I defended Joe Kennedy from attacks against him because he ran against Ed Markey, someone with a mixed record whom I thought this blog overrated as a progressive champion. Later I decided to support him for two key reasons. I felt like he could be a better progressive communicator than Markey and that he was reaching out to constituencies Markey neglected. With those two qualities overshadowing Markey’s seniority which has become a devalued currency in Mitch McConnell’s Senate.
A few things have changed. Markey knows he’s in the fight of his life and has activated the growing power of the youth vote and climate vote while actively closing the gap with Hispanic voters and communities of color.
Secondly, his seniority and expertise will now be invaluable under a much more likely Democratic President and Democratic Senate. Joe Biden has vowed to sign a major climate bill in his first 100 days and Markey is the person to craft it. Especially since Joe Kennedy is trying to have it both ways on the Green New Deal. Arguing essentially he was for it before he was against it.
Like Pete Buttigieg and Seth Moulton before him, he’s another rising talent whose campaign is suffering death from a thousand consultants. Speaking of Moulton, it’s obvious now he viewed his seat not as an opportunity to serve but as a stepping stone to a laughably quixotic presidential run. Ted Kennedy became his best self after he lost a largely self serving primary challenge to another Democratic incumbent, and I think his great nephew has a model to follow after this primary.
We need a workhorse to get climate done right in a Democratic Senate. I wish Joe the best and unlike many others here, I like him and hope he runs again in the future. Maybe the near future if our senior senator joins the Biden ticket or the Biden administration. Now is not the time. Not when a simple majority in the Senate could pass generation saving legislation.