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Author Archives: Maurice T. Cunningham
Yesterday at UMass Boston thanks to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, my Department of Political Science colleague Prof. Caroline Coscia, and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies we hosted Alan Frumin, one of the most powerful men in Washington you never heard of before. But Mr. Frumin was for many years the Chief Parliamentarian of the United States Senate. As an amateur parliamentarian I was eager to learn all about the rules that govern the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. But it turns out there aren’t any.
Back on November 17 my colleague Professor Ubertaccio wrote in The President’s Neustadtian Nightmare that President Obama’s “legacy on the issue of health care reform will not be made, or saved, by a series of stump speeches. It will be secured by a much more sober, mundane reality: a website that works and an administrative state that matches presidential promises.” The post was insightful and accurate.
So my attention was recently caught by a similar argument made by political scientist Professor William Galston in the Wall Street Journal, An Executive Without Energy. There has been some comparison made between the rollout of Obamacare and the Bush administration’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina. Professor Galston compares the ACA debacle with the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Ouch.
Poor Charlie Baker – is vanity fair? I ask because as Frank Phillips wrote in the Boston Globe the other day, Independents May Complicate Baker’s Bid. Jeffrey S. McCormick and Evan Falchuk will both run as Independent and largely self-financed candidates. But Independents are vanity candidates; when they self-finance they go down in flames.
Could I be the only one who read the front page story in the Boston Sunday Globe by Jim O’Sullivan and Andrew Ryan, Walsh Is Still Bringing in Cash as He Builds Team and thought about Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, “I know nothing! I see nothing! I hear nothing!”
The story is about the ethical issues raised by the continued fund-raising of Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, and the curiously expanded fund-raising base of his former opponent, final race endorser, and transition co-chair Charlotte Golar Richie.
The real fun is in the quotes though. This is Boston; nobody knows nuttin’.
A few items caught my eye in the political blogosphere these past few days. For instance, Dick Cheney never disappoints us. Even if Americans saw the loveable cuddly Mitt Romney, it wouldn’t have helped; a more likeable Romney might have meant fewer votes. Can Jeff Jacoby and I compromise by agreeing that John F. Kennedy was a conservative and Ronald Reagan a leftie?
Most importantly Larry DiCara says Marty Walsh “won the Boston mayoral race by putting together a coalition of groups that hardly spoke to one another a generation ago: blue-collar workers, African Americans and Hispanics. He did it with a lot of outside help from other unions around the country, including a big influx of campaign funds, and a powerful ground game from local unions.” Could it happen elsewhere?
A political icon always makes for a fun column and that observation rings true in two recent columns in the Boston Globe. On October 18 Hardball host Chris Matthews delivered a love letter to Tip O’Neill. By gosh, if only our leaders could halt the enmity at 6:00 PM and enjoy a belt like Tip and Ronald Reagan! On October 20 Jeff Jacoby flawlessly carried out his job description of annoying the region’s liberals by attempting to appropriate John F. Kennedy as a conservative hero.
Nice try, Chris and Jeff. But hero worship is way off base.
On Tuesday evening the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy in the John W. McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies and the Trotter Institute at UMassBoston hosted a panel discussion “Opening Doors” featuring Charlotte Golar Richie. The former mayoral candidate and a distinguished panel explored lessons learned for an African American woman candidate in Boston.
I went to the forum expecting to learn a lot and I did. But I was also a little puzzled about some of the fundraising problems Golar Richie faced and the impact of a Boston Globe column published four days before the preliminary election.
No elected official has pushed EBT card reform harder than Republican State Representative Shaunna O’Connell of Taunton. In recognition of her efforts I nominate her for “Political Entrepreneur of the Year.”
Last night at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies Leadership Series I got to introduce Larry DiCara of the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP for a discussion of the Boston mayoral election. As a former Boston city council president, mayoral candidate, and author of Turmoil and Transition in Boston: A Political Memoir from the Busing Era, Larry can tell us much of what we need to know about Boston politics.
Martha Coakley, this time you’ve gone too far. When the Boston Globe ran an article in which Democrats fretted that you are a political bumbler and fumbler, my colleague Professor Ubertaccio rose to your defense. I made fun of the Democratic knee-knockers too. Then in The Myth of Martha Coakley’s Mistakes I argued that the AG’s fumbles and bumbles didn’t really impact the 2010 special election loss to Scott Brown.
So how does the AG thank us? With this, from Frank Phillips of the Globe: Martha Coakley’s Campaign Funds in Disarray.
I’ll continue to maintain that Coakley’s fumbles and bumbles didn’t cost her the election in 2010. But they might cost her the election of 2014.