The professorial Senator has added a little brawl to the tough fight in Lawrence.
Today’s Boston Globe reports that Senator Elizabeth Warren has endorsed city councilor Dan Rivera in his fight against the ethically-challenged stand in for James Michael Curley, Mayor William Lantigua.
That a reform minded US Senator would seek to remain arms length away from the corruption of a party boss like Lantigua is not terribly surprising. Warren’s brand of politics emerges from the Dukakis movement of progressive, managerial reformism of the 1960s.
Lantigua represents the type of rough, corrupt, patronage-based machine politics of Curley or Speaker “Iron Duke” John Thompson.
These internal divisions have marked Democratic party politics here for a long time but the party that Dukakis helped to transform is now, at least at the state level, the party of Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, and a young cadre of progressives who are active, organized, and willing to step up. It’s people like Michelle Wu and Dan Rivera.
Rivera isn’t going to win because of last minute endorsement from the Senator. The people of Lawrence already committed to Warren’s agenda and style are probably already with him.
But her endorsement puts members of her own party on notice that the Senator is unafraid to get involved in the political brawls that still define parts of the Democratic party in the Commonwealth. Their agenda involved removing the vestiges of Curley and Thompson from the party and Lantigua is the next to fall.