Mike Capuano was in Newburyport this Sunday AM (at the Caffe Di Siena) to seek and solidify support for his bid for the Massachusetts US Senate. He’s trying to win the Senate seat that belonged to Ted Kennedy.
First, he needs to win the Democrat primary on December 8th and opponent Attorney General Martha Coakley may have a lot to say about that. She is well ahead in the polls so far. The actual election will be on January 19th and the Democrat primary winner will almost certainly be our next US Senator.
I attended, not to solidify Mike’s support, but rather to see what he looked like and what he had to say. There was also talk of an open mike and questions being fielded. It was amusing for me to try to anticipate what questions I might have for someone as unashamedly liberal as Mr. Capuano.
Mike has been in the US House since 1998 representing the “Harvard” district. Talk about a haven for liberal elites!
Amesbury’s mayor (Ted Kezer) and the area state rep (Mike Costello) introduced him.
The candidate explained that he had experience at numerous levels of government and that this separated him from the other US Senate aspirants. He talked of the benefits of being a Washington insider.
He said that he fully supported the public option in the Healthcare bill. He said that not only was he reading the bill but also making sure, he understood it as he went along. That second part would separate him from other reps, he claimed.
He bragged about being opposed to the Iraq War and added that we should pull our troops out of Afghanistan. He claimed that there were only about 100 Al Qaeda terrorists around and that they were moving into various countries. I wondered if he cared what the Taliban would do in Afghanistan after we left.
I concluded that he was keen on interventionist policies at home but not abroad. He seemed very convinced that government had the answers to this country’s domestic issues. A person, like Mike, who has never had a non-government job, could easily think this.
I wanted to tell him that according to actual polls, a higher percentage of people believe in UFOs than approve of the job Congress is doing. Folks want less government not more.
He talked about his early years in politics as mayor of Somerville and how he had wanted to be available to make sure that he could help his constituents in any way. He mentioned getting an unplowed street plowed after he had received a late phone call. I wanted to ask him, “Since you have swallowed Al Gore’s global warming fantasies, wouldn’t hot air likely be a bigger threat than snow?”
I came away thinking that the nanny staters in his seventh Congressional district could easily elect someone with Mike Capuano’s views forever. Taking those views statewide might not work so well. His views do not differ one degree from Teddy’s but he clearly lacks the notoriety that carried Senator Kennedy into power and kept him there.
I believe that the wave that rolled Obama and numerous liberals into office has now hit the shore. The country has seen what those pleasantly presented sound bites look like in real life and many don’t like what they’ve seen. A stimulus plan that takes money from one group and gives it to another is on thin ice. A group that punishes folks who choose not to carry health insurance is out of control.
I guess I should be thrilled that Mike Capuano shook my hand. I guess I should also be thrilled to have been in a room with so many of the Democrat big shots of this area. Alas, I did not get the “Chris Matthews thrill” up or down the leg over either of those.
The Democrats are in trouble nationally. President Obama has figured this out and now is shifting from having all the sound-bite answers, to searching for real-life answers. By shifting away from his original message, the President alienates the likes of Mike Capuano and his supporters.
Can Mike run successfully by running against Obama’s most recent waverings? I’m guessing he tries and loses the primary to Martha Coakley on December 8th as a result.