We’ve got ourselves a primary! [or not]

Or not. Now Globe et al are reporting he's still thinking about it. #healthcarehamlet - promoted by david


US Representative Stephen F. Lynch plans to announce next week that he will challenge his congressional colleague Edward J. Markey for the Democratic nomination in the special US Senate election to fill John F. Kerry’s seat, according to people with direct knowledge of his decision.

Good.  No coasting (and please, no more of this).  Whoever serves as US Senator should earn it.

UPDATE: Well, as you know and as Charley mentioned in his promotion comment, it looks like someone in Lynch’s camp jumped the gun.  ”US Representative Stephen F. Lynch told the Globe this afternoon that he hasn’t yet made up his mind about running for the US Senate in the special election to fill John F. Kerry’s seat.”  Still, I’m sticking with my view that a primary would on balance be a good thing.


38 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I wonder if this will encorage Brown to run again?

    If Scott Brown runs in the republican primary unopposed, he will be able to watch a progressive and a conservative democrate go at each other. This could give him a game plan of how to campaign. Rep Lynch is going to take up the “center” forcing Rep Markey to be more “progressive”. Rep Markey will probably win the nomination, but it could hurt him in the general.

    • Partially agree

      This actually doesn’t work in Brown’s favor as much as some might think. Few progressives are going to vote for Lynch. He may as well forget stepping foot in Cambridge, Brookline, or the Route 2 corridor. These are Markey’s without him even trying.

      Lynch’s base of moderate Dems/independents are in Central MA (Worcester excluded), the 128 belt, and the South Shore. Which, conveniently, is his district. These are folks who voted for Brown over Coakley 3 years ago in mid January, and who very easily may not have voted for EW this time but for the President’s coattails and control of the Senate.

      My guess (and it is just that) is without the two factors which transferred their votes from Brown to Warren in 2012 (in addition to her stunning campaign and his botched one), these voters will be unlikely to vote for a progressive over a moderate in a special election right around July 4.

      But with this particular swing electorate, if given the choice between Brown and Markey, without the abovementioned EW factors, they’ll likely go with Brown again, presuming he learns from his mistakes. Ed Markey never extolled his high cheekbones, did he? Just want to make sure we can’t count on Brown repeating his mistakes …

      But given the choice between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Scott Brown (Lynch), they’ll go for the Democratic Scott Brown every day and twice on the Fourth of July.

      At least that’s what Lynch is probably thinking.

  2. Lynch & Brown's Cardboard Cutout

    The problem for Lynch, imho, is that he’ll have to campaign by lugging around a cardboard cutout of Scott Brown with him. At most events, Lynch will have to strike a pose with his arm around it.

    Steve Lynch is in a tough spot. He can’t run against ‘Scott Brown,’ as many conservaDems & right leaning Unenrolleds identify with what Brown pretended to stand for. But,Lynch can’t embrace ‘Brown.’

    Markey will run inside the Dem’s base, carefully articulating his progressive record.

    If Lynch wins the primary, he will have the sharper pivot. Lynch’s ‘Goldilocks Zone” will be much harder to his consultants to craft and damn near impossible for Lynch to stay in. The media will dog his ass, enthralled as he wobbles, maintaining his delicate fence straddling balance.

    • I’m glad to hear that there will be a primary, it’s good for democracy. Besides, everytime the establishment annoints a candidate (O’Brien, Reilly, Coakley etc), things usually go awry. That said, I personally prefer Markey to Lynch. Lynch is great on labor issues, but many progressives will never forget his hawkish record on foreign affairs.
      If we have a Lynch vs Brown race, we’ll have a Democratic nominee who is actually to the right of the Republican on many social issues, including reproductive choice. This isn’t exactly unprecedented in the annals of Massachusetts politics: many liberals opted for Bill Weld over John Silber in 1990. And in 1978, when Democrats nominated arch-conservative Ed King, most progressives backed liberal Republican, Frank Hatch. Brown is no liberal, but his support of the Assault Weapons Ban, his vote in favor of repeal of DADT, and the fact that he’s more pro-choice than Lynch, could make him palatable enough to center-left voters that they might pick him over Lynch. As for Ed Markey, he’s not very exciting, but the more I read about his record, the more impressed I am by him. He’d make a fine Senator. However, I would welcome more entrants to this race and I hope more candidates emerge, instead of rolling over and playing dead in deference to the party establishment. Brown may have a primary on his hands too. Dr. Keith Ablow is making noises about running in the GOP Senate Primary, and conservative Tea Party voters would certainly prefer him to the moderate Brown. However, if nominated, Scott Brown is a formidable candidate, and if Democrats forget that, they do so at their own peril. Elizabeth Warren was a rock star candidate. And maybe that’s what’s needed again. The question is who else is there? And that question becomes even more alarming for the Governor’s race of 2014. There just doesn’t seem to be a very exciting field out there yet.

