Why I think Alan Khazei is an incredible candidate:
1. He is a true community organizer: he knows how to effect and build change, empowering individuals and communities. This is about what works, not some hothouse Washington theory–this is about grassroots, bottom up. Yes. Yes we can.
2. He has vision. It’s beyond any one policy position (and let’s face it, the Dem candidates are all roughly in the same universe from Health Care to Afghanistan). He has a clear sense of what the honor and duty of a Senate position entails, and how he would use it, and it doesn’t include power for power’s sake, self-preservation or moving up the ladder, but leveraging true progressive causes, partnering with the White House and taking stands AGAINST the White House as/when necessary. He understands that Obama needs allies who are not just Yes People but allies of principle who speak up against the WH if it is called for. Enough with the spineless Dems of the last 10 years.
3. He has passion. He believes in his causes, and it comes from a place of honesty. Anyone who has met him can testify to this. We have passionless sober Senator already in Kerry. We don’t need another.
4. He has integrity. In spite of being an underdog candidate w/ little name recognition in a short race, he has refused to take PAC/lobby money. Yes it’s true not all PAC/lobby money is “bad” but there’s no question to me and a majority of AMericans that money is fouling up our politics/policy and we need candidates to start taking a stand. Capuano/Coakley supporters would like to downplay this move, suggesting Khazei “wouldn’t get any $$$ from anyone anyway”, but that’s disingenuous (understandable since both Coakley and Capuano have had contributions that might cause someone to question where their loyalties lie; see recent Bos Globe ed.).
5. He has vast experience. In spite of the opposition’s desire to say the only good senator is one who has been trained as a Congressman or state prosecutor, Khazei HAS legislative experience, working with our dear Ted Kennedy on legislation on service projects (see how he worked to turn Republican congress to turn over votes to restore and ADD to Americorps funding). Has Capuano ever flipped the Republicans against their leadership? Coakley? No. So let’s put the “he doesn’t have experience” thing to rest.
6. He is real, he is not put together by polling data or cautious about image. He dances at parties and wears costumes on Halloween. I love it. [Edit to add: I am not a personal friend–this is just what I’ve observed thru volunteering and doing due diligence campaign stops]