Lawrence O’Donnell: Markey running for Senate

I don't think a primary would be catastrophic. Markey would be awesome, and I would support him. Whoever the nominee, he/she will have to use the grassroots model of Deval and Liz - not simply rely on a big war chest. - promoted by charley-on-the-mta

So it seems it’s State, not Defense, but John Kerry’s elevation to the cabinet is likely to come to pass. We already have discussed the issue of which Democrat should run in the resultant special election (quite likely against Scott Brown) at length. Now Lawrence O’Donnell has said on his show that, once Susan Rice withdrew her name, Ed Markey cancelled an appearance on O’Donnell’s show and is in the Senate race.

Markey was one of the names raised in our discussion. He’s excellent on climate change. I like him as a candidate except for a couple of concerns. First, his charisma, or lack thereof, in a statewide campaign, and (to a lesser extent) age (he’s 66). I think McGovern would be my first pick but I would be pleased with Markey.

The special election format, once again, seems to play to Scott Brown’s advantage. My view is that Warren benefited enormously from big turnout in a Presidential year. Many of you had a lot to do with boosting turnout and I’m sure we’ll all work hard again. But we’ll have a very hard time matching 2012 turnout, which was up nearly 40% statewide from the 2010 special and the 2010 Gubernatorial race, and up by a lot more (think +60% to +125%) in Democratic-friendly cities.

Brown alienated some voters during his race against Warren. But voters, especially suburban independents, can have short memories. I don’t believe Brown, who got nearly 1.5 million votes this year, destroyed his brand beyond repair. If he runs he’ll be formidable. Time to get to work.

In the meantime, thoughts about Markey and avoiding a divisive primary?

Recommended by hlpeary.



Discuss

85 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I could get behind Markey.

    I’m not concerned about a contested primary just like I’m not concerned about Brown. We will have to work to be sure, but I want no part of the handwringing. I actually think he does have his share of charisma and 66 is hardly old. Having someone who makes climate change a priority I think is great.

    • Contested primary is fine

      I just don’t want acrimony after. We need to get on the same page.

      Not quite handwringing but I’m much more concerned about Brown in a special election than I would have been in 2014. I mean 2014 assuming an open seat; if Kerry had run in 2014 Brown had no chance barring a major collapse of the Democratic brand.

  2. How solid is Markey's district

    and who looks good there?

    • District is solid

      +15, I believe. Barney Frank was miffed that Markey, in his view, used his pull on Beacon Hill to fortify his own district at Barney’s expense (I think Barney wanted Natick and Framingham since he lost New Bedford to Keating’s district).

      Not sure who looks good there. It includes from Revere/Malden over to Southboro via Lexington/Waltham and Natick/Framingham. Parts of Cambridge too (Harvard Square, Fresh Pond).

    • Solid

      Very solid district. I could imagine: Carl Sciortino, Katherine Clark, Joe Kearns Goodwin, Peter Koutoujian, Jason Lewis, Will Brownsberger … Gotta be some prosecutors and mayors as well. That’s just from the legislative side.

    • Tom Conroy

      is in the district. He made a run, with my support, for U.S. Senate but dropped out after Warren joined the race.

      Conroy has been an outstanding state representative, excellent on all the issues, and is highly regarded by the most liberal legislators on Beacon Hill. He was one of the most vocal opponents of casino gambling, did a cost-benefit analysis showing that the promised benefits will not materialize.

      If he runs for Markey’s seat, he will have my full support.

  3. Bring Him On!

    So soon, and another election with Scott Brown!

    That’s great. It would be fun to beat him in 2013 again!

  4. Primaries are good.

    I hope there is a primary. Primary campagns, if they don’t totally go into the gutter, generate lots of free press, excitement, and organization building. Look at how President Obama did in 2008 after the long primary season vs. Hillary Clinton.

    I still beleive that Elizabeth Warren would’ve had an easier time if she hadn’t “cleared the field” so early.

  5. Brown won his seat

    on the crest of a tea party wave, and helped along by a Democratic candidate who ran a cold, bland race. I think, just like the two Peters (Blute & Torkildsen) who won their seats in the Gingrich wave, Brown was voted out by a more attentive electorate, who realized what his votes meant for them, in his first race for reelection. Along with his claim to be a nice guy, his big claim was his bipartisanship. Elizabeth Warren showed that in vote after vote, he was a dependable vote for the conservative Republican agenda, with many of his so called bipartisan votes being procedural ones and throw away votes designed to do no more than stake that claim to bipartisanship. Voters know who he is, how he votes, and he won’t fool anyone like he did in the Coakley race. He is still a tough opponent, and the party will be four square behind him, but he is no shoo in.

  6. Primaries

    I don’t think primaries are bad, generally. I’m glad Warren avoided one, because frankly it would have just been a lot of theater until September. That I think is the exception and not the rule.

