John Kerry, photo Wikepedia
When the Democrats go to the polls in September, it is then that the candidate will be chosen to run against the Republican candidate, Jeff Beatty. Although Kerry is always heavily favored to win, one has to take into account that the majority of the Democrats in the state voted for Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, John Kerry came out and endorsed Obama, an endorsement that was covered by every Massachusetts press outlet available. The rank and file were not especially thrilled with this endorsement – the signal – Ed O’Reilly’s ability to get on the ballot – period. When the rank and file go to the polls in September, the outcome may, again, be somewhat different than predicted. Jeff Beatty may be facing Ed O’Reilly, not John Kerry in November.
Ed O’Reilly is the definitive Massachusetts Democrat: demanding immediate withdrawal from Iraq, promoting Universal Healthcare funded by the Federal Government, and, of course, “Marriage Equality” (same-sex). He has an interesting take on Renewable Energy; one that would please any environmentalist Read O’Reilly’s reasonable plan here.
Additionally, O’Reilly is getting enough press to “brand” him within the state, from national CNN interviews to articles in the Boston Globe and has a full slate of appearances around the state this month.
Finally, in an age where electronic media and communications has become critical, Ed O’Reilly has a sharp, easy to navigate and informative Website www.edoreilly.com . John Kerry’s site www.johnkerry.com is less informative, rehashing the "us vs. them" (RoadblockRepublican’s.com), difficult to read and navigate, and containing more information about national issues that may or may not have relevance for Massachusetts.
Why would any of the aforementioned matter in a state where John Kerry is expected to win the primary and go back to yet another term in the State Senate? The rank and file: a Suffolk University poll suggests that 51% of the state voters feel it is time to replace John Kerry – the poll did not specifically name an opposing challenger, indicating that even without branding, anyone on the ballot who is “Not-Kerry” stands a chance at becoming the junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Most important, the primary is not “closed” to party members, independents are able to vote in Massachusetts primary’s (Massachusetts State Election Commission).
Regardless of the outcome of this primary, change in Massachusetts is imminent. Voters view Kerry unfavorably, and should Kerry not make it past the primary, how likely is the DNC to fully fund O’Reilly’s campaign? Meanwhile, Jeff Beatty has both a strong grassroots campaign as well as the backing of the Beltway Republicans; possibly the first time a Republican running in Massachusetts has received national support. How important is this particular seat? Right at the moment – Very because this is the seat that holds the narrow lead for the Democrats in the U.S. Senate.
That could, however, change next week. Should John McCain (who is statistically tied in all polls, despite the Obama 08 Tour), and the balance of the Republican congressional and senate Republican candidates (incumbent or otherwise), hammer home the off-shore oil drilling issue (approximately 75% of American’s surveyed believe drilling to be the answer to our energy concerns), the entire nation would be in play in a year that was supposed to be a walk in the park for the DNC. Why? The Democrat Leadership and candidates continue to bow to the environmental lobby (refusing to allow a vote on repealing the ban on drilling while they hold the majority!). Should the Republican’s begin to take advantage of this situation, it would force the DNC to defend and protect all races, including Massachusetts. Massachusetts will be the race to watch, from the Democrat primary in September to the General Election. Jeff Beatty will be the candidate to watch.