Link for 1/8 – What was the point Paul?
Martha Coakley held an event yesterday where the only story should have been the very vocal support she is receiving from members of the Kennedy family. However, due to a really poor decision by interim US Senator Paul Kirk and the Coakley campaign, another (and more damaging) story came out of the event. When the legislature reversed state law to allow Governor Patrick to appoint a temporary successor to the late Senator Kennedy, one of the agreements was that that person, whomever it should turn out to be, would stay neutral in the special election – specifically the replacement was blocked from “endorsing any candidate in the special election.” It is not legally binding, but Kirk’s decision shows an utter disregard for the agreement that made his service possible and helps further the impression that we can not trust our elected representatives. While Mr. Kirk is right that “as a former Democratic chairman, it’s probably no surprise what side I’d be on” leaving it at that misses the real point. It is really unfortunate that Kirk “did not think twice” before agreeing to violate the resolution passed by our state government. The fact that this endorsement, by his own admission, won’t make a huge difference in the race makes the story even worse and is a black mark on the Coakley team. Why risk the negative publicity and further sow the seeds of mistrust, that are already such a part of politics, by making a move that won’t have much impact? How
The larger point, of course, is what this does to Martha Coakley and her campaign. There is already concern amongst the electorate that we are going to be electing someone, essentially for life, who we do not really know. Between her refusal to debate, one on one, her only “real” opponent (sorry Joe Kennedy), her incredible lack of campaign events and the scarcity of her ads, we are left to guess about who we will likely be electing to represent us. And accepting the endorsement of someone who should not be endorsing doesn’t say good things about her willingness to honor agreements or her ability to recognize and stand up for what is right (even if it might put her at odds with powerful people). Maybe that’s harsh. But, with little other evidence to go on, voters are forced to draw conclusions from what we can see. And, in this case, I don’t like what I’m seeing.