  3. Maybe not!

    He is now uncertain.

    What a disaster.

    I don’t think Lynch can put up much of a challenge against Markey. Sure he has labor support, but so does Markey, and Markey also would have progressives. Lynch’s 10% rating from NARAL ain’t gonna help much in a Dem primary.

    • update post headline?

      Looks like you need to update your headline, David. “Looks like we maybe kinda sorta have a primary, possibly…”

      Meta OT: The Preview button isn’t working for me as I prepare this comment.

    • He doesn't have that

      much labor support. He’s got some hard hats behind him, but the MTA and AFT aren’t going to support him. Will the AFL-CIO and SEIU? I doubt it.

      It’s a waste of a run for Lynch. Does he think the party faithful are going to get excited about him? He won’t be going far in Hampshire or Berkshire County.

      I don’t agree with the idea of a primary for primary’s sake. What will a contest between a liberal and conservative Democrat really accomplish? If we really feel like we need our candidates to work hard before they run in the general election, maybe they could volunteer in a soup kitchen or spend vacation with Habitat for Humanity. It would be time and money better spent.

  4. We've Got Ourselves A Republican Senator!

    Good Grief.
    1. No time for a primary in a 145-160 election cycle
    2. No way DINO Lynch can win over Markey, only spoil
    3. Lots of ways Menino can play games
    4. Result: Brown 52%, Markey 48%
    5. Brown wins West Roxbury and Hyde Park
    6. Blue Mass Groupies get to play, “Let’s Make a High School Musical!”

    • I'm ready

      I want to play “Let’s Make a High School Musical!”. It would be a hellava lot better than the pathetic DINO Lynch!

      • Don't let the facts get in your way mike and Smalltown...

        Lynch is a Democrat in name and in fact. He may not agree 100% on the issues that are of most importance to you personally, but he is indeed a Democrat. Ask the union leaders in DC…they don’t turn to Markey when they need support on a bill to help workers…they turn to Lynch. Lynch has not forgotten where he came from…Markey left where he came from over 3 decades ago and only returns to stop by at election time or when photo ops are needed.

        • I believe that is called being a "sock puppet"!

          Lynch is a pathetic DINO, despite your protests to the contrary.

          • Lynch deserves better

            Lynch deserves better than the treatment that he is getting from some people on this board. He deserves to be treated with respect, and he deserves to have a thoughtful discussion of his views.

            We should not be engaged in name- calling (“DINO”). After all, we are not like the extremist republicans, who cannot tolerate anybody who disagrees with their views. We are Democrats, and we believe in discussing issues.

          • The term does not mean what you think it means

            hlpeary would be a sock puppet if the account were held by a member of Lynch’s campaign pretending to be an independent contributor on BMG, but hlpeary has been a long-time contributor, so whether you agree or not with his/her views, hlpeary is certainly no sock puppet.

            • Apology offer on "Sock Puppet" reference only.

              I still believe Lynch is a “DINO” and as someone with a pre-existing condition which makes getting health insurance difficult, I will never forgive Lynch for his pathetic position against the Health Care Act.

              Please do not give this crap about, “we can agree to disagree”, because this is a matter of “Life or Death” for me, and I find Lynch to be a spineless tool who voted against it so he could woo the damn Tea Party crowd.

              • Underestimating polarization

                However much one may dislike Lynch, he is better than any Republican currently in the Senate.

                That difference is worth fighting for — even if one would like to “punish” Lynch for various votes in the past.

  5. "Lynch uncertain about a run for US Senate"


    US Representative Stephen F. Lynch told the Globe this afternoon that he hasn’t yet made up his mind about running for the US Senate in the special election to fill John F. Kerry’s seat. Just a day earlier, the strong message from the Lynch camp was that he would definitely be announcing his campaign next week.

    Trial balloon popped.

  6. Markey "will run."

    will being the operative word, and “why not already?” being the operative question.

