I gotta agree with David: I’m undecided in the LG race, and last night’s forum at Jimmy Tingle’s didn’t help me make up my mind. Andrea Silbert and Tim Murray both make a very good case for themselves: They were both passionate (in their own ways), eloquent, and genuinely good-humored. (And I finally got to meet both of them individually, and they’re both just swell — friendly and real.) I could imagine them both being very effective, but it really depends on which gubernatorial candidate they’re paired with on the ticket.
The problem is that I still don’t know — and no one seems able to explain — what exactly an LG does. So how do you evaluate someone for the job? I see Murray as more of a wonky, insider-y team player; whereas Silbert strikes me as more of an energetic change-maker — you know, an entrepreneur.
As a “social entrepreneur”, Silbert’s Big Theme is jobs, and she poked fun at herself for her repetition of that theme: “Did I mention 14,000 jobs?” She also mentioned the environment (and her kayak tour) and
transit sorry, homelessness (“feminization of poverty”) as her Big Three issues. I’m still left with the question of how her obvious energy and enthusiasm gets translated into essentially being a bureaucrat, a team member. How does a Lieutenant Governor create jobs? That’s the question that she needs to answer — very, very, specifically and believably. I don’t quite think she did that, and yet the idea that there is a realistic answer to that is tantalizing.
I should mention that although at the convention I criticized Silbert for being too intense for TV, she struck a good tone for her last night — smart, alert, friendly.
Murray gives complete answers to his questions, hitting his themes of public transit, aid to cities and towns, and brownfield development. He’s smart, well-spoken, easy to listen to, and is popular in an area that doesn’t tend to go for Democrats in gubernatorial elections. There’s some question as to how much real authority he’s had as Worcester mayor, and therefore how much credit he gets for the city’s rejuvenation; but he’s a capable enough guy that he could grow into just about any position. There’s a comfort level with Murray, but compared with Silbert, who knows — he might get lost on Beacon Hill, which indeed would be a shame. And the fact that he hasn’t committed to Cape Wind is a serious disincentive for me to vote for him.
One thing I was disappointed in with both of them is their seeming resignation to allowing casino gambling in Massachusetts. I can’t get with that, regardless of how many dollars leave Massachusetts because of it. We can’t let potential revenue be the determining factor of every social decision. I’ll have more on this later.
If you discern a hidden agenda in reading this, please let me know — I’d love to know myself.