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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A change is gonna come

The Massachusetts Democratic Party just got a whole lot more unified for 2012. No knock down drag out Senate primary or redistricting fights. Now it's a simple goal: defeat Scott Brown.

It was the equivalent of a political earthquake yesterday afternoon with the tandem stories that Alan Khazei was taking his hat out of the Senate primary ring and John Olver was retiring after 20 years in Congress.

Gone like that was a divisive game of musical chairs that would have pitted two of the state's 10 incumbent liberal Democratic House members against each other -- the rumble being Olver and his sprawling 1st District against Jim McGovern and his Worcester-based constituency.

Pundits have noted the 1st, based on population, could easily run from the New York border to Worcester. Now that will be the home base for Springfield's Richard Neal. And a potentially disruptive fight between Olver and McGovern avoided.

And it's all over except for the shouting in the Democratic primary or the right to face Scott Brown. With all due respect to Tom Conroy, Marisa DeFranco, James Coyne King and Herb Robinson, they have even less of a chance of halting the Elizabeth Warren juggernaut than Khazei did.

Not that the novice candidate would not have benefited from a primary to sharpen her campaign skills. While Warren appears to have made a smooth transition to public campaigning, it has not been without hiccups that the GOP has been quick to pounce on. A major gaffe (quick, it's Ben Cherington, not Theo Epstein) could be deadly.

But the dynamic of this race changed mightily from the moment she entered and a potentially divisive primary with Khazei slinging arrows had the potential for more harm than good.

So now there's only one face on the dartboard in Democratic State Party headquarters and the occupants won't be able to emulate Will Rogers famous line:
"I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat!"
Look out Scotto.

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