Crushin’ Kerry

September 20, 2013

As if Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t have enough mishegoss in his life, he gets a couple of dope slaps in the local dailies today.

Start with this piece in the Boston Globe:

fc32fb5d4df04f27916882bed2947259-fc32fb5d4df04f27916882bed2947259-0Despite a number of verbal miscues, John Kerry’s star rising

Statements have at times haunted the new secretary

WASHINGTON — John F. Kerry has a history of speaking his mind, both in speeches and in off-the-cuff remarks. It is a habit that over the course of his long public career has sometimes haunted him.

He became a national figure in 1971, when he said many members of the military in Vietnam, including himself, had committed atrocities, a statement his detractors criticized during his 2004 presidential run. During that failed campaign, he was also accused of being a “flip-flopper” for the clumsy way he explained his votes on Iraq War funding: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Now, as secretary of state, where carefully articulated positions are the ingredients of successful international diplomacy — and where misstatements of policy or inartful comments can reverberate through foreign capitals — Kerry has made several remarks this year that his staffers have been forced to clarify or disavow.

 

Speaking of clarify or disavow, there’s this facewash from the Boston Herald’s Inside Track:

 

Picture 2

 

The Kerry folks insist that Long Jawn hasn’t had any work done (“That’s not a denial, that’s a fact”), but others beg to differ.

“He had a ton of fat grafting into his lower face,” said Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, chief of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston University Medical Center. “If you look at his face before, he was very gaunt. The side of his cheeks were sunken in and hollow.”

Spiegel didn’t think much of the work the secretary of state had done, either.

“He’s been a little over-injected, I would say . . . “

 

I say!

 


Boston Herald’s Outside Track: Holly & Scott Tear the Sheets

February 4, 2013

Our feisty local tabloid’s Lone Republican needs a plus one.

Herald columnist Holly Robichaud goes through a very public breakup with former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Pickup and Go) today, right on Page One:

Picture 1

 

And Holly doesn’t mince words in her column:

scottbrowncutoutOur honeymoon with Scott Brown just ended

I hate to speak ill of fellow Republicans, but there is no good way to spin that the GOP has been left in the lurch by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s backing out of the special election. With less than 23 days to get 10,000 certified signatures for the ballot, the timing of his decision is like leaving a bride at the altar.

Republicans already face a well-known uphill battle because of voter registration, finance and organizational deficits along with a media bias. Declining to run would have been perfectly acceptable for Brown 60 or even 30 days ago, but by waiting until now he puts our candidate at a huge disadvantage.

What about all the people who stood out in the cold and rain, made thousands of calls and gave up their weekends to knock on thousands of doors? What about the party that has given millions of dollars? What about U.S. Sen. John McCain, who helped orchestrate Anchors-Aweigh John Kerry’s appointment as secretary of state?

 

Well, at least they’re rid of Kerry.

But don’t put Robichaud next to Michael Graham at your next dinner party – not after he wrote this on today’s op-ed page:

BrownSketch 12Brown’s bowing out clears path to future

Get back to Republican roots

Finally! Some good news for the Massachusetts GOP: Scott Brown isnot running for the U.S. Senate.

Why is that good?

It’s not because I don’t like Scott Brown. He’s a great guy and did a good job truly representing Massachusetts — as opposed to Ed Markey, who will do nothing more than represent the indigenous moonbat population.

But another Scott Brown run would have been a mistake, for him and for the party.

 

Graham goes on to list all the reasons it would have been a mistake, which you can check out if you care.

Just don’t tell Holly.


Leone’s Share of Sunday’s U.S. Senate Coverage

February 3, 2013

The Boston Herald got the jump on the latest candidate to consider jumping into the U.S. Senate race to replace clearly departed John Kerry (D-Empty Seat).

Joe Battenfeld’s column today:

DSC_0648.JPGLeone could be spoiler in race

Three’s a crowd for Lynch, Markey

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey and the Democratic establishment did not see this surprise coming.

Their plans to intimidate other Democrats from joining the special U.S. Senate election didn’t work, and now Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone’s possible entry into the race threatens to make it a three-way fight they wanted to avoid.

Leone’s disclosure, first reported on bostonherald.com, that he is seriously considering jumping into the race, could damage Markey’s campaign and leave the door open for either Leone or U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch to win the primary.

 

Later in the piece Battenfeld writes, “Leone’s surprise comments about running came on the same day Markey was officially launching his campaign across the state, and ended up overshadowing the Malden congressman’s events.”

That’s certainly true from a newspaper real estate standpoint. Leone got all of page 5 in today’s Herald.

Picture 1

 

Lynch and Markey got the next two:

Picture 2

 

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, Leone also scored prime real estate – Metro Page One. From the dead-tree edition:

DA may now run for seat in Senate

Leone had said he was leaving public service

Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. is giving “serious consideration” to running in the special US Senate race to fill John Kerry’s seat, he said Saturday.