    Let’s remember, too, that it was the divisive primary that killed Martha Coakley. Yes, the primary was divisive, but there was plenty of time to mend fences. Coakley didn’t, though. Remember, she didn’t take the general seriously and then woke up to an election. This time, the party machinery will already be humming and no doubt be demanding everybody kiss and make up afterwards.

    • did you mean?

      Let’s remember, too, that it was the divisive primary that killed Martha Coakley.

      Did you mean “it wasn’t the divisive primary…”? It was Coakley’s campaign falling asleep, assuming the win was in the bag, that killed her chances. John Walsh will ensure that does not happen this time.

      As much as I’m not looking forward to yet another campaign, I’d rather get this over with now rather than in 2014, when we’ll also have an open gubernatorial race at the same time. If we get a win with Markey or anyone else who then goes on to be a solid Senator, there should be no big problem with the re-election.

      • No no no, a thousand times no

        It was Martha Coakley that killed Martha Coakley. I don’t think it was anything having to do with her campaign, it is instead that she is utterly dissociated from the reality of life in Massachusetts.

        She was and remains a horrid candidate, I think her temperament is completely incompatible with the Senate, and I think that’s why she lost when she did.

        • Oh come on

          Martha Coakley was the most popular politician in Massachusetts before she ran that campaign. Let’s not make her out to be some kind of villain. Her sin was taking the race for granted while out-of-state Tea Party activists worked hard to push Scott Brown across the finish line. By the time she, her campaign, and many of us realized what was happening it was too late to do much about it.

          • Even the best pol

            founders if they cannot explain why they are running. Remember Teddy in ’80?

            “I’m a Democrat” or “I need a job” are not, generally, powerful reasons.

            I KNOW why Elizabeth Warren ran for the Senate. I could see a compelling reason for Markey based on climate change.

            Coakley? Look, it’s easy to be rated “popular” before you start running for anything. Doesn’t mean much.

            • And let's not rewrite history to make a false point

              Martha Coakley won a contested primary for Middlesex County District Attorney (against sitting elected officials in the largest voter rich county of the Commonwealth) without ever having run for office that area. She then ran and won statewide for Attorney General, winning her first statewide election. Martha then ran and won – by 19 points over her closest primary opponent – the special primary election in December 2009.

              She took a professional and personal beating for running a poor final election strategy (a political rope-a-dope) and could have decided to allow that to define her. Instead she campaigned hard, learned from the mistake of January 2010 and won re-election as AG in November 2010.

              In April 2012 the Globe reported a poll showing Martha Coakley as the most popular elected offical in Massachusetts:

              The Boston Globe poll showing Coakley to be the most popular politician in Massachusetts found her to be even more well-liked than Senator Scott Brown, the obscure Republican who unexpectedly vanquished her in the 2010 special Senate election to fill the seat that had been held by Kennedy.

              Brown had consistently topped polls since he took office in 2010.

              Coakley’s favorable rating of 62 percent put her ahead of Brown (54 percent), Governor Deval Patrick (57 percent), and Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, whose dismal 29-to-30 percent favorable-unfavorable ratings reflect his vulnerability to Democratic challengers who also aspire to be governor.

              http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/04/08/martha-coakley-publicity-blitz-spurs-speculation/lyCQ6E4esePwUWYWh53kkK/story.html

              Martha Coakley has been running and winning elective office for two decades. She has defined herself and her reasons for running and she has remained popular throughout. A Brown – Coakley rematch in 2013 would be interesting, as would a Coakley run for Governor in 2014.

          • Seriously?

            How does being the most popular politician in Massachusetts before she ran that campaign change the fact that her campaign was a stinker. I have put more effort into convincing my wife to eat pizza instead of Chinese on a Friday night.

            A non-incumbent taking a United States Senate race for granted is a pretty big political sin. Much worse when you do it in an unpredictable special election after Dems were trounced in the two gubernatorial elections that took place in late 2009 and the public was souring on the major Democratic initiative in DC.

            Long before the polls showed her in trouble, I wondered what the hell she was doing. Going on vacation? Mocking the very idea of shaking hands at Fenway Park?

            • It doesn't change anything

              She took the general election for granted and by the time her campaign realized that maybe she shouldn’t have, it was too late. We were all there, and there’s no denying that if she hadn’t let Brown gain on her in the polls, the national money wouldn’t have started coming in and she’d be Senator still today.

              That said, I’m not sure that the fact she ran a terrible campaign means that she’s “utterly dissociated from the reality of life in Massachusetts”.

              • More than a failed campaign

                I remember her campaign, it isn’t because of her campaign that I wrote that she is “utterly dissociated from the reality of life in Massachusetts”.

                She was making jokes about flagrantly corrupt practices while a pervasive cancer of corruption metastasized and grew — while she was Attorney General! She has never led on ANY issue of substance, while carefully cultivating her political persona.

