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Capuano is the Choice

Date: 11/16/2009

The choice of Democratic primary voters in a special election to fill Kennedy's seat should be easy. Although all of the candidates are good and accomplished people, Congressman Capuano is already on the job.

There is absolutely no mystery about his legislative record, skills or prowess. Despite their impressive credentials, none of the others has even one day of legislative experience and their campaigns show it. They are all running for Senate as if it were an executive position. It doesn't appear that any of them bothered to investigate the actual job for which they are running.

The Attorney General would be angling for governor if Kennedy were still in the Senate. She has and is, for all practical purposes, running a generic campaign that could be for either job. Her blatant pander to women on the healthcare reform bill is a glaring red flag that should signal to informed Democratic voters that she is not a team player, which is essential for legislators.

Her position on habeas corpus was obviously taken with an eye on executive office. She is clearly willing to sacrifice big picture goals for short term career gains. This is not a good quality in a junior senator.

If Democrats focus on the job at hand and the consensus goal of insuring that our new junior senator can legislate and fight for progressive causes effectively behind closed doors, then Congressman Capuano is the obvious choice. Our entire delegation is supporting him because they already know his work and already work closely and well with him.

In effect, Capuano is the highly talented applicant for promotion in an organization in which he's spent decades working hard and effectively. He's the guy who would win in a walk if the position was chosen by "peer review." The others are the outside candidates hoping to step in at the top by dazzling the crowd. If Democratic primary voters in a special election (i.e. most committed, knowledgeable) fall for the slick, big name outsiders, then we are really in trouble.

Congressman Capuano is the choice of committed progressives who also understand how the U.S. Senate actually works. Ted Kennedy was both a shrewd legislative tactician and a committed advocate for progressive causes. Among the present field, only Capuano has already proven to be both of these things. I say vote Capuano for continuity, conviction and proven capability.

Let's hope our party's primary voters are up to the task.

Jerold Duquette