“Everyone endorses Ed Markey”

So tweeted the WaPo’s Rachel Weiner. With the fulsome endorsement-in-all-but-name by John Kerry; Another by Vicki Kennedy; and a strong statement of support from the DSCC, It looks like the establishment is trying to clear the field for Ed Markey:

“While I began last week to formally step out of politics, and it’s very important that I respect the apolitical nature of the post I hope to soon occupy, as Massachusetts’ senior senator today and as a colleague of Ed Markey’s for 28 years, I’m excited to learn of and support his decision to run for the United States Senate,” Kerry said in a statement. ”Ed’s one of the most experienced and capable legislators in the entire Congress and it would be an almost unprecedented occasion for such an accomplished legislator to join the Senate able to hit the ground running on every issue of importance to Massachusetts.”

Now, on one hand, I’m not sure how I feel about this. A rush to coalesce behind a single candidate creates heavy expectations for that person; whereas a primary battle can help them sharpen their message and endure the inevitable slings and arrows of a tough general campaign. I’m not sure a coronation is a good thing.

On the other hand, I’m pleased that the establishment seems to agree with my sense that Markey is the best person for the job. Let’s just hope he stays sharp, and stays hungry.

Recommended by mike_cote, renaissance-man.



Discuss

29 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Based on what little I know of Ed Markey

    I would support him at this point. Even if, for no other reason than to spite EB3.

  2. Well

    A hard(ish)-fought primary in the special 3 years ago certainly didn’t do anything to help Coakley, and Warren still won by 8 points in the general after enjoying her own coronation. While I understand your hesitation, I’m not sure that a coronation is as bad a thing as popular wisdom would suggest.

  3. Neither coronation nor coronary let us have...

    Now, on one hand, I’m not sure how I feel about this. A rush to coalesce behind a single candidate creates heavy expectations for that person; whereas a primary battle can help them sharpen their message and endure the inevitable slings and arrows of a tough general campaign. I’m not sure a coronation is a good thing.

    ‘Promoting” someone who, for 28 years, has done a job only (slightly) smaller in scope (and that only by virtue of geography), is, in my estimation, the furthest a CommonWealth can get from a “coronation”.

    The job is the job. Running for the job… is not… the job. Being a candidate, ‘tough general campaign’ or no, is not the job. building and passing legislation is the job. I wonder if people remember this. I wonder if the recent spate of elections hasn’t occluded this… You see, with the exception of 2011 the CommonWealth has had statewide elections every year since 2008: Barack Obama in ’08; the last special election began in late ’09 and ended in early ’10; after that we had a gubernatorial election in late ’10. Then we had a ginormous election in ’12… and now we’re going into ’13 with another statewide race.

    I have no particular feelings about Markey in either direction but I am distinctly fatigued with elections and electioneering and distinctly lachrymose about prospects for, you know, actual legislation happening anytime soon. Barring the party rushing to coalesce around a knuckle-dragging moron who couldn’t pick his/her nose without injury, I’m willing to coalesce with the party and get past this election already.

    • I'd agree

      but then so would have President Dukakis back in ’88.

      Unfortunately, to get the job, you must win it; so the ability to win
      it becomes a qualification.

      Is this tiresome? Yes, it is, but, in our modern age, a successful candidate has to handle the Cherokee thing and Rev. Wright and distortions about asbestos suits, the rain/reign of sound-bites, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and quotations distorted by ellipses and wrenched from their contexts. It takes advanced abilities to confront all that dreck.

  4. Mixed feelingsq

    Primaries are valuable in a lot of cases – they let the candidate sharpen their message, “practice” with a smaller audience, build their organization, and the winner get lots of exposure before the general election. They have already defined themselves to the electorate. I think the gubernatorial primary in 2006 gave Patrick a huge advantage over Kerry Healey in terms of organizational strength and messaging.

    That being said, Ed Markey is a veteran campaigner, not a first-time candidate. He’ll have to build a statewide organization quickly to match what Scott Brown already has, but he has the progressive cred to be able to tap into the Walsh/Patrick/Warren ground troops. And a bruising Markey/Capuano primary probably wouldn’t help anyone.

    I’d still like to see Downing run. The race could be kept civil and could benefit both candidates. Markey would win but get solid exposure and build his game, and Downing would get a great introduction to the rest of the state.

    • Brown's not formidable.

      Not a Reliable Organization
      He doesn’t have much of an organization across the state. He had volunteers, but aside from signs and visibilities, there wasn’t much organization. It was nothing compared to what we had on our side. Moreover, a lot of his supporters were unenrolled, and they will be harder to motivate the second time around. They are going to move back to stamp collecting, scrapbooking, and listening to WEEI. That leaves him with a full-time Fehrnstrom and the Mass GOP to get things together.

