Yesterday marked two distinctly different political breakfasts in Massachusetts: the long-standing Democratic led breakfast in South Boston and the nascent GOP8 breakfast in my hometown of Scituate. While the Democrats (and Gov. Weld and Rep. Dan Winslow) danced on the grave of Mitt Romney’s candidacy in the same huge convention hall he conceded in on election night, the Republicans spoke in a Scituate country club reminding us why they can’t win.
The GOP8 consists of the towns of Weymouth, Hingham, Hull, Norwell, Cohasset, Scituate, Marshfield and Duxbury. The Democrats have their own group called the South Shore Democratic Caucus. All 8 towns are represented by Republican Senator Bob Hedlund and a Democratic state rep. Unfortunately for the GOP8, every candidate they ran in 2012 lost except Senator Hedlund. The district covering conservative Scituate went 68% for Rep. Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield) in November and the ultra-conservative district covering Duxbury went Democratic for the first time in the history of the General Court – and handily at that – this past fall. The conservative district covering Norwell went 58% for Rep. Rhonda Nyman. They couldn’t even scrounge up a challenger for the other seats covering Hingham, North Scituate, Cohasset, Hull, and Weymouth.
As I wrote this last night in front of my TV I had my DVR recording of the Southie breakfast playing. It was a bunch of politicians making some okay jokes and some bad jokes, but nothing tasteless. If only the same could be said for the Scituate breakfast.For the most part, it didn’t seem like the Scituate breakfast was too bad – Senator Bob Hedlund served as the emcee, kicking things off with a self-deprecating joke about diversity:
“How many people we got here, a couple hundred, white Republicans and we have one Latino guy from Colombia, so we are doing pretty good, we are really expanding our roles here, we are very diverse .
Among the speakers was the Sheriff of Plymouth County, Joe McDonald. He did venture into the tasteless. Here’s what he thought was funny - a joke about assassinating President Obama. The Boston Globe’s synopsis (note – last night this was in the article, this morning it has been removed – not sure why. You’ll see it appear in a Google search here)
McDonald offered a joke about Barack Obama being visited in a dream by three past presidents, who offered advice on how to improve the country. Lincoln’s advice: “Go to the theater.”
Fortunately the “joke” was met, according to the Globe last night, by “scattered laughter” but the fact that the Sheriff said it in the first place is disgusting. I hope the candidates and electeds present, including Michael Sullivan, Gabriel Gomez, Kirsten Hughes and others will condemn these remarks
There was a bright side to the breakfast, though. Kudos to Gabriel Gomez, GOP Senate candidate and first generation American citizen, who was finally able to sum up the GOP position on immigration. From NECN:
“Now I think we need to get super tough on border security….let me tell you why,” said Gomez.”Because I am already over here,” he joked.
Joke or Freudian slip? Isn’t that the old white Republican male’s reasoning, too?
I don’t think the breakfasts should stop – they can be funny. There’s a lot to be said for letting your guard down a little and making funny jokes. People on both sides have gone over the line, and when a certain former Democratic Sheriff went over the line in Southie a few years back he was reprimanded and banned.The Plymouth County Sheriff went over the line yesterday and I hope we’ll hear some condemnations from the dignitaries present.