Disclaimer: We endorse and support Deval Patrick.
Reilly doesn't try that I'm-really-sort-of-Black thing. However, personally and professionally, he has shown that race is not a problem for him. Also, his campaign site features the elder Budd prominently in the bio.
Whether having a Black buddy/staffer helps him substantially in the urban, largely Black neighborhoods remains to be seen. He's up against Patrick, who doesn't just play a Black man on the dais, and who can out-up-from-poverty Reilly any day.
The Bay State Banner has a profile of Reilly, with one emphasis on his relationship with Budd. It also is heavy on Reilly's shots at Mitt Cap'n Brylcreem Romney and at Patrick.
Unfortunately for both Reilly and Patrick, even Boston's Black voters are not bloc folk. Various polls suggest that they are pretty well split, largely between these two. Also, statewide, only about 5.4% of voters are Black. Sewing up the Black vote won't guarantee anyone the State House.
The Banner article doesn't give Reilly a total free forum. It mentions his dumb calls about the drunk-driving case of a friend's daughters, as well as Lt. Gov. pick Marie St. Fleur. On the other hand, it didn't cite his handling of the various anti-same-sex-marriage drives and his indecisiveness as attorney general. Nonetheless, it states "...given all the political missteps, Reilly has provided Republican gubernatorial nominee Kerry (Healey) plenty of ammunition to use in November."
Yet for self-defined liberals and progressives, Black support is smart politics as well as in line with their platforms. Saying you're for equality and fairness for all is one thing, while getting buy in and support from traditionally disadvantaged communities speaks a lot louder.
Interestingly enough, the Banner article picks up a popular American theme from this race, two weeks before the Democratic primary. It notes:
That very well may be true, but something strange is happening. Reilly, the prohibitive favorite last winter, is now the underdog, fighting against two millionaires in the Democratic primary, and proclaiming to be champion of the “regular people.”What could be more American than beating the odds? That's a good question about the Irish-American insider...as it is for the Black self-made millionaire.
And that is where Reilly is most comfortable—against the odds and underestimated.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Tom Reilly, Wayne Budd, Deval Patrick, governor, Bay State Banner