      Enthusiasm Gap
      I’m guessing that enthusiasm for Brown dissipated between his first campaign and the end of his last campaign. Sure, he’s still got his fans, but a lot of the people who were enthusiastic about him are not political diehards (way to many unenrolleds) who were caught up in the moment and his Little Engine That Could candidacy. The idea that he was something special is, I think, gone.

      Demographic Issue
      Markey is also not a Harvard professor woman; and with a small, but significant, number of Brown’s erstwhile voters, his gender and age will not be held against him. He’s also a white, 60something male. That’s a demographic advantage with voters, particularly men, who are white and getting on in years. There will also be fewer renegade Democratic voters this time too.

      Record & Attacks
      Not that Fehrnie & Friends won’t try, but Markey’s been in politics for a long time. It’s doubtful there are any Cherokees in his closet. Many people will
      feel comfortable voting for him because he’s been around a long time.

      GOP Wing Nuts
      I may be wrong, but I expect the GOP in Congress to really hurt the Party in the the fiscal cliff negotiations. Brown will be at a disadvantage running against the war stories Markey would be able to tell about those crazies.

      In no way am I suggesting that Markey would be a shoe-in. As I tell my high school debaters, you can have the best case in the world, but you still have to argue it. But Brown’s likeability (which, I think, is not that deep) has been damaged–I don’t care what the polls say–and the fact it is a mid-term election are his only advantages.

      • I'm not convinced Brown will run.

        He’s a fragile little flower. He knows that another defeat will end his career. He sits out, and positions himself for 2014.

      • Brown has a formidable advantage

        in recognition and even likability. And his experience waging a competitive campaign is more extensive than Markey’s and more recent by decades.

        I am not scared of that, I mean, bring it on. I agree he has weaknesses too. But it would be foolish to underrate his position just because we do not like the man.

        Ed Markey has his work cut out for him and not a lot of time in which to do it. He should be in Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford, Pittsfield, yesterday.

        The race is on to see who defines him to voters and on what terms.

        • Liking Markey

          I live in Markey’s district. I can tell you I “like” Markey, but there’s nothing personal or emotional about that it’s just that he’s for a host of things with which I agree.

          However, likeability is very important — especially for low-information voters who are certain that they don’t understand the issues (so they’re reluctant to vote on issues) but are confident they can detect and judge character.

          That’s all to say we need to hear more about Markey than “merely” that he is a wonderful legislator. (And boy, sympathizing with petr’s comment above, does that “merely” sting.)

        • EdMarkey.org is up

          Go to http://www.edmarkey.org and you’ll see a graphic that lets you sign up for his email list or make a contribution. He needs a whole lot more at that web site, pronto – something tells me there’s a few web guys working overtime right now!

    • How long was Patrick building his organization?

      One year? Two? The difference here is significant, time-wise. It’s going to be hard enough to ramp up for a statewide special election in a compressed timeframe without a primary battle.

      Many small donors have limited financial resources that can’t magically multiply so they can give double for a primary and general election, especially right after the Warren and Obama campaigns. For candidates who don’t rely solely on big money, this is an issue. Not to mention volunteer resources. Many of us don’t have unlimited nights and weekends to phonebank and door-knock.

      • Close to two years

        I believe that Deval announced his interest in January 2005 and had at least on staffer in February.

        • Even earlier

          I was regularly visiting the Deval Patrick Committee’s office in December 2004, maybe even November 2004, and there were a bunch of people working there already, though I’m not sure how many were full time staffers.

      • The best thing to do would be to try to

        tap into Liz and the party’s efforts from a few months ago, taking advantage of the coordinated campaign, so hopefully it won’t be like starting from scratch.

        RyansTake   @   Sat 29 Dec 10:09 PM
  5. Markey's response

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2012

    CONTACT: Giselle Barry, 781-960-5338, 510-409-7516

    STATEMENT FROM ED MARKEY REGARDING SENATOR JOHN KERRY AND VICKI KENNEDY SUPPORT

    MEDFORD, MA. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) issued the following statement.

    “Senator Kerry is one of the great senators in our nation’s history. I have been proud to fight alongside him, and I am humbled and honored to have his strong support in this race.

    “Together, Senator Kerry and I have fought hard for the families in our state and country, standing up against a Republican agenda that benefits billionaires and big oil companies that don’t pay their fair share. This is the kind of leadership we will continue to need in Massachusetts in the face of Tea Party obstructionism.

    “The events of the last several weeks, from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have made it clear Massachusetts needs a senator who will fight the battles Senator Kerry and I have fought – for energy independence and environmental protection policies, as well as for an immediate ban on assault weapons. We need a senator who will protect Massachusetts from the Republican assault on the R&D investments that are vital to our innovation economy.

