Tag Archives: Massachusetts Republican Party
The Republican US Senate candidates’ debate in Springfield reminded me of the quarter final games of the D2 NCAA “Elite Eight” tournament when it was played in Springfield. The games were good, but the stands were mostly empty and the sense that these hard working, talented players were toiling in a minor league of sorts was very hard to shake.
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.
Has Scott Brown left an electoral legacy? A few weeks ago, when the dismal state of the Republican Party here was again on full display (again, as in over and over again since the 1970s), it’d be easy to suggest Brown did not leave the GOP stronger than when he first ran for Senate.
The proliferation of prospects pursuing the Massachusetts Republican Party’s nomination for the special senate election is positive for the GOP and good news for the commonwealth. Several rising candidates could do more for the party than one exhausted and vulnerable Scott Brown.
Recently important figures in both parties have spoken up about the advantages of vigorous primary contests. Democratic Party chairman John Walsh wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe entitled Contested Primary Good for Democrats. Redmassgroup.com poster Matt Elder, a Marlborough city councilor, even called for a “bloody primary” on the Republican side.
I was gently chided by a reader after my last post on the upcoming special election where I suggested that Senator Brown might not be the odds on favorite. This reader reminded me that despite his loss, Senator Brown remains enormously popular in the state with approval ratings the envy of most politicians. WBUR confirmed this yesterday.
This week I had the pleasure to interview John Walsh, the chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, for UMass Boston’s public affairs radio program Commonwealth Journal on WUMB (interview will play Sunday at 7:00PM). As you might imagine Chairman Walsh was quite pleased with the November election results. He was especially enthusiastic with robust turnout in communities of color and praised rising elected officials like Boston city councilors Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson and state senator Sonia Chang-Diaz. We’ll surely hear more from them in the future but, I asked Chairman Walsh, what about the future John Walshs – the behind the scenes architects of political victory? Actually, he told me, many of them were recently identified in an important article in The Bay State Banner, Diversity more than a buzz word at Warren campaign.
It would appear that Scott Brown has already won the phantom special election of 2013. In today’s Globe, Robert Kuttner writes that should John Kerry go to Foggy Bottom, “Scott Brown would likely run, and win.”
Hmmm. Perhaps I’ve been at the Eggnog too much (and too early) but I have very serious doubts.
It’s hard to find a silver lining for the Massachusetts Republican party. Not adopting the national GOP platform is certainly a start but when you miles behind, moving a few inches forward doesn’t make you competitive.
We’re fixated with debates that aren’t “game changers,” TV ads that are forgotten tomorrow, and “gaffes” that don’t move poll numbers. Political organization isn’t as sexy but it’s very important, and Democrat Elizabeth Warren seems to have an advantage over Republican Scott Brown.