Markey a marked man if Kennedy wants his seat
Say goodnight, Ed Markey.
If it’s Ed Markey vs. Joe Kennedy III, the Democrat Senate primary next year could be a once-in- a-lifetime political event.
For the first time in two generations, maybe more, the Kennedy in the fight would be the more intelligent of the two candidates, and it wouldn’t even be close.
At his St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, Billy Bulger used to say of then-Cong. Ed Markey: “To a battle of wits, he comes unarmed.”
Eddie Markey is a guy who schemed for 40 years to get to the Senate, and then when he finally arrived, on a fluke, in 2013, his first vote was, “Present.”
After the Super Bowl a couple of years ago, Ed Markey stood up on the floor of the Senate and congratulated “the Boston Patriots.”
Ed Markey – the man that time forgot. It looks like time just got a wake-up call from the front desk.
And now Markey finds himself in line to become the latest victim of the Kennedys’ overweening ambition. Forget loyalty, forget obsequiousness – if you’re in their way, you’re gone.
The casualty list goes back well over 70 years – Cong. Joe Kane (ousted by dirty tricks in 1942 when he ran for an open Senate seat) may have been the first. The list goes on – they kept Foster Furcolo out of the Senate, Ted Kennedy wasn’t even 30 when he crushed Speaker McCormack’s nephew Eddie for JFK’s seat.
Even Patches Kennedy felt entitled to blow into Rhode Island and destroy an incumbent state rep named Jack Skeffington, who’d worked for his Uncle Bobby in ’68. Speaking of RFK, he was the most ruthless of them all. RFK was a Massachusetts delegate to the Democrat convention in August ’64. A month later he carpet bagged into NY to run for Senate against the most liberal Republican in the Senate, Kenneth Keating.
Four years later, with LBJ on the ropes, Bobby jumped into the presidential race to back stab the first senator who’d had the stones to take on Uncle Cornpone – Eugene McCarthy.
I sense the hand of JoJoJo’s father in all this. Joe Kennedy II is a hot-tempered moron who regularly displays all his family’s worst traits. At age 23, he tried to strong-arm the late Bob Crane out of the treasurer’s job. A decade later JoJo was sizing up his uncle Ted, who was in the middle of a 20-year bender, for a contract hit.
The Corleones got nothing on the Kennedys.
A couple of weeks ago, JoJo, who’s been out of Congress since 1996, announced a new initiative to replace Joe for Oil. In this post-fossil fuel, post-Venezuela age, the new program is named: Joe-4-Sun.
I guess we can now rename it Joe-4-Son.
The old man’s settling all the family business – just sold the house on Bigelow Street in Brighton for a million-three, sets up Joe-4-Son (free public service TV spots anyone?) and now we have JoJoJo-4-Senate.
I actually kinda like the kid. At least he’s not dumb. Luckily for him, the Kennedy and Fitzgerald genes have about been bred out of him.
It’s ironic that it ends like this, because Ed Markey was the original K-Mart Kennedy. Markey still mimics the old JFK twang. He wears his grey locks long, like RFK in the ’68 presidential campaign.
He always dreamed of being a Kennedy, and now they’re going to kill him. It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
Markey knew this could happen. Back in 1986, Markey had already been in the House for 10 years. Joe II was running for his first term in Congress – Tip O’Neill had been keeping the “Kennedy seat” warm for 34 years.
Markey was from Malden, next door to Medford, which was also in his district. A guy I knew was working a precinct in Medford on primary day 1986. He told me later how, all day long, the old ladies would scan their ballots and then start loudly complaining to the wardens.
“There’s a mistake on my ballot!” they’d yell. “I don’t see that nice young Kennedy boy’s name anywhere. He’s running for Congress you know, and the only name I see is this… Markey person!”
Markey tried to bullet-proof himself this year. He got on board with AOC on the Green New Deal. He’s also down on impeaching Trump. But in the end it’s done him no good. It never does when the Kennedys have you in the crosshairs.
Forty years ago, in a famous CBS TV news story, Ted Kennedy was on the phone with Markey, whispering frantically to his aide, “What’s his first name, Ricky?”
Now JoJoJo asks a variation of his great-uncle’s question: “Eddie Who?”
(Check out Howie’s latest podcasts at howiecarrshow.com.)