    “Massachusetts voters are facing a critical decision about whether we continue John Kerry’s tireless fight for the middle class or if we abdicate more power to the special interests. We must not turn back now. That’s why I want to continue this fight for the values and priorities that will move our state and nation forward and carry on John Kerry’s legacy of leadership in the Senate.”

    “Vicki Kennedy is a Massachusetts treasure and a public service powerhouse, and I am proud to have her support in this important race for our state and nation’s future. Vicki is a health care hero, and Massachusetts’s national leadership in providing universal coverage is due in large part to her tireless commitment. Vicki has long heralded the need for sane and aggressive gun control measures for years, and her voice will be key to finally passing a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. It is because of Vicki’s energy, passion and commitment that Massachusetts and the entire nation are healthier, safer and a place for our children to thrive. I look forward to working with her to promote the health and best interests of the people of Massachusetts.”
    ###

    • How this plays out

      With the DSCC, Kerry and Kennedy all endorsing on the same day (news dump Friday) a clear signal is sent to the other House Dems to stay out, along with all statewide office holders. No Cappy, no Coakley, no Murray, no Grossman. Lynchie might still give it a go an it sounds like he is more serious this time. I think Dowling v Markey would be a low key and civil contest, with Lynch in the mix it could get very ugly.

      • Downing (just in case it's not a typo above)

        State Senator Benjamin Downing is a talented, vigorous and clear headed progressive. Demographics and population gaps are insurmountable obstacles for him. I would certainly prefer Downing over the second tier list above of, “Cappy, Coakley, Murray, (and especially Lynch or) Grossman. But it can’t happen. Downing needs a leadership post in the state Senate….like president…..so he can move good ideas/policies forward. But, then again, I would like to see Jamie Eldridge with the gavel. Can Therese Murray please step-down so we can get some fresh blood at work in the state senate? While I am going tangent on myself……when the “eff” is DeLeo going to be replaced??? So, so, so very embarrassing.

  6. Lynch voted against the ACA. He’s either too self-important to represent me, too stupid to understand how politics really works, or both.

    • Union Support

      Because Lynch voted against the ACA, he doesn’t have enthusiastic union support in the same way that Ed Markey enjoys that support.

      Lynch simply cannot win the Democratic nomination.

      • and he's anti-choice

        So his support among Democratic and independent women voters (and men who prioritize the choice issue) – not so much, which is a killer in the Dem primary. Add this factor to weak union support and I would agree that there’s no way he can win the Democratic nomination.

        Markey’s my Rep and generally I’ve been impressed with him – I think he’d make a great Senator even though I don’t exactly relish *another* election to replace his House seat – altho it could open up some great chances to get a fresh new voice into our House delegation, which would be a good thing, imo.

    • He did worse than vote against it

      Lynch played a destructive role throughout the process: one week attacking from the right, the next week from the left, always claiming he believed in the end goal but never doing anything but throwing up obstacles. He tried to embarrass leadership and the president, calling attention to himself at every turn. The thinking at the time was that he was trying to gather up some Scott Brown populism for himself, in preparation for this very kind of moment (a senate opening).

      I used to like him, despite not agreeing with all his positions, but he lost me for good when he played these cheap games with this historically important issue.

  7. This is great news!

    Here’s a taste of Ed Markey’s speaking style from his climate change event last month, I posted YouTube videos here back then:

    http://bluemassgroup.com/2012/11/congressman-markeys-remarks-on-climate-change-and-superstorm-sandy-11252012/

    I’m looking forward to the contest – think I’ll go see if Markey has a volunteer sign-up form going!

  8. According to Congressman Capuano's FB feed...

    …he will decide whether to run himself after the new year.

    • Nice way of saying

      He’s out IMO. Can’t waste any time or momentum by delaying a decision. Markey endorsed him last time and he knows how the chips are falling
      now, my money is he is trying to keep his name in the mix so he can be viable for Governor in 14′.

      • Alternately

        He has a poll in the field at the moment. I don’t think that’s Mike’s MO — he’s the straightest shooter Mass. sends to DC — but many pols temporize for that reason.

        sabutai   @   Sat 29 Dec 4:35 PM
      • Do not disagree

        My thinking is Baystate voters do not want to recycle the old faces. Maybe yes for the “short sell” senate seat. But, we are going to look and think hard about Governor 2014. We seem to have figured it out that what we really want and need are Democrats with chutzpah to take-on the stagnant establishment party ranks, not faux “independent” Repubs pretending to bring “balance” to BH or DC.

        • Patrick's legacy

          Is one of progressive social policies and prudent fiscal judgment and a reform oriented approach to government. My fear is they renominate Baker who could credibly run on those three pillars while we nominate a Murray or Capuano. Grossman might be our best choice since he has made some good headway in a little time and is still a credible outsider. Or one of the many good progressive state senators we have.

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