Friday, May 24, 2013
This morning over in DOT at the IBEW Local 103, Business Manager Mike Monahan loved Mayor Tom Menino and Rep. Ed Markey. Menino loved Monahan, the union, unions, and Markey. Markey loved Menino, Monahan and, well, everybody.
The occasion was for Menino to endorse Markey in the special election to the U.S. Senate, replacing suddenly Secretary of State John Kerry. Markey won the Dem primary over Rep. Steve Lynch and faces the GOP's Gabriel Gomez near the end of next month.
As Menino's endorsement of Elizabeth Warren in the previous special, to replace the late Ted Kennedy, was key to her victory, you might have supposed the crowd would have been bigger here than about two hundred.
Then again, Menino squatted like an owl on a limb before coming out for Warren. The anticipation was palpable and fierce. At the endorsement rally in the middle of Roslindale (at Adams Park, a.k.a. Roslindale Square), every bench, bit of sidewalk and patch of grass was populated. The crowd spiraled with increasing passion for 90 minutes before Menino and Warren appeared. A virtual political talent show ordinary women spoke powerfully for Warren. She ascended the stage to swelling music and louder cheers.
Two years earlier, at another endorsement to-do, former President Bill Clinton came on for Lynch's re-election bid. That was the strangest of such events I ever attended. Everybody got up at the Ironworkers hall to say how wonderful a prez Clinton had been. In a odd juxtaposition, Lynch spoke before Clinton, saying of course what a wonderful prez he had been. Only at the end, did Clinton podium up to say, yes, what a wonderful prez he'd been. Then at the end of the remarks, he briefly praised Lynch and urged voting for him, campaigning for him and donating to his campaign.
There was also no tension or doubt. Gomez held no trump card as Scott Brown did as incumbent Senator. No one was surprised the Mayor went for Markey.
There was pretty good stuff around, substance and detail as well as a love fest. They spoke of gun control, protecting Social Security, ensuring equal opportunity in education, or as Markey put it to great appreciation (hear clip below), "...every child should have access to the skill set they need..."
He also said that the kind of partnership he's had with Menino is exactly that he'd need as a Senator "to fight for the cities." He listed urban concerns and what he and Menino had worked on together.
On the other hand, there was no mention of him and Warren as a team, as a one-two punch in the Senate. If I can finally get him on Left Ahead, I'll ask about that.
This show was pretty short, a campaign stop, in and out in a half hour. I have seen and heard Markey do better on the stump. In particular, three months ago at JP Licks, he spoke with wit and power to over 100 crammed into the ice cream parlor. Today, he was warm and generous in praise, but you could see the audience looking around a bit and shifting from foot to foot as he spent most of his time speaking of the splendors or Boston and her Mayor.
He could have benefited from a slice of Clinton's ego. He has a good story and tells it well. He should learn to acknowledge praise and then move to the important stuff. He has some time to practice before the two debates with Gomez.
Click the arrow on the player to hear a two-minute clip from Markey endorsement acceptance.