                Her limited accomplishments strike me as ALWAYS too little too late, always coming after the damage has been done and always utterly ineffectual in actually STOPPING whatever the abuse has been.

                For years, “Where was Martha” has been a running joke.

                This is not the stuff of “failed campaigns” that can be cured by a different campaign manager and new-improved messaging strategy.

                Please — we can and must do far better than Martha Coakley. I held my nose and voted for her once, I won’t do it again.

          • sorry to disagree but Martha was never the “most popular politician in Massachusetts”. maybe in your eyes but many of us, who remember her as a district attorney before attorney general, know better.

            • Not my "eyes" - A Boston Globe Poll

              Our personal opinions aside, I referenced an April 2012 Boston Globe poll that showed Martha with a highest approval rating of any elected official (including Scott Brown) at that time.

              You can choose to ignore the poll but that doesn’t change the facts it presents. And those of us who worked to elect her as DA and AG know even better.

              Personally, Coakley, McGovern and Capuano lead my list for a US Senate special. Coakley, Capuano, Grosman and Murray are my semi-short list for Governor in 2014.

              • Poverty of polling

                People with weak opinions will regularly share them with pollsters, but these have little actual value or importance. Many people with no opinions will at least temporarily manufacture some when asked by pollsters. As experience shows in this case.

                A recent poll found that 25% of Americans have an opinion about the Pannetta-Burns budget plan, which happens not to exist.

                You may have strong opinions about Coakley, but if you take those polls at face value you are just letting your feelings lead you astray from the facts.

                • Facts keep getting in the way

                  At this point we are just arguing about opinions. Several polls continue to show voters view Coakley favorably. Icluding one released today. My personal opinion of AG Coakley isn’t based on polling, it’s based on experience with her on key issues. The polls which all agreed are just gravy.

                  It is worth noting that Martha Coakley, after taking a beating from the Massachusetts voters (and subsequently from disappointed Democrats) in the special election against Scott Brown, is once again regarded favorably with almost half the respondents viewing her in a favorable light.

                  http://massnumbers.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-strong-is-scott-browns-position-for.html?m=1

            • Not in my eyes, but in the polls at the time.

              See Suffolk University poll from March, 2009 that has Martha Coakley with a 56%-13% favorable/unfavorable rating, better than anyone else holding public office (only Joe Kennedy II has a higher favorability).

              Look, I come here not to praise Coakley. She was not my choice in the primary. Still, I think that part of the lesson of her campaign needs to be that even a very popular politician can tank quickly and if we see this as a failing unique to her personally, we risk repeating history.

      • Yes, my bad

        n/t

  7. contested primary, and Markey

    I’d like to see a contested primary in principle, but I’m worried that having a contested primary with a very very short election schedule for a special election would effectively leave no time for the Democratic candidate to have a general election campaign. How much leeway do we have in scheduling a special election with enough time after the primary?

    Markey… I’m very unenthusiastic. He has good policies and he’s obviously clearly better than Brown, but he’s latched on to a lot of things over the years in ways that I think lacked real thinking-it-through, and I also see him as a comfortable and unexciting choice compared to others. I hope he’s not the only one running; he’d be a decent Senator but we can do better.

    Kerry has been a decent Senator but we could most certainly do much better than him. Not so coincidentally, Markey backed Kerry doggedly in the 2003/4 Democratic primaries for president, which I think was a very stupid choice, and one he didn’t think through; it feels to me like something he did out of personal loyalty. I actually encountered him on the campaign trail and tried to engage him in a very brief conversation about it but his responses to my questions about his support for Kerry were such fundamentally stupid cop-outs that I realized he just wasn’t going to take anything anyone said seriously; he was there to proselytize, even one on one, not hear or think or reflect or answer or discuss.

    Overall, I just really don’t like him and feel ambivalent about him being in Congress, even though I do see him consistently support good policy.

  8. Democratic Angst

    Elizabeth Warren won her seat by a 58% to 43% starting as an unknown to the Massachusetts electorate. This anxiety over having to go against Scott Brown is wearing thin. Life happens my friends. Rep Markey, if he runs, starts out with multiple advantages. He is well know, will be well financed, is right on issues that count most, is a better speaker that people give him credit for here, has a political organization in place, and serves a district Scott Brown has to win if he chooses to run. So stop the spineless talk, roll up our sleeves, and really put the Scott Browns of this world in their place, especially from this state.

    • In addition

      John Walsh is fully awake and will not let the Coakley disaster be repeated. As a campaign worker who was on Martha’s team remarked when asked about her loss: “Fiorella LaGuardia lost elections and would say….The people have spoken…Damn them!” What we have if we do not make a full throttled effort is embitterment. It doesn’t taste good and will be our fault.