Leone, 50, said he has received encouragement from friends and political allies to jump into the Democratic primary campaign — a race that already has two Massachusetts congressmen, Edward J. Markey and Stephen P. Lynch, battling for the party nomination. The primary will be held April 30.

“People I have a great deal of respect for have asked me to look at the race,” Leone said. “I will give it serious consideration, but my intention, as I announced last month, has always been to leave electoral politics.”

 

Yes, well, the road to “Hello, Senator” is paved with good intentions.


Herald the Lynchpin for Rep’s U.S. Senate Run

February 1, 2013

If today’s edition is any indication, the Boston Herald will be Stephen Lynch’s in-House organ during his run to replace departing U.S. Sen.  John Kerry (D-Empty Seat).

The feisty local tabloid has one news report (“Some unions already on Lynch’s side”), two columns, and an editorial about Lynch – most all of it positive.

Representative sample: Peter Gelzinis’ column.

STU_8221.JPGWorking-class hero Steve Lynch has got the goods

Steve Lynch was exactly where he wanted to be yesterday afternoon — standing in an ironworkers’ hall, around the corner from the housing project where he grew up, and poised to mount an underdog challenge against a fading political relic.

It’s a place Lynch knows all too well.

Almost 20 years before the bishops of the state Democratic Party blessed Ed Markey’s desire to succeed John Kerry, Steve Lynch ended the dynasty of an emperor named William Bulger.

 

Music – and hearts – swell.

The editorial sounds a similar note:

Defying Beltway dictators

Whatever the future holds for U.S. Rep. Steve Lynch, the people of Massachusetts owe him a huge debt of gratitude for bringing a modicum of small-d democracy back to the Democratic Party.

“All politics is local,” the late U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill was fond of saying — and so it should always be here.

But when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee starts dictating from Washington who should be running in the Massachusetts primary, well, it’s time candidates and voters need to push back.

 

Enter Steve Lynch, representing the people’s wing of the Democratic Party.

Only Wayne Woodlief’s op-ed piece hits a downbeat note.

Lynch faces uphill fight to replace Kerry

South Boston-bred U.S. Rep. Steve Lynch’s entry yesterday into the special Democratic primary for John Kerry’s Senate seat may well give U.S. Rep. Edward Markey of Malden, the odds-on favorite for the April 30 showdown, a sparring partner, not a stumbling block, for the June 25 special election final.

Sure, Lynch, who announced at a union hall in Southie yesterday, is an ex-ironworker (though it’s been a couple of decades since he strapped on those work boots) and is a favorite of many “regular guys.” But there’s no way he can match the money Markey already has raised ($3 million in the till and counting) and find enough to pay for the ads and staff and other costs for an election in just three months.

 

Then again, if Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D-I’m Still Standing) throws in with Lynch, he could make it interesting. Especially with the Herald already on board.

P.S. Crosstown at the Globe, op-ed columnist Scott Lehigh takes Lynch down a peg:

Lynch . . . is someone who goes small on big votes. Take, for example, Obamacare. He voted for the original House legislation, against the final bill on the crucial vote, then in favor of the reconciliation legislation essential to its passage. The explanation Lynch offered for that transparent attempt to have things both ways didn’t just strain credulity, but left it in shreds.

He also went small on the bank bailout. Voting no, as he did, was easy — and yet, many experts will tell you that without the federal infusion of cash, our entire financial system would have frozen up, with devastating consequences.

 

Expect more of that in the future.


Charlie Baker Heralds His, Well, Existence

January 29, 2013

Monday’s Boston Herald featured this op-ed from former Massachusetts gubernatorial wannabe Gone Time Charlie Baker on actual Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed tax hikes:

Politics aside, tax hikes just bad

Mass. pays economic price for its high rates

Two weeks ago, Gov. Deval Patrick proposed to raise over $2.5 billion in new taxes, including a 20 percent jump in the income tax — the largest in state history. Since then, most of the discussion has focused on the politics of such massive tax increases, and not on the economic implications of such a significant hike in the cost of government. The over-arching message seems to be that tax rates don’t matter, the size of government doesn’t matter, and the machine that is state government is already doing a perfectly fine job of maximizing the use of state tax dollars. All it needs to ramp up its performance — and the commonwealth’s along with it — is a lot more money.

In short, the debate has already presumed that there is no economic development price — no “growth” price, to use the governor’s words — to be paid for such a huge increase in taxes — just a political one. Recent history would suggest otherwise.

Over the course of the past decade, the nine states with no personal income tax benefited from population growth, Gross State Product growth, job growth, and tax revenue growth that far exceeded the national average. The nine states with the highest personal income tax rates lagged the national average in all three categories, and it wasn’t close. (See chart.)

 

Unfortunately, there’s no link to the helpful chart on the Herald website (big surprise), so you might want to dig a print edition out of the recycling bin.

Regardless, Baker’s piece comes hard on the heels of the hardreading staff’s noting his conspicuous absence from any speculation about potential candidates for the U.S. Senate seat John Kerry (D-Seriously, Am I Secretary of State Now?) will soon be vacating.

