Talking about kicking a guy when he’s down – that is exactly what Senator Elizabeth Warren did to fellow democrat and Boston mayoral candidate Tito Jackson when she endorsed Mayor Walsh’s re-election bid last Saturday at Doyle’s Pub in Jamaica Plain.
This November’s Boston mayoral race is down to two democratic candidates – Marty Walsh and city councilor Tito Jackson. Walsh leads in the polls by over 30 points and is clearly headed for a landslide victory. Jackson, who campaigned actively for Elizabeth Warren in 2012, is generally considered more progressive than the more centrist establishment democrat Walsh.
So why would a progressive U.S. Senator endorse an establishment democrat against an up-and-coming progressive candidate in a race the establishment candidate is virtually certain of winning by a landslide? Furthermore, why is Senator Warren involving herself in a local Massachusetts political race between two democrats and in an area where she does not live and in a race she cannot vote in?
Pure old fashioned short-sighted political self-interest seems to be the most likely reason. Elizabeth Warren appears to be currying favor with an entrenched Boston mayor in the hopes or exchange for his endorsement and the use of his powerful get-out-the-vote political machine in her upcoming re-election campaign of November 2018.
The fact that she is throwing under the bus a fellow progressive democrat who is way down in the polls in order to help her own re-election prospects seems to be an exchange Elizabeth Warren is willing to make. Once again, we have establishment democrats disrespecting and denigrating the progressive wing of their own party in exchange for the short term self-interested goal of getting elected – apparently at any price. And establishment democrats continue to wonder in bewilderment at how they lost to Trump in 2016?
This desperate and raw political maneuver encapsulates the core and possibly fatal malady which afflicts democratic party politics, not only in Massachusetts but throughout the nation. Google the democratic party nation-wide and you will see the same troubling theme being played out everywhere.
The establishment controlled democratic party is either not able, unwilling or too corrupted, weak and frightened to address the growing progressive movement within its own ranks. Establishment democrats need to quickly figure out how to accommodate the vast number of progressives within the party or ultimately, and maybe sooner rather than later, simply fall apart – at which time a new party or political movement will take its place.
But back to our local political scene. Does Elizabeth Warren really think she can make this kind of raw political maneuver and no one will notice? Is this what they mean by hubris?
Coldly calculating the demise of a fellow progressive candidate in order to gain the organizational support of an incumbent Boston mayor will embolden republican opposition to Warren as they will see her maneuver for what it is – a sign of weakness.
Elizabeth Warren should have stayed out of the Boston mayoral race and she should win re-election on her own merits and not at the expense of vulnerable and now perhaps once trusting progressive supporters.