      • Everyone's awake

        and that’s good. But to me the real risk is turnout in a special election. Even in the 2010 governor’s race it was far lower than in 2012, a presidential year. In an electorate that resembles Jan. and Nov. 2010 more than 2012, in terms of turnout, it’s a squeaker.

        But we really can’t use Warren’s election (which was 54-46, not 58-43) as a reliable yardstick for a summertime special election. I don’t think there’s anything spineless about simply pointing that out. I’m ready to go to work in an effort to maximize our turnout, but understanding the urgency is important.

    • Correction. 53.7-46.3

      A link is below.

      A 7.4-point win isn’t all that comfortable a margin when you had both a president and marajuana on the ballot.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/senate/ma/massachusetts_senate_brown_vs_warren-2093.html

      • I'll give you the president

        But I wager more people came to vote for Obama than they did for marijuana. Heck, right to repair did better than marijuana, and I doubt many people went to the polls with that as their number 1 issue.

        • Perhaps my perspective is distorted, but...

          I teach at Berklee College of Music and had multiple students saying that they switched their voter reg. to Mass. so that they could vote for the marajuana bill. We also had very healthy turnout in the student-dominated Boston neighborhood of Allston.

  9. Absolutely Ed Markey and absolutely no primary

    BC (Before Coakley) we all thought that 6 Dems competing for the nomintion was fine, because whoever won would win the general. Now we are facing a candidate with a fully developed national following and lots of cross-over appeal. Spending weeks/months arguing over single-payer/public option or combing through every bill Ed Markey voted for is useless.

    Markey is the dean of the delegation. He’s delivered year after year, he’s well-respected and he is our best chance for a no drama special election. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s a a white Irish Catholic man who represents a lunchpail district.

  10. Regarding the election calendar...

    …there are certain windows in which the election can be held. Richard Howe does the math:

    Should the President nominate Kerry as Secretary of State, he would undoubtedly be swiftly confirmed and would resign his Senate seat. What then? Upon receipt of Kerry’s letter of resignation, Governor Deval Patrick would be required by Massachusetts General Laws chapter 54, section 140, to set the date for a special election to fill the seat not less than 145 days nor more than 160 days from the date of the vacancy.

    Let’s say the vacancy was to occur on February 1, 2013. The soonest the election could occur would be Tuesday, June 25, 2013 and the latest it could take place would be Tuesday, July 9, 2013. The date for the special election primary automatically falls six weeks before the date of the election. That means that if the election were set for June 25, the primary would be held on Tuesday, May 14; if the election were to be held on July 9, the primary would fall on May 28.

  11. Another vote for Markey...

    …via DailyKos. The diarist is from MA according to the profile, but not a BMGer unless a different handle is used.

  12. McGovern would be my first choice...

    …but I’d back Markey in a heartbeat as well. Get your walking shoes re-soled, people!

  13. Reminder

    Markey won his Congressional seat in a contested 7-way primary back in the day. In that case the primary was the fight as his was a safe Democratic District.

    If memory serves (and please correct me) Markey also once before declared for Senate. I believe when Paul Tsongas considered a run for President. Markey dropped back into his Congressional seat when the Senate seat was no longer in play.

    While I can appreciate Congressman Markey’s service and voting record IMO he is no front runner for US Senate in a primary or a general. He’s never run statewide, most of his career has been around telecommunications issues (not going to excite a base with that) and except for a term as a State Rep he is easily painted as the ultimate DC insider.

    As for his leadership on climate change, again I can appreciate his positions but anyone who thinks a 2013 special election will hinge on a climate change debate is wrong. Not that it isn’t an important issue but while the economy, jobs, taxes, reproductive rights, equal marriage/Supreme Court and now gun issues are in play climate change will be back benched by most voters.

    Look for Congressman Capuano to be in this race with a statewide run under his belt and a blue collar/Middlesex County base (a Capuano weakness is fundraising – Markey starts out in far better shape) . Strong chance of Congressman Lynch who would benefit from a crowded primary as the conservative Dem. Capuano and Lynch would draw from each other with regard to blue collar vote. Others have to look at the seat including self-funders.

    Something to consider – Barney Frank’s revenge for his belief that Markey dumped him under the bus in redistricting. I really wouldn’t wants a pissed off / time on my hands, Barney deciding to get involved in a primary against me.

    There will be no free ride in this special primary and as Elizabeth Warren proved, you don’t need to be a “name” to win a Senate seat in MA.

    Oh, and bring on Scott Brown. It won’t be a cakewalk but beating him twice in less than a year should put his political career to bed.

    • Yeah, he ran before

      When Tsongas retired. The very same election where Kerry became our Senator.
      Pissed a lot of ambitious people in the district off when he chickened out after they’d announced for his seat. http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1984/5/11/no-tragic-hero-pblbately-the-newspapers/
      Dunno how many of them are still holding grudges. Don’t really care. But if he’s in, he’d better be in for real this time. I’m fine with a contested primary, and I kind of like him, but I don’t want him sucking dollars away from the Senate race just to pump up his House coffers. In or out, dude.

