Greenwood Gazette endorses Capuano

Dec 8, 2009

Today is election day for the primary race that ultimately picks the person who will replace Ted Kennedy. And since this is Massachusetts and the Republican candidate is not a factor, the race is basically decided today, even though the general election isn’t until January. Up until I walked into the polling place at Kane School I wasn’t firmly committed, but I ended up going with Mike Capuano. I think either he or Martha Coakley and probably even Alan Khazei would be a decent choice, so I’m not going to be particularly moved one way or the other no matter which of them gets the nod. Steve Pagluica, while not unlikeable, just didn’t seem to have any reason to be senator other than to spend a lot of money campaigning, and all those robo-calls are just annoying everyone.

The Globe and my favorite liberal blog bluemassgroup.com actually went for Khazei, something of a surprise given his lack of political experience, I can see the blog people being more theoretical and willing to go with the most seemingly progressive candidate, but the Globe’s endorsement still befuddles me. It would seem that not only do we have to pick a new senator, (something you don’t get to do very often, since once elected they tend to have the job for life) but a new senator to replace Ted Kennedy, who was the voice of Massachusetts, cradle of liberty, last bastion of liberalism, for decades, so you don’t want to just vote for the nice guy or the smart guy or the connected guy, but the one who can get things done and get other people to get things done the way Kennedy could. Coakley, for all her good qualities, seems to be more in the John Kerry mode, working quietly behind the scenes, scoring points for and advocating on behalf of the commonwealth without a lot of public visibility.

But we already have John Kerry, and those who have written about Capuano (including the Phoenix, which did give him an endorsement) point to his track record both in congress and before that as mayor of Somerville, as someone who would vote his conscience regardless of the prevailing wisdom, someone who could get things done. He tends to come across a little smarmy on tv, but in his favor he seems to have made it through the campaign without mudslinging or having any skeletons dredged up, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt, he’s managed to keep to the high road.

Beth wasn’t sure who to vote for either, but its nice to be undecided because of a plurarlity of worthy candidates rather than a dearth of them. My guess is she’ll ultimately go for Coakley, and if she wins, that’s fine too, I think she has done well as attorney general and would sincerely do her utmost to represent Massachusetts in the Kennedy manner, since there don’t seem to be any more Kennedys that want to give it a shot.

There’s still the formality of today’s winner running against some hapless Republican next month, but let’s get on with it, there’s too much to do in Washington and too little time to do it before the crazy people take over again.

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