This job would be a moderate step up for Capuano. With six years between elections and almost certain re-election, he would gain a freedom to advance policies and forge alliances much more effectively than he can in the House. There, he has been founding and joining progressive caucuses to reach for goals piecemeal.
Who can predict whether anyone from Massachusetts would ever approach the influence and accomplishments of Senator Ted Kennedy. Out of the four Dems and two Republicans this time, we have a very good idea who isn't ready. We would be taking a huge gamble on any of the other five.
Because of my association with the weekly Left Ahead! podcast, I've been holding onto neutrality, but it has become increasingly obvious what to do. Capuano is the only one with Congressional experience. Moreover only Republican Scott Brown has any legislative experience at all among the others, and his is an undistinguished five years in each house of our General Court, as well as his being wrong-headed politically.
In his 11 years in the U.S. House, Capuano has had:
- A solid impact in all major debates as well as delivering services and programs back to the commonwealth
- A consistently progressive record of voting for women's rights, larger civil rights, LGBT concerns, and sane foreign and domestic policy in insane times
- Multiple courageous stands speaking out and voting against such blunders as involvement in Iraq and the PATRIOT Act
Overall, with any of the other candidates, we would be taking a high-risk gamble. We would have to suspend doubts and trust magically that any of them might somehow morph into a worthy Senator. It is a much surer projection that Capunao will go from a solid Representative to a solid Senator. As others have said endorsing him, this is not the time for on-the-job training. Ted Kennedy may have started out green 47 years ago, but we don't have to take that chance in replacing him.
I should be plain that I like Mike's candor as well as his votes. Moreover, not only do I know from his voting record and public statements what he stands for, but I agree with him on nearly everything. He is a true progressive.
The three other Dems seem bright enough and pleasant enough. Yet, with Capuano's record, you don't have to knock them to build him up.
Touching briefly on them, consider:
- AG Martha Coakley has hidden from numerous media and blogs instead of exposing her ideas and principles to examination. I had hoped to know her better before endorsing anyone, but clearly she does not see the future in openness. She has been a pretty good, but not stellar AG, and was an OK DA. Neither of those in any way qualifies her for this job.
- Alan Khazei seems damned smart and probably has the most fleshed out policy statements on what he might theoretically go for in the Senate. More than Coakley's, his experience with City Year was impressive, but might or might not predict anything about his performance as a Senator.
- Stephen Pagliuca has managed to make a lot of money as a venture capitalist, but has no germane experience. Moreover, he doesn't seem to be a leader, grunting and agreeing with the other three Dems.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Capuano, endorsement, special election, U.S. Senate