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Can A Kennedy Make Massachusetts Magic, Again?

July 27, 2020


There are so many intriguing and captivating political contests underway in the nation this year. But there is one race in the primary season that has been a pure barn-burner consisting of name power, dynamism, and decades of history now again being placed on a ballot for voters to consider.

We all are aware of how calculated campaigns must now be to capture attention and support in the time of a pandemic.  But throw in roiled waters within the Democratic Party, some bruised egos, and a Senate seat for the victor and it is easy to see why Massachusetts has never seen a political contest like the one underway now between Representative Joe Kennedy’s challenge of incumbent US Senator Ed Markey.

This contest has had polling which showed Kennedy with a 14-point lead last September, but down to 6 points in February.  There is, based on my reading of news reports out of the Boston Globe and from columns about politics that a continuing assessment is that Kennedy is leading and likely to win.  The primary election is September 1.  But early voting is underway, and with COVID-19 many voters are making up their minds as you read this post.

That is why last night’s debate was so important to both candidates.  And for Markey, it was a troubling one.

This morning the Globe had this story.

Markey attempts to defend his Senate seat from Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, he’s moved his hometown of Malden — and the modest house that he grew up in — front and center.

It’s a potent contrast to the gilded legacy of the Kennedys. But there’s just one problem: Markey spends less time at home than any other member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, according to a Globe review of members’ travel schedules.

The senator even spent 22 fewer nights in Massachusetts than his colleague Elizabeth Warren last year — when she was running for president. 

Last night Kennedy dealt this blow.

“I went around the country [in 2018] and tried to campaign for other Democrats so that we could regain control and pass a progressive agenda,” Kennedy said Sunday. “Senator Markey, by his own campaign’s admission, was nowhere. But he wasn’t at home either. You talk to folks in western Massachusetts, you talk to folks in communities like Roxbury and Dorchester and Mattapan and Springfield and Worcester, and he wasn’t there. There is so much more that is needed at this moment than just someone who files the right bill and says that’s enough.” 

One can argue about policy and stands on issues, and that is so important to consider.  But when an opponent can paint a picture of an incumbent being distant, remote, apart, and away it plants a negative narrative about the person who has taken an oath to serve his constituents that is a true problem. 

Kennedy is swinging hard and with a polished professional bat.  Do not be surprised with a win for the Kennedy family once again in Massachusets.

This blogger is smiling.

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