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Category Archives: Mass Politics
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.
Charlie Baker has made his choice in Karyn Polito. Jim Hand in today’s Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a piece on the history of GOP gubernatorial candidates choosing a running mate. It’s an interesting modern development that hasn’t caught on with Democrats and Baker has chosen wisely.
I spoke the other day to a reporter writing a story about the “comments” section after articles in the online version of his paper. He was most interested in whether allowing readers to comment anonymously was a good idea or not. My answer was an unqualified (us usual for me) no. Anonymous online comments, in theory, allow commenters to be more frank and honest without fear of reprisal or “shoot the messenger” responses that might detract from the substance of an argument. In practice…not so much.
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?
Last weekend I attended the annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association and participated in a panel discussion of the “Future of the Political Parties.” It is my contention that for parties uncertainty and flux are the orders of the day, both for partisans and political scientists. The political and institutional environment in which American political parties operate today looks to me like a 21st Century version of the “wild west.”
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.
Scott Brown’s prospects for a return to the Senate from New Hampshire and Elizabeth Warren’s potential as a 2016 Democratic contender for the White House have become popular subjects of media speculation lately. Considering how much time and energy we here at Masspoliticsprofs gave to the 2012 epic battle between these two, I thought it appropriate to weigh in.