    Seriously, where’s the welcoming tour? The “volunteer” events from EW’s first few days in office, in which 500+ people showed up? The photos of him shaking hands with people outside of Fenway Park, or getting talking over a bagel and coffee at some mom and pop store in Worcestah. Or the daily emails in my inbox, asking — no, begging — for my donations and help?


    Quite frankly, I don’t want to keep hearing about how Markey “will run.” I want to be reading about all the events he’s having around the state, and the press wondering how the guy can keep up.

    If this is what Markey’s going to deliver on the campaign trail, Lynch will start to look a lot more appealing, to a lot of people — because a lot of people are only going to vote for a candidate if they ask, and Markey’s campaign hasn’t done any asking yet.

    Markey ought to remember that unlike him, Lynch has faced a well funded primary opponent and contested election recently — and won.

    The guy is slippery, and I mean that with all due respect, not as an insult. I don’t think he’s going to let any of his bad votes or policies drag him down, and people underestimate a politician’s ability to cast aside previous toxic positions and forge newer, more popular ones on the fly. Heck, he’s already jettisoned quite a lot of the bad, including his anti-gay positions from the past.

    As unlikely as it would be for him to win a primary against Markey, we saw what kind of unlikely things can happen in this state — in the face of an underwhelming campaign — just two years ago. Markey has got to get it going, and now. There’s no time for weeks and weeks of planning that would be normal for a candidate getting ready to run. This has to be a campaign on the fly.

    I need to see more flying, please.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 25 Jan 2:43 PM
    • Boy, boy, crazy boy, stay cool, boy

      There is no campaign trail yet. There is no campaign yet. Senator Kerry has had confirmation hearings, but has not yet been confirmed. Yeah, Markey made a website. Yeah, Markey has very clearly cleared (most) of the field. And there’s a lot that’s happening behind the scenes. But all those public parts to the campaign will happen — when there’s a campaign.

      Right now Markey should be doing basically 3 things.

      1) Raising as much money as he possibly can from the big and early donors.
      2) Doing all he can to keep the primary clear of opponents so he can focus on the general.
      3) Start putting together the fundraising and field infrastructure so he can handle all the requests for public events, volunteers, fundraising, etc. when the campaign actually does begin. It’s no use having all sorts of public events and listening tours, etc. if there’s nobody to capture that information and harness it, or the infrastructure to handle all the requests that are going to fly in. I’d rather a campaign be responsive to these requests when there is a campaign, than now, when there isn’t.

      I know, we’re all on edge because of what happened the last special election. But that’s why I’d rather Markey be prepared than public.

      (Was trying to find a gif of CJ Craig doing the West SIde Story “Boy Boy, Crazy Boy, Stay Cool Boy” but was unsuccessful. Le sigh)

      • wrong

        The campaign has already started. Markey needs to define his narrative before someone does it for him. The worst thing that can happen (either against Brown or Lynch) is for him to look like an cloistered, entitled insider who either can’t or won’t hustle for the job. People want to help, they should be able to sign them up and put them to work now, or at least sign them up…this telling people to get bet back in touch with the campaign in next week is legitimately troubling.

        And there would be no better use of Markey’s time than getting his picture take out in the frigid cold before the Bruins game shaking hands.

        Yes, there is time, but even if they can’t yet do exactly what they want, they need to at least look like they are doing something. Markey has to, at least, look like he wants it and will fight for it. It doesn’t look like that now. What is the reason to wait?

        • Sure I don't really disagree

          Yeah, the campaign has started, and Markey is making a lot of appearances around the state (see john-from-lowell’s comment below). I’m just saying that it’s premature to expect the full throttled campaign at this early stage.

          And if you want to get going, I say, just get going. Get 10, 50 or 100 of your closest friends together in a room to talk about what’s at stake in this election and ask them to contribute what they can. The lesson I’ve learned is that it’s often best not to listen to the big wigs from DC, and if you want to build a grassroots campaign, well, start building it.

      • All this stuff you mention should have started the day

        Susan Rice’s confirmation started to look iffy, if not beforehand.

        Sorry, Ari, I have no patience for candidates who aren’t demonstrating very clearly that the ball is rolling, because all too often when they don’t, it’s illustrative of a weak campaign.

        There’s an awful lot of smoke here, Ari. Either there’s a real fire here, or someone’s fracking up in the Markey kitchen, and if it’s the latter, they better deal with it before all the costumers go elsewhere.

