The difference, we believe, lies with intangibles, a sense of which of the candidates would be most likely both to meet the challenge of service in the Senate and also add something new. Ms. Coakley, Mr. Capuano and Mr. Pagliuca have all achieved much in their respective positions, and possess attributes that would serve them well in the Senate. But Mr. Khazei appears to offer something a bit different. He has a deeply genuine and expansive vision of public service that he calls “Big Citizenship,” and speaks of creating an “opportunity society.” He is a student of history who has traveled widely, has dealt with power brokers on both sides of the political aisle, and is a man who has retained the youthful energy that led him to co-found City Year.
More or less what we said. My personal feeling is that any of the other three will be fine Senators, but Khazei alone has the potential to be a great one: Not a Ted Kennedy, perhaps; but as an outside-the-lines figure like Paul Wellstone, Russ Feingold, or Bernie Sanders. A real “maverick”, but one with a consistency of values. (A politician should be predictable, I would submit.)
The other fascinating thing about this and the Globe's endorsements, is how Coakley and Capuano have failed to seal the deal with these two editorial boards. I know Coakley's still way ahead, and that is frankly unlikely to change in the next few days. She hasn't made any fatal stumbles. But neither has she really articulated strongly why she wants to be the next Senator, or what her animating values are, or why she is the person to follow Ted Kennedy. Capuano gives a better sense of his motivations, but his temperament seems to have given the Globe pause.
Is the race fluid enough to make MA Khazei-land?