Reading the New York Times yesterday, I sadly accepted that, as a self-declared expert on Republican woman officeholders, I would have to write a blog post about this op-ed about how progressives somehow need to get themselves a Sarah Palin, rather than, oh, I don't know, the many many serious Democratic women who are major political players having a real impact on politics and policy in this country.
For my obsessive interest in the ongoing extinction of elected Republican women, the big news from yesterday's primaries was the apparent defeat of incumbent US Senator Lisa Murkowski. Apparent, because it's close and Alaska is a wacky state where votes come in from the hinterlands by sled or something. But as of this moment it sounds like she's going to lose (and could not get her name on the ballot as an independent).
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I have a short take on Monday afternoon's gubernatorial debate. I suggest that Charlie Baker is showing improvement as a candidate, but still has a ways to go to catch up with Deval Patrick and his team.
Read it here: Baker's Learning Curve
Not that I want to support the return of former Speaker Tom DeLay to the public forum, but I'll note that he makes an interesting point about the Democratic Party's national grassroots organization efforts, which he says will mitigate some of the potential for Republican gains in the US House.
He might be right -- although it remains to be seen how effective that operation proves to be in a year when Democrats seem less enthused than they did in the last two election cycles.
Oh, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie....
Scot Lehigh followed up with Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker the other day about his appearance at a Bill Hudak event, figuring that he's now had enough time, since I wrote about it, and since Scot first asked him about it, to have forged a serious response.
I can't say that his response strikes me as very serious:
Once upon a time, like back in February when Bill Delahunt announced his retirement, there was a lot of thinking that Republicans could win the race this November for his replacement in the 10th District. After all, it's one of the least-Democratic districts in the state, and in January its voters went gaga over Scotto Brown.
Way, way, back last November, I blogged that...
is a realistic, if slim, possibility that Democrats could hold all six New
England governorships come January 2011. According to my extensive research --
OK, scrolling through Wikipedia, mostly -- I believe this would be the first
time that has happened ever, in the 200+ years of the party (including
when it was called the Democratic-Republican Party).
Just before I went on vacation, Diane Black narrowly won the GOP primary in the Tennessee 6th congressional district, making her the very likely successor to retiring Democrat Bart Gordon in that Republican-leaning district. Black thus becomes the first likely female member of the 2011 Republican freshman class. Not quite justifying the whole "Year of the Republican Woman" claims, but hey, it's a start.
I've been on vacation for the past week, but I'm back and ready to offer my two cents on things swirling around the local political scene.
--Charlie Baker's campaign put out an optimistic top-page pollster memo, from a two-week-old poll showing the same thing other polls from that time showed: Deval Patrick ahead by about 7 points, with Tim Cahill's support refusing to die.
Bill Hudak, Republican congressional candidate in John Tierney's
district, has not been universally embraced by mainstream Massachusetts Republicans
-- in fact, when Hudak announced that Scott Brown had endorsed him,
Brown quickly denied it and forced a retraction.
shoulder is due to some rather disturbing and, some might say, nutty
opinions Hudak has expressed, such as once suggesting to journalists
that he had documentation proving that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
Let me start by saying, as I often do, that Massachusetts remains ahead of the San Francisco Bay area as a liberal icon for the disdain of conservatives, and those jealous left coasters are desparately trying to regain some cred by getting their gay marriages back.
Anyway... Yesterday's ruling overturning the "Prop 8" ban on same-sex marriage made me think of a conversation I had with a leader of a religious anti-gay organization in the South, right after the Goodrich ruling in Massachusetts in November 2004.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- online and in print now -- I write about the end of the Massachusetts legislative session last week, which of course was dominated by the ultimately failed attempt (at least, as of this writing) to pass an expanded gaming bill.
I suggest that those with the most experience at working in these kinds of high-stakes Beacon Hill showdowns were the ones who fared best: senate president Therese Murray most notably, but to some degree Governor Deval Patrick and Treasurer/gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill as well.
The big news in Boston, reported by the Globe's Donovan Slack (who I thought was going down to the DC bureau! I guess not quite yet) on Boston.com today, is that Lisa Signori, Mayor Tom Menino's highly-respected (even by me, despite what my recent reporting may make you think) budget chief is leaving the administration. This is not a shocker -- there's only so long anybody can do that job -- but is still a major transition for Menino, who relies heavily on Signori.
Yesterday's three state primaries were not so good for the whole "Year of the Republican Woman" thing. As I noted in my preview, the few women running for the elite positions had no chance. And Jean Shudorf, who had a real chance to win the primary to succeed Tiahrt, lost.
Yesterday produced two women GOP congressional nominees -- in addition to the three incumbents up for re-election.
Today we turn to the midwest, where Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri hold their primaries -- and I, naturally, indulge my obsession over women Republicans.
We won't be seeing any women succeeding above the "glass floor" I've been writing about -- despite the opportunities presented by two open US Senate seats and two open governorships.