One will win, but Markey vs. Kennedy a lose-lose proposition
Isn’t there some way they can both lose?
Ed “Mr. Frosty” Markey vs. JoJoJo Kennedy is a lot like the Iran-Iraq war way back when – two odious regimes thoroughly in need of a major butt-kicking.
Alas, one of them must prevail, but maybe they can combine to spend $20 million or so on their nasty primary fight.
On the one hand, if Kennedy somehow lost, as unlikely as that prospect seems today, it would finally end the family’s “dynasty” in this benighted Commonwealth. That’s a very tempting prospect.
On the other hand, is there anyone in politics more vapid and useless than Mr. Frosty? My favorite quote about Ed Markey came from Billy Bulger at a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast:
“To a battle of wits, he comes unarmed.”
How unarmed? This is a guy who went on the Senate floor a couple of years ago to congratulate the “Boston Patriots.” Which they haven’t been since 1971, but that’s okay, Markey has a good excuse for being out of touch.
He’s really from Maryland. Markey bought the house he really lives in, in Chevy Chase MD, back in 1991. It’s almost time for one of those mortgage-burning parties like they used to have back in 1950’s, when Ed Markey was a young man.
There’s only one way for Mr. Frosty to defeat Kennedy, and that’s to take off the gloves and go on the attack. But is that even possible for a three-watt bulb like Markey? I mean, there’s a reason why, in his last job in the Dreaded Private Sector, back in the 1960s, his ice cream truck sold soft ice cream. Because he’s soft.
Does Markey actually have it in him to tell the truth about his opponent: that he’s only running for the Senate because you have to be a senator to run for president. Congressman doesn’t cut it. Just ask Seth Moulton. Or “President Swalwell.”
For JoJoJo, this race is about 2024. The three top Democrats in the presidential fight are all over 70. In all likelihood, whatever happens next year, they won’t be back. If JoJoJo really cared about the Senate, he could wait for the fake Indian. One way or the other, she’s a short-timer, and he’s only 38.
Markey would prefer to run on his “record,” but seriously, who cares about any legislator’s record, even if Markey had one, which he really doesn’t. Remember him 40 years ago, waving around a TV remote control, saying he’d capped cable rates? Thanks a lot, Mr. Frosty.
Of course, Kennedy’s great uncle Ted, in his first fight in 19662, was also dusted up for having no experience. Didn’t work for Eddie McCormack then, so why would it work for Eddie Markey now? Granted, it was a more polite era. But whatever remained of the Marquis of Queensbury rules in politics went out the window forever with Donald Trump in 2016.
How about this for anti-Kennedy bumper sticker: “Trump 2020, Kennedy 2024.” Too obscure, maybe, but that’s what consultants are for, to sharpen the message. Too bad Markey’s are John Walsh and Doug Rubin.
One final point: JoJoJo running for the Senate means Deb Goldberg, the state treasurer, can now run for his open House seat. She’d be the favorite. If she wins and becomes a 66-year-old freshman rep, the treasurer’s job would be open, and her replacement would be picked by the legislature – both the House and the Senate.
Theoretically, the top contenders for that powerful job would be the leaders of both branches, especially the House, which has 160 members to the Senate’s 40.
Only one problem: all the legislative leaders are on Beacon Hill rounding third.
For instance, if there were to be an election in the legislature for treasurer in January 2021, the House speaker Bob DeLeo would be 70, his majority leader Ron Mariano 74. The speaker pro tem (whatever that is), Pat Haddad, would also be 70.
On the Senate seat, President Karen Spilka would be 68, her majority leader Cynthia Creem 79, and the “president emeritus,” Harriette Chandler, 83.
Billy Bulger always said that when he first ran, his slogan was, “Give a young man a chance.” Thirty-five years later, he quipped, his motto was, “There is no substitute for experience.”
That’s not true though – Markey’s sad career proves that. But as ancient as most of the big shots in the state and national Democrat parties are, maybe Markey can use a variation on Bulger’s first slogan:
“Give a young ice-cream truck driver a chance.”