    • Markey? No Thanks.

      Interesting that you bring up Markey’s original win for Congress when he won a primary with about 21% of the vote in a crowded primary. All of the other Dems in that race were pro-choice, Markey was the only pro-life candidate in a district that had several strong pockets of pro-life activists. Those folks helped him get the 21% needed to beat out the other 6 0r 7 candidates.

      When Markey entered the race for Senate before and then abruptly withdrew when he faced the chance of losing, he dropped back into the Rep. race and changed his position from pro-life to pro-choice because his opponent State Sen. Sam Rotondi was strongly pro-choice and Markey knew he was at risk. He only won reelection by about 500 votes that year.

      Markey has not lived in the district since the 1980′s. He has a straw residence in Malden. Why would anyone be enthused about supporting him. I think Scott Brown could take him easily.

      Congressman who enter statewide races find out very quickly that they are really known only in their own districts (1/10th of the state)…and are shocked to find that their name recognition (and appeal) is so low statewide.

      • I didn't know he was originally pro-life

        That changes things for me. A lot. I’d be really reluctant to support him now.

      • 21% a strange argument

        Capuano also won his 8-way primary by some 23%, also running to the right of the pack (who split the progressive vote).

        But I have NO complaint about Mike, who has proved himself since. As has Ed Markey, in spades.

        • Capuano

          I have been extraordinarily pleased with Rep Capuano who was not even my third choice in that primary. However, his state-wide campaign for Senator did not go so well.

          At issue for me, is who can run a successful state-wide campaign because Mr Brown certainly can.

          • Successful campaign, of course

            that’s a given. But can we know?

            With Markey, I can see two possibilities. One is he runs as the local boy who became an effective legislator. This is not exciting the way Warren vs. Brown was exciting, though it builds on many of his genuine strengths.

            The second is he runs on climate change, as a crusader on a mission. Think Elizabeth Warren and the middle class.

            This possibility excites me a great deal, and would elevate this race, the only one of 2013, to one of national significance. Like option 1, it also builds on one of Markey’s true strengths.

            Is there anyone else who can do that on such short notice?

            So much of politics is temperament, happenstance, and luck. We can’t guarantee anything for sure. Coakley was a slam dunk. But I think the ingredients are there for Markey, if he wants it badly enough.

            • It already is of national significance

              This possibility excites me a great deal, and would elevate this race, the only one of 2013, to one of national significance.

              Because it’s the only one (and because the 2012 election story was mostly all positive for Democrats), a GOP victory would lead to a major change in Beltway thinking. “Democrats have been repudiated!!!!!”

              This happened with the 2009 NJ & VA governor’s races, and with Brown’s first election. It surely would happen if he wins again. And just imagine the personal hagiography. “The Comeback Kid.” “They thought they sent him packing, but he wasn’t gone six months when he came storming back.” “Best 2 out of 3.”

              We simply cannot lose to this guy again. However it shakes out for the Democratic nomination, can everyone please pledge right now to support the nominee vigorously even if not your first choice?

            • Climate change? Really?

              Climate change is only interesting when nothing else is interesting.

              Right. Drought and storms and… whazzat? Patraeus quasi-political personal scandal. Huh.
              Oh right, we were talking about carbon diox… hold up! New unemployment numbers?
              I’m sorry. Polar ice caps are mel… hangon! Fiscal cliff!
              Climate change? Oh sure, that’s a probl… wait! Newtown, CT!
              What were we talking about again?

              It’s not that climate change isn’t important. I believe that it’s the most important issue humanity faces in the 21st century. The problem is that it’s never urgent, and the attention span of voters grows shorter by the election cycle.

              Let’s say Markey does run on climate change, tapping into climate change focused politically active small time donors nationwide. How much extra money will come from the other side because he’s making this interest of his public? How much extra money will come from Koch, ExxonMobileBritishPetroleumShellTexacoChevron, Massey, Arc0h, etc? We saw the financiers back Scott Brown with much more gusto than they do a generic GOP candidate (or any generic candidate). E Warren overcame that money, but the point remains — will Markey’ fund raising come out ahead or behind financially if he runs on climate change?

            • Not quite the only one

              It may be the only senatorial race of 2013, but Virginia has a gubernatorial race that promises to be pretty big as well.

    • Nobody has run statewide

      He’s never run statewide,

      Except Patrick and Coakley. Patrick’s not running and I think we agree we don’t want Coakley.

      I have no expectations Barney Frank, who doesn’t want the job, would run in a primary just to spite Markey. Capuano, I think, has an uphill battle. Lynch I would not support, period.

      Agree that, assuming we win, putting Brown to rest would be a nice plus. But even with a loss I’d expect him to consider a run for governor.

