Tag Archives: Dan Winslow
The Boston Marathon bombing is already impacting the debate on immigration policy and the issue of immigration keeps coming up in the Republican senate debates. The candidates have slightly different takes on it, though they all want to seem tough on the Mexican border. I’m far from any kind of an expert on immigration policy but I’m close to an irritable observer of how politicians try to exploit animosity toward unauthorized immigrants. And a conversation with John Burt, author of Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict, has me thinking that we may be far distant from what the words of the Declaration of Independence imply about immigrants.
Dan Winslow says the Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln. Michael Sullivan won’t come right out and say it, but his GOP is the Party of George W. Bush. And Gabriel Gomez isn’t sure what party he is in, but he knows he doesn’t want to share it with any politicians.
In the short term, it may be Michael Sullivan’s party. But in the long term (and maybe as soon as April 30), if there is going to be a long term, it had better move toward Dan Winslow.
Three out of the five candidates running for John Kerry’s vacated US Senate seat have pinned their electoral hopes on a flawed theory of the election, namely that their are enough potential voters in this race who want to vote for a candidate that is willing to buck his political party’s establishment and to exercise “independent” judgment in the senate to cobble together a winning coalition. Gabriel Gomez, Dan Winslow, and Democratic Congressman Stephen Lynch have all staked their electoral chances on this theory.
Scot Lehigh has a very important piece in today’s Boston Globe, What are Markey, Lynch promising to interest groups?: The Democratic Senate candidates are making promises, but won’t make them public. Lehigh argues that the Democratic candidates are making “covert commitments” in order to secure the backing of interest groups including unions (mostly) and refusing to make public the “questionnaires” these groups require of candidates.
Last week’s MassInc /WBUR poll (toplines here, crosstabs here) seemed to confirm the conventional wisdom that Congressman Ed Markey leads Congressman Steve Lynch among Democrats, and former US Attorney Michael Sullivan leads Rep. Dan Winslow and businessman Gabriel Gomez on the Republican side. Either Democrat would beat any Republican if the election was held last week. No surprises, but there are some little nuggets in the poll.
For Dan Winslow, the competition for the Republican US Senate nomination in Massachusetts could be called the “Goldilocks” primary. Clearly, he has calculated that his best chance is to be the “just right” candidate between the too liberal and inexperienced Gabriel Gomez and the too conservative and too political Michael Sullivan. Winslow focuses more explicitly on electability than either of his opponents. To his credit, his electability argument is the most clear and most well attuned to the broad political and policy interests of his party.
I’m not a car racing fan, but I presume that the so-called “poll position” offers some advantage to its awardee. Frequently, the same cannot be said of political candidates with strong polling numbers. Indeed, the very first line of the WBUR story about the latest poll results in the ongoing “special” US Senate election in Massachusetts seemed to be making this very point. In fact, the author explicitly characterized the race as “wide open on both the Democratic and the Republican sides.”
“Wide open!?!” Not really.
I thought both debates went well. A doubleheader – reminded me of NBA doubleheaders when I was a kid, Syracuse Nationals vs. Knicks in first game, Celts vs. Cincinnati Royals in the second. Terrific. Democrats may have had a better grasp on substance but then they have been in Congress working on national issues for years.
I’m most disappointed that there was no question on money in politics. I guess we’d get a lot of talk about Citizens United, but the problem was well established before that decision. Simply put, the affluent get their policy preferences met and the rest of us don’t. Citizens United just tilts the board even further in the direction of the super-rich.
So on to my thoughts on the debates.
Redmassgroup is promoting a radiothon with talk show host Michael Graham and the Massachusetts Alliance of Young Republicans entitled “How to Save the GOP”, which will run from noon to 3 PM on April 3. In other news on how to save the GOP, RMG posters are attacking senate candidate Dan Winslow here and here, and candidate Gabriel Gomez here. As I’ve said on MPP many times, two competitive parties would enhance our sort-of democracy in the commonwealth. We will see if RMG and Mr. Graham can make any progress on that front.