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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If you want a friend, get a dog

So Willard Mitt Romney is working hard to support his loyal running mate Kerry "Sherry" Healey. I guess going on national television and predicting she could lose is one way of doing it.

Of course, Healey doesn't help her cause by saying an anonymous state official should take over the function now handled by the local police chief to issue gun permits, a position that puts her firmly in the camp of the gun lobby, whose positions she chooses to endorse but not publicly acknowledge. I thought Republicans believe in local control?

Democrats are rightly worried -- between the big gap in spending and the party's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But there are signs, such as the significant one Eileen McNamara spotted at a woman's event at the Boston Chamber of Commerce. Healey's over-the-top appeal to male suburbanites is leaving women cold.

I suspect this race will display the same dynamics as the national ones, despite the lack of heated congressional races. Democrats are the committed voters this year. They would turn out in a snowstorm to cast their votes against anyone with an R next to their name. Let's not forgot that for all of her own faults, she carries the baggage of Bush, Rove and company.

Healey is mimicking the national GOP strategy by harping on immigration and personal security. She is looking for the red meat conservatives and the "security moms" who helped carry Bush over the finish line two years ago.

While the sad sack male talk radio audience tends to have similar motivational goals as Democrats, the security moms have abandoned the GOP this year. Those poll numbers McNamara cites suggests the same thing for women here.

The national GOP has also been touted for it's get out the vote effort -- surpassing what used to be a Democratic strength. But as Patrick demonstrated, his field operation and it's ability to get people to the polls is stellar.

The only thing that could make Democrats complacent after 16 years of Republican mismanagement is Romney's concession that Murphy could lose. But while I believe that Mitt, for a change, is correct, I don't think he is going to depress Democratic turnout. Too many years of depressing Democrats themselves to keep them away.

And I suspect the same applies to the independents who Mitt snookered four years ago when he portrayed himself a moderate and thoughtful Republican.

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