      • Capuano ran statewide

        in the special. So one potential candidate has at least a modest level of statewide name recognition. I agree that Capuano’s organization was lacking. A 19 point Coakley win in that race shows the advantage a past statewide election offers.

        So does a Grossman or Murray or Bump take a shot based on a crowded field and statewide name recognition?

        I have tremendous respect for Congressman McGovern. He is the real deal. And the redistricting introduced him to more of the state. Yet he faces the same problem Markey (or Tsongas) with regard to short election window and voter recognition.

        A Coakley – Brown rematch would be interesting. Coakley isn’t the same candidate today that she was in the January 2010 Special. And nor is Brown. Coakley won her next election after taking a personal and political beating for losing to Brown. She campaigned hard, having learned a valuable yet painful lesson about rope-a-dope election strategy. Brown on the other hand imploded in his next election, retail campaigning poorly, running with poor media and muddying up his image.

        I’m a strong supporter of AG Coakley. She is smart, committed, dedicated, hard-working and always avaiable to listen. One election mis-step in a political career doesn’t make me change my mind. In fact, her “comeback” from that race shows real character.

        • No, no, no

          I don’t think anyone else is too enthusiastic about Coakley running for Senate again. There are differing views on her as AG, but she really made a mess of that 2009-10 run. And her outreach to communities of color was so poor that they’d have little enthusiasm for her.

          As for Capuano’s lone statewide run, a Dem primary before a special is not the same running statewide, in an election open to all voters in the Commonwealth. The 2009 primary had 1/4 of the voters in the 2010 special. Not the same thing. Anyway, as you say, Capuano lost that one by 20 points. Hardly encouraging.

          I like Mike Capuano a lot. But looking at the best chance to keep the seat, I don’t think he’s it. I like McGovern. Tsongas I like too but I’m not sure her resume’s deep enough. I sure as hell hope we don’t nominate someone like Murray or Bump. Nothing personal but Scott Brown would eviscerate either. Grossman I put only slightly higher.

          • Capuano's "lone statewide run" is more than Markey or McGovern

            have under their political belt and gives him a blueprint for the next statewide election (which would be the same special election primary situation in 2013 that it was in 2009).

            And without any polling to date that I have seen we have no way to gauage voter interest in another Coakley run for US Senate. Anf those communities you say have little interest in her voted to re-elect her as AG months after her mistake ridden final against Brown.

            I’m not defending Coakley’s 2010 special final camapign. I am defending Martah Coakley’s entire career which deserves more than attempst to define her by one loss (no matter how high profile). And her career in Massachusetts politics is far from finished.

            • I would venture a guess

              that her career as Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in a special election is finished. She may well be the next governor and I don’t have anything against her or her career. Except the way she bungled that race, which is a pretty big thing.

              Her 2010 AG race was not against particularly serious competition. This will be if Brown runs. Brown was a schmo until she put him on the map. But now he’s a recent U.S. Senator with a good amount of crossover appeal. If we have urban turnout resembling the November 2010 election, we probably lose. If we get better, we probably win.

              Re Capuano: I’ just don’t agree that having one Dem primary that he lost by 19 points gives him any meaningful advantage in terms of statewide election experience.

        • Capuano Statewide

          That point that Capuano has run statewide cannot be undersold. He has supporters out here in Western Mass like in and around Northampton and Neal backed him helping him in Springfield. Capuano could activate some supporters. His biggest obstacle out here would be if Ben Downing decides to run.

        • I have never missed voting, primary or general, since I turned voter age and I will never vote for Martha Coakley again. I did not vote for her this last time either. I know I am not alone.

  14. McGovern not Markey is class of Congressional field

    Markey may be the Dean of the Delegation, but, Jim McGovern is the class of the group. Congressman McGovern is head and shoulders above the rest. he has political courage which is sadly lacking in most elected officials today who spend most of their time and effort trying to hang onto their own elected office. Capuano and Lynch are second to McGovern on the totem pole, they both work hard for their districts to deliver the goods. But, being a US Senator is more than delivering bacon, it’s broader than that…jmho

    • McGovern

      has good positions on most issues, but every time that the “Flag Amendment” came up for a vote he voted against the Bill of Rights.

      I do not support anyone who voted for the Flag Amendment. Preserving the Bill of Rights is a major issue for me.

  15. A note on primaries... and Ed Markey

    Massachusetts primaries are too close to the general election, and they don’t give the party most likely to have a contested primary an opportunity to regroup, refill the coffers, and mount an effective campaign.

    Just ask Governor Harshbarger and Governor O’Brien.

    The reason why the GOP was able to defeat our candidates after a contested primary was simple. They had all their horses and all their resources lined up for the day after the primary. While we were licking our wounds, and members of our party were deciding how much effort we want to put behind the candidate we didn’t support in the primary, the GOP was out there defining our candidate and gaining momentum. We can turn that around, but not in six weeks, which is why we should move our primary back into June.

