MassDems chair Phil Johnston, Mike Dukakis, Cam Kerry and former State Sen. candidate Katherine Clark have signed on as referees for the 15-round primary fight this summer:
“I believe the party has a real responsibility to do what it can to minimize the political damage to our nominees during the primary,” Johnston said. “This initiative can act as a deterrent to candidates and make their media consultants think twice before they produce harshly negative commercials attacking their opponents.”
Well, this cuts a couple of ways. On one hand, the party wants folks to pay attention to the primary. On the other hand, they want it to be the right kind of attention — hey, whatever happened to “No such thing as bad publicity?”
On balance, they’re probably right. If the Guv and LG candidates want to score points, they would do much better to target Kerry Healey and the 16-year record of Republican governors. That’s the preferable approach, both on substance and strategy.
Tom Reilly’s campaign has not signed on to the anti-Mutually Assured Destruction pact:
Corey Welford, a Reilly spokesman, called the creation of the panel a “silliness that you would expect from some good government group than from your own party.” He also said it was a “distraction” from the party’s responsibilities to raise money to defeat Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, the GOP candidate for governor.
“Good government is silly, silly stuff — and don’t forget to cut us a check.” Nice quote, Corey. Looking forward to more Ameriquest stuff and aerial photos of Taj Deval. That’ll be exciting.
So what have the Gov. candidates doing since the convention, except repeating talking points at “debates”? Anyone making noise? Taking bold positions? Rescuing little kids from shark attacks? etc.?
And gosh, I sure hope that our four-judge panel allows a healthy amount of raillery between the candidates. It would be a dull dog of a primary indeed, were it not for the bracing tonic of raillery.
UPDATE (by David): Check out Adrian Walker’s interesting column on this topic, complete with some quotes from Dukakis.