Mike Capuano never had a chance.
Of course hindsight is 20-20, but his only real shot at an 11th term in Congress was to go negative on Ayanna Pressley, the Boston city councilor who is not exactly beloved, shall we say, by her colleagues.
But how do you go negative on a black woman in this Politically Correct environment? It wouldn’t have mattered how “woke” he now claims to be, the usual suspects would have said Capuano’s attacks were “Trumpian.”
And then, in that district, he would have lost by 25 points instead of 15.
Writing these words, I feel like the coroner, completing an autopsy. So I might as well fill out this death certificate by listing the causes of Capuano’s political demise.
If he had gone negative, everything Capuano would have said about her would have been inside baseball. Suppose you made a TV spot about her career on the Boston City Council.
“Ayanna could have been the first woman of color to become president of the Boston City Council. Instead, her colleagues picked Michelle Wu. Then Ayanna could have been the first black woman to become president. But even though she was the top vote-getter on the Council, her colleagues went with a newcomer, Andrea Campbell.”
Pause. Grainy black and white photo of Ayanna.
“What do her colleagues know about Ayanna Pressley that you don’t?”
Are your eyes glazing over? It’s telling, but who… really… cares? Besides which, being president of the City Council, as the late Freddie Langone once said, “is like being an admiral in the Swiss Navy.”
Freddie’s grandson ran for the Council last year, by the way. He was defeated by a black woman. Do you begin to detect a pattern here?
In one of their debates, she called the border wall “Trump’s hate wall.” How about making a spot about that? Are you kidding? That would have increased her favorability in the 7th district.
Same thing with her call for the abolition of ICE. Capuano demurred, because he felt like he had to be serious. But there’s no longer any upside to acting like an adult, in anything. Everything is click bait now – look at the Kavanaugh hearings. There was a poll showing that most of the people in the district knew how crazy it would be to abolish ICE, but so what?
They felt righteous about voting for Ayanna.
Which brings us to another fatal problem Capuano had, which he surely diagnosed it early on: you can’t bleepin’ trust progressives.
He’s a Somerville guy – he once publicly bragged that he was “proud” to be a hack. As mayor he menaced some people in Powderhouse Park with a baseball bat when their dog was growling at his kids. At a speech on the Common to some pinky-ring union thugs, he ranted about the need to shed some blood – dem udder guys’ blood, capische?
He was a street guy, as much as you can be if you went to Dartmouth. He was, as the Globe sneered, “half-Irish.”
Yucky, yucky, yucky. I heard Capuano had a poll in Somerville that showed him with 74 percent approval rating. But he only carried his hometown by a single point.
It didn’t matter if Capuano went so far left he fell off the end of the earth, these rich white trust-funders who’ve taken over Somerville and the rest of the district would have voted for Ayanna.
Another thing Capuano should have done. He should have put on a suitcoat. Nothing against shirt sleeves, but he has a beer gut, not Sen. Mike Brady-like, but it shows. Nothing says “half-Irish” to the woke community like a beer gut.
I mentioned this last week, but Capuano also could have used one or two semi-normal towns, you know, Watertown or Belmont. He could have used the rest of Milton, but that’s propping up Stevie Lynch.
Capuano could have really, really benefitted from those two municipalities in Suffolk County that he doesn’t represent – Revere and Winthrop.
Do you realize that other than Mayor Walsh, the last white man left standing in Boston politics today is Steve Murphy, the Suffolk County Register of Deeds? He won by 6000 votes over a woman – it was a white woman, luckily for Murphy. Half of his margin came in Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea.
Which brings us to one final problem for Capuano. He hadn’t lost an election since 1994, when Bill Galvin clipped him for secretary of state. Murphy, on the other hand, has lost for sheriff, for treasurer, for the City Council, etc. etc.
Losing makes you a better candidate. You analyze your mistakes.
One final question: what are the odds Capuano moves back to Somerville now?
Slim, fat and none.