    That said, the folks who are in here whining about Markey worry me. Scott Brown and Mitch McConnell are banking on folks like you. Ed Markey has been my congressman since the redistricting that moved Arlington into his district, and he has been responsive and progressive. I love McGovern and Capuano, but I also think Markey would be an excellent senator.

    Take sides in the primary – but keep a couple of bucks ready to donate to the winner on the day after the primary and be ready to back the winner with your heart and soul.

    • This all suggests

      that a primary would be very useful for figuring out who can campaign state-wide, but that there had better a whole lot of infrastructure in place for whoever wins the primary.

      Is there a way to get the state machinery cranked up in advance?

      • One silver lining - the recent Warren campaign

        The Warren Campaign collected a ton of data of likely (D) voters, and that data remains fresh. Our next senate nominee will doubtlessly get to take advantage of that, so they won’t have to do as much voter ID as last time.

      • For money and message, yes

        The party can start raising money and attacking Brown’s record today. Organization is a bit harder to do from the top unless they hire a ton of field organizers and paid canvassers to be ready to go after the primary. Even then, it’s mostly going to be a matter of those of us in the trenches coming together right away. The candidates all need to commit to doing everything they can for the eventual winner, and motivating their disappointed supporters to do the same, NOW. And perhaps as individuals it’s easier if we all make that commitment now, before we’ve all selected our candidates and started the bad feelings toward any other Dems.

  16. Coakley was not up for a fight. Is Markey?

    Markey comes across as a creature of D.C. shaped by years of its relentless pressure to sound inoffensively centrist. The only things he sticks his neck out on are energy and the environment — important issues to be sure, but a relatively safe niche. He will not be able to distinguish himself from Brown the way Warren did on financial issues, and Brown can paint him as the ultimate insider.

    Capuano and McGovern, on the other hand, have stuck to their formative urban experiences and their fighting instincts. They aggressively call out Republicans on their b.s. and stand up for progressive values and do it in the language of tough realism. I think either would eviscerate Scott Brown in debates.

    Please educate me if I’m missing something about Markey.

    • Markey's office was down the street from me

      in Medford. I’ve talked to his staff any number of times. They are smart and nice folks. I’ve met him a number of times, and he’s made *plenty* of time for the folks around him. He’s quite accessible, in my experience.

      The insider DC-creature thing only sticks if he seems out of touch with the district. I am not aware of any nagging sense that Markey is not aware of what’s going on at home in his district.

      Furthermore, he’s a good speaker: aggressive, smart — although he needs some new jokes, since he’s been telling the same ones for years. I feel pretty good about how he’d deal with a lightweight like Brown, otherwise I wouldn’t support him for this gig.

      BTW I love McGovern too. Capuano not so much … He’s got a little too much Murtha on him.

      • Public speaking Markey ?

        I’ve only heard him speak once, at a round table discussion – he couldn’t stop talking and wouldn’t let anyone else speak.

        • ha

          Well, I wouldn’t expect him to get your vote.

          Thinking of two contexts: 1.) stump speech, and 2.) debate. I think he’d do well in both. Now, 3.) talking to the press in a disciplined way … not sure. He probably hasn’t had to do that in a while, certainly not with the kind of scrutiny that a Senate race would require.

          In any event, he’s a known quantity, which might mitigate the positives and the negatives of campaign skills. You pretty much know what you’re getting after 35+ years in the House.

    • centrist

      BTW, I do hold Markey’s vote for the Iraq War against him. That’s a black mark, and I think he would agree.

      On the other hand, his leadership on climate has been essential. He knows the issue inside and out; he feels passionately about it. It’s got huge implications for every aspect of quality of life in Massachusetts, and he can take that fight to Scott Brown and the Senate.

  17. Two beefs with Markey

    The first is the Iraq vote and the second is that he always dances around the ring but never throws his hat in it. I think the first beef is related to the second. Like Kerry, Markey voted for the war thinking its he Gulf War II and he’s he criticized as he was then for opposing a cakewalk. Older Senators not running for things like Byrd and Kennedy remembered voting for Tonkin and couldn’t make the same mistake.

    But Markey did vote for it thinking he’d be crowned Senator, he lobbied to get the law changed even. Then Kerry loses. Teddy dies and he could go for it, but then he finds himself in the House majority and doesn’t want to risk it when his money and name recognition made him the front runner. And I had no idea about 84′. My suspicion is he is acting this way and having his old staffer O’Donnell leak this to clear the field. Like Cuomo the great liberal standard bearer if only he didn’t have to fight for it. Same with Joe Kennedy who couldn’t even face the pressure of beating a lightweight like Harshbarger and pulled out in 98′. Let someone new and hungry have a shot or let Markey have to earn it. No coronations for the Democratic Party.

