But Lynch really isn’t really fooling anyone. Like the three other current or former Congressmen mulling a race are waiting for a smoke signal from the Kennedy compound. It’s like Lynch, Congressmen Ed Markey, Mike Capuano and former Congressman Marty Meehan are standing alone in St. Peter’s Square looking to the lone chimney waiting to see if the burned ballots come out white or black.
Seems pretty silly on its face, right? These are four powerful political figures in their own right – Markey a ranking chairman, Meehan sitting on nearly $5 million, Lynch and Capuano old school street brawlers never afraid of a fight. Why wait for Joseph P. Kennedy II, a guy who has been out of politics for 11 years and who hasn’t said one public word to indicate that he wants to follow his uncle into the United States Senate?
The answer isn’t as obvious as the pundits will make you believe.
Yes, they are worried about losing to Kennedy. Yes, Joe (or Vicki) Kennedy would be able to better pull on the family heartstrings and metaphorically make this a short campaign about a return to Camelot, another passing of the torch and not letting the dream die. All that is very real and that alone could be enough to freeze the field.
But consider these other factors:
Coakley is rightly receiving praise these days for having the courage to jump in the race regardless of whether Joe Kennedy runs. But for Coakley, as the only candidate with statewide experience and the only Democratic woman so far showing any interest, the math is much easier – and the risks far fewer.