The featured item on tonight’s agenda was the appearance of three of the four lieutenant governor candidates (Tim Murray, as the mayor of Worcester, is also the chair of the school committee and had a meeting tonight to run), as well as Sec. of State Bill Galvin, who led off the candidate segment by delivering what appeared to be his stump speech. (Was he lending his support to Silbert with his assertion that the biggest problem in the state is job loss?). Then the LG candidates gave their own speeches, after which questions from the group were put to the candidates for their response. What follows is admittedly a brief, not-very-analytic breakdown.
The first speaker was Andrea Silbert. I had seen her literature and met a senior staffer on her campaign at the DCI sessions in Worcester in March. To be honest, the “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra does not win me over. And looking at her website to research this post, I am astonished at how monocausal her approach to politics is. She was a contender for the most polished speaker of the three tonight, and I could easily imagine her as a right-hand person to whoever wins the governor’s race, but I am not sold on her entrepreneur-centered proposals.
Next up was Sam Kelley. I am inclined to believe that health care is the most important issue that we currently face (and that’s saying something, given the state’s long list of troubles). Having neither heard him speak before a crowd nor vistited his website, I learned something new tonight. That is that Kelly had worked for Rep. Jim McDermott, a champion of single-payer healthcare in the House.
Deborah Goldberg rounded out the panel of candidates in attendance. My first impression was that she must be positioning herself as the most generic candidate, if that makes any sense. She does not have any of the easy hooks upon which the other candidates are “hanging” their campaigns. Overall, I thought that she seemed lost during both her speech and responses, especially when she strayed from her tried and true issues. Despite these lapses, she did come across as not only intelligent but also politically seasoned enough to acquit herself well on Beacon Hill (but she does need to add more substance to her website, which surprisingly lacks an issues section).
Paul McGeary, the district’s Democratic candidate for state senate in 2004, spoke as a surrogate for Tim Murray, who will be making a solo visit to 1EM next month.
I think part of what is going to make choosing an LG candidate given the depth of this year’s field so difficult is the ambiguity of the role itself. Voters will have to come to grips with what they think is the LG’s political purpose and “pull the lever” accordingly.