    • While we're at it

      Why hasn’t Joe Kennedy III got the obligatory “how about a Kennedy” mention by the family paper the Globe?

      • Because the gov. already contacted Vickie K

        and JPKIII hasn’t even been sworn in to elected office yet…

      • Have seen that elsewhere on the internet

        He didn’t even take the oath of office in the House yet. And I say that as someone who campaigned for him.

        Joe Kennedy II had all his annulment problems in 1998. He hasn’t run since. Not the same as repeatedly dipping your toe and pulling back.

    • Gosh ...

      aside from Iraq, this is all a lot of inside baseball and water over the darn. Either he’s the best person for the job or he isn’t. I’m open to hearing who’s better.

      • Best for the Job vs Can He Win

        There are a number of qualified candidates mentioned as potential Senate candidates. Jim McGovern, first as COS for Congressman Early and now as a Congressman himself is more than qualified and can easily be labeled the “best for the job”. Mike Capuano, first as a Mayor of a major urban area and now as a long-term Congressman, is qualified for the Senate and the case can be made he is the best for the job.

        Just one man’s opinion but we will need a candidate in the final that will motivate voters. Markey’s a telecommunications wonk and has taken the lead on climate change. I will continue to argue that climate change, while clearly an issue that requires addressing, is low on voters’ list of immediate concerns for 2013. I don’t see Markey inspiring the base in a special but can see Capuano and McGovern driving GOTV next June. I’m not willing to lose Massachusetts Senate seat with a candidate trying to create interest in an issue not on the majority of voters’ minds.

        And I don’t discount a candidate’s history as campaign issues. Every right wing PAC will be buying ads to define candidates. There is the reality that Congressman Markey keeps a Malden address while living in Wash DC for decades. Easy to make that a disconnect with Massachusetts voters. Brown and Rove have shown their colors with regard to such ads. And yes McGovern and Capuano are vunerable to this as well – but (IMO) can overcome that with voters.

    • Markey voted for the Patriot Act

      That’s another strike against him. Meehan as well. Capuano and McGovern both voted no on the Patriot Act and the war. And I think the way Markey’s people are talking him up on Daily Kos is rather misleading. I looked this up because they mentioned his vote against the Patriot Act reauthorization as a selling point, claiming it made him an upgrade from Kerry, but didn’t mention his vote on the original.

  18. Please remember that Markey

    has a national network of givers because of his expertise on technology and communication issues. He has over $3 Million in cash in his committee and would have a gigantic head start over other candidates (if any) except for a few members of the delegation. For example Jim McGovern has about $400 K on hand.

    • Brown had

      a $7 million headstart on Warren. Didn’t help him. Spending a warchest in a primary to build name recognition potentially puts a candidate behind at the beginning of a final.

  19. Has Markey had a new idea since 2006?

    His webpage is horrid. Under ‘Issue Profile’ he talks of the Bush administration in the ‘Iraq War’ tab (no Afghanistan tab), and under ‘Homeland Security’ tab he mentions Hillary Clinton “(D-NY)” – and under ‘Veterans’ he writes about VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi, who left that position in 2005!!
    Under ‘Immigration’ he tells us his goals for the 110th Congress…

    He did post a nice comment about Newtown. But before that he was touting the progress he’s making to protect us from the dangerous chemicals in Brazilian Hair Straightener.

  20. Climate Change is the issue for me

    And though it may not be high on the list of voter’s concern (any more than gun control was), it needs to be and we in Massachusetts can provide the Senate with that leader in Ed Markey. As for where he stood on choice in 1976, today he gets a 100% from NARAL today and that is all that counts to me. I will work as hard as I can for him in the Primary and I will work as hard as I can for the nominee after the Primary, as I hope you all will do also.

  21. Markey's staffers are among my favorite people in MA politics

    For that alone, it would take A LOT for me to support someone else if Markey decides to run.

    • From experience

      McGovern and Ted Kennedy’s staff were the best two I worked with. Both were instrumental in helping my sister get services for my nephew with learning disabilities. Markey was personally approachable and I had a great conversation with him the one time I met him at the DNC. Capuano also holds a lot of town meetings and is visible in the district. The problem is I want another Teddy who can deliver top notch constituent services and defend Ma economic interests while also being someone who passes a lot of bills and gets things done. I don’t want a Kucinich or Finegold that scores perfectly on the liberal meter but can’t pass big bills. I want a Teddy or a Tip. Sadly Mike fails that test so I am leaning against him for this one, anyone else fit that bill? Grossman has huge connections due to his DNC chairmanship and is rather him in the Senate than as a Gov. Deval I’ve always felt would make a great Senator but he seems uninterested. Do Markey and McGovern meet my test? Anyone else?

  22. Has anyone asked Markey the question yet?

    “Congressman Markey, do you want to be Senator?”

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