Coincidence? We think not.


Baker’s ‘Doesn’t’ in U.S. Senate Speculation

January 26, 2013

Lots of political prognostication in the local dailies today about who might do what in the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat about to be vacated by John Kerry (D-Am I Secretary of State Now?).

Start with the the Boston Herald, which turns half of Page One over to the prospects of Rep. Stephen (Peek-a-Boo) Lynch (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages).

MA_BH

 

Lynch earns a split decision inside: Hillary Chabot’s piece has the headline, “Menino Shaping Up As Ace in Hole for Lynch,” while Joe Battenfeld’s column presents a less-optimistic slant:

MATT0018.JPGBotched report spells trouble for pol

Even by Massachusetts political standards, this was one of the worst non-campaign announcements ever.

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch’s bungled will-he-or-won’t-he drama over his possible entrance into the U.S. Senate fight left voters confused and Democratic leaders shaking their heads — not a great start for a campaign.

If Lynch does announce he’s getting in the Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey — and many Democrats and Lynch supporters are still convinced he will — the first question will be: “When did you decide to run — before or after your advisers prematurely leaked word you were running and you denied it?”

 

Ouch.

Crosstown-rival Boston Globe gives its conjecturing the power position: Page One (via ditto) upper right above the fold:

Picture 1

 

The Frank Phillips/Michael Levenson piece indicates that Scott Brown (R-Show Me the Money) might be leaning toward skipping a third Senate bakeoff in three years and running instead for governor in 2014. Enter the Great Mentioner, starting with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld:

Weld did not return calls seeking comment. But his associates said it is highly unlikely the former governor, who returned to Boston this fall after living in New York for a dozen years, would plunge back into politics.

“He has no interest,’’ said Stephen Tocco, a partner with Weld at ML Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. “He is too busy growing his practice and settling into Massachusetts.’’

 

Not to mention Weld has said (as noted by the hardreading staff) that not running for office is a condition of his employment at ML Strategies. Although – yes, yes – contracts are made to be broken.

Regardless, next?

Another high-profile Republican — Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor — did not rule out a Senate candidacy, saying only that it is “premature to say’’ if she would be interested in the seat if Brown does not run.

 

Conspicuous by his absence was Charlie Baker, who ran a credible if largely uninspired campaign for governor in 2010. It will be interesting to see if in the next round of chinstroking, Baker is part of the mix.


Barney Frank(enstein)

January 9, 2013

From our Call and Response desk

Yesterday a Boston Globe editorial called on Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint Barney Frank (D-I Love Me) to fill the interim U.S. Senate seat created by John Kerry’s departure for the State Department.

New Congress.JPEG-087bdPatrick should take Frank up on his Senate offer

‘DOES IT matter, in the case of Congressman Frank, what I would have preferred?” quipped Governor Patrick, after Barney Frank announced to the nation — on “Morning Joe,” no less — that he is seeking Patrick’s support for the four-month interim appointment to replace Senator John Kerry. Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends. And as a retiring congressman who relishes the idea of never again going before the voters, he’s as unleashed as he ever has been. Washington, watch out.

But as Patrick acknowledged, Frank is an excellent candidate for interim senator. Choosing him would serve two important purposes. First, since he’s emphatically ruled out any future election, his selection would allow the voters to choose a permanent senator without having one of the candidates anointed by the governor. Second, he would be effective immediately as a senator, since he’s about as knowledgeable on federal budget issues as anyone in Congress. That’s crucial because budget cutting will be the prime agenda item for the next four months.

 

Paging Fannie Mae. Paging Ms. Fannie Mae.

Today Joe Fitzgerald responded in his Boston Herald column.

Andy Samberg Barney FrankBarney Frank’s wit dulled by peevish trait

Here’s why Barney Frank is no favorite at this address.

No, it’s got nothing to do with philosophical or lifestyle issues, because total agreement has never been the litmus test for admiring someone here; if it were, this writer would have spent his career surrounded by a very small circle of kindred spirits.

Indeed, Barney, of all polar opposites, should have been easy to admire here because of his mastery of the language and an agile mind that churned out memorable quips . . .

Barney had the stuff of a bon vivant, a hail fellow well met, a joy to be around. Instead he was too often an unpleasant sort, as if an anger festered within him just waiting for an excuse to be unleashed.

Even the Globe, in yesterday’s fawning editorial urging Gov. Deval Patrick to grant Barney’s wish for a four-month interim appointment as John Kerry’s successor, thought it necessary to note, “Yes, Frank can be obnoxious, even to his friends.”

Great. That’s just what’s needed in the nation’s capital right now, an obnoxious presence in an atmosphere where cordiality is desperately needed.

 

In a previous incarnation, the hardreading staff had occasional contact with Frank at the local public television station. Every time, he would walk in the door in full complaint – Why am I not on the set yet? I don’t have time to wait around. Are you going to hurry this up?

Our response tended to be, “Congressman, no one wants to get you out of here faster than us.”

Not sure that extends to the U.S. Senate, though.


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