ("You, sir, have not been to Afghanistan") And he has voted on Congressional bills before. And nanny-nanny-boo-boo. Martha Coakley refrained from reminded us she convicted Louise Woodward. (speaking of nannies...)
Coakley did fine. she knows how to speak to camera, and she had some smart things to say. Like human rights are not determined by citizenship. If she hires me, I can give her pithy statements like this, because she talks like an attorney, and this is what she meant.
Alan Kezhi played for Passion (capital P) but it backfired on him at times. He said more than once that "when people have jobs, people pay taxes." I can assure him that when people don't have jobs, they also pay taxes. He talked a lot about the "special interests and the lobbyists" (Ye Scribes and Pharisees!) who he admits "run Washington." Alan, you will have to get into bed with them; our Ted knew that. Lobbyists have their passions too.
In his nervousness, or over-preparedness, he repeated himself often. Being the "son of a doctor" is not credentials. If it were, then I could chair the Armed Services Committee myself. He also outed himself as Iranian-American, which was bold, and we can look forward to long debates in the Herald about whether he is "an Arab," when of course... he is Persian.
Steve Pellicano... you are not adding value. Thanks for having some stats to work with (320,000 unemployed in the Commonwealth), but I don't think you broke away from the pack here. I am filing you under Jim Rappaport . And best of luck to you.