        RyansTake   @   Sun 27 Jan 7:01 AM
    • Lowell Volunteer Meeting for Ed Markey Senate Campaign

      [MVDems] Newsletter – January 25, 2013

      Tuesday – January 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM
      Lowell Volunteer Meeting for Ed Markey Senate Campaign
      Pollard Memorial Library
      RSVP: lowellformarkey@gmail.com

      Maybe we are just more ‘proactive’ than most cities? My point, the pieces are moving.

      • Deets on Lowell Markey Event

        From the FB event page:

        Join Dick Howe & Marie Sweeney to discuss Ed Markey (his background and stance on the issues) and to learn the timeline for the special election to fill the US Senate seat now held by John Kerry. Everyone is invited. No commitments, no pressure, just come, be informed and have an enjoyable evening.

        Lowell is a jump ball. Lynch is making his play:

        Lynch said. “I’ve got some people that I’ve got to talk to up in Lowell and Haverhill tomorrow. So we’re still, we’re still, you know, doing the outreach that we need to do to measure our support, to make sure that if we get into this thing, that we can run a good strong campaign.”

      • That's great, but...

        is Markey himself showing up at this meeting?

  7. Didn't you learn anything in 2010?

    Sure a primary sounds good in the textbooks, but in real life, not so much. Look what happened last time! No one, except the Governor has the statewide name recognition that Brown has. And we will only have 150 days to fix that. So, unless you want Dems to spend 100 of those days beating up on each other, let’s stop messing around. Let’s get behind Markey, a bonafide Democrat, and go out and win this thing.

    • What happened last time?

      The way I remember it is that the person with the greatest name recognition refused to campaign because she didn’t really need to and then disappeared for a while after the primary until it was too late. If Coakley had campaigned the whole time, I think she would easily be our Senator now. I don’t think the primary had anything to do with her loss. Her horrible campaign from beginning to end was the reason.

      To say that the 2010 special election primary was an example of Dems beating each other up so that the primary winner was too damaged to win the general is a huge stretch.

      You have to run in order to win. That’s the lesson. Coakley didn’t run, Brown did. And Markey (and Lynch and whoever else) better learn that.

      • Absolutely agree.

        The 2010 primary was quite the snooze, and was never very suspenseful. It didn’t weaken Coakley in the slightest – she took care of that all on her own, as doubleman accurately points out.

        I’m still concerned that Ed Markey hasn’t had a serious election in nearly 40 years.

  8. Give him a chance: Lynch is more progressive than you think

    According to “That’sMyCongress”, Lynch has a progressive score of 63, while Markey has a score of 74 (Ratings based upon the 112th Congress).

    On foreign affairs, Lynch is clearly more progressive than Markey. Markey signed several letters along with GOP members on Israel, which puts him at odds with the Obama administration. On Israel and the Middle East, Markey appears to be in agreement with Mitt Romney. By comparison, Lynch seems to generally support Obama’s middle east policies.

    Give Steve Lynch a chance. He might be more progressive than you think, and he might be our next Senator.

    • Foreign Affairs is a lot of issues.

      I’m not so sure that being in line with the administration on some parts of the Middle East makes someone a progressive. Progressivism is hardly a useful measure in foreign relations anyway, and even if it were, one issue isn’t even close to being representative of someone’s stance on things.

      • Foreign Affairs, Neo Cons, and Progressives

        George Bush’s administration is remembered as a failure, in part, because of his horribly bombastic approach to the middle east, which was led by a group of “neo-cons”.

        By contrast, here is one of my favorite sentences from the President’s inaugural address: We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. President Obama’s second term will, hopefully, be remembered for foreign policy successes through peaceful actions and negotiations. When he appointed Chuck Hagel and John Kerry, the President set a clear direction for his middle east policy. Stephen Lynch’s Middle East views are far more consistent with President Obama than Ed Markey.

        The Senate plays a major role in foreign policy efforts, and the President needs Senators who support his views.

  9. By the way,

    which Member of the House from MA got the most votes in 2012? Why, that would be Steve Lynch. Just sayin’.

    • How would his support

      from his South Boston base translate to the rest of the state? I think Markey’s support is more transferable than Lynch’s. I do hear your concern about Markey’s easy races these past 20 terms. What changed from the last go around that makes you think Lynch has any better support this time around?

  10. Don't count on Globe for accurate political info...

    they are an agenda driven group and often print false political intel (although they rarely print their apologies or corrections when found to be incorrect)

  11. Just to be clear...

    …the event in Lowell cited by John from Lowell is a meeting for volunteers, but not expected to feature an appearance by the candidate.

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