Friday, December 4, 2009

One Voter Plus Mike

Hey, I shook hands with Congressman and senate hopeful Mike Capuano today! I did not interview him (bad blogger!), but let’s see what I learned.

He smiled.
He made good eye contact.
He had a firm handshake.
He did not rush off in a rude manner, just a "I’m in a hurry and you don’t seem to be asking me any questions" sort of way.

As I wrote recently I have been wildly underwhelmed by all the candidates in this race. Have I made any progress you ask? Well, a little. As I indicated previously, I couldn’t imagine voting for either of the Republicans (Brown or Robinson). After looking at their websites,Twitter feeds and mailers to the house it’s official: I won’t be asking for a Republican Ballot on Tuesday.

That leaves me with the four Democratic candidates. Steve Pagliuca has some good, well produced ads where he says all the right things. But I just can’t shake the feeling he’s a right wing business mogul (AKA Republican) at heart. I watch the ads and I think “everyman”. But I read his bio and I think “management”. Plus, Steve needs to stop calling the house. The number of recorded calls reminds of a lovesick teenager relentlessly calling the girl he really, really likes and wants to take to the Friday Night Sock Hop.

Alan Khazei, like all the other candidates does not exude charisma. And he got some seriously bad advice about approving the “full diaper” ad. If you haven’t seen it, do not Google it. Trust me on that. But Khazei does have the citizen funded campaign going for him. And he does seem strong on the issues (i.e. willing to spell out his positions clearly - plus positions which I generally agree with).

Martha Coakley. In this very blue, generally Democratic, liberal leaning (in a schizophrenic sort of way) commonwealth that we live in, it is amazing that we have yet to elect a woman to the Senate. So if we finally did that, it would represent progress. But is Coakley the woman we want to send? I know she’s in the lead, which is surprising because she too comes off to me as blah.

As of today, I’ve actually shaken hands with Mike Capuano. In debates, Capuano comes off as a bit of a bulldog. I sensed no whiff of the bulldog today in my nanosecond exchange. Also a friend of ours pointed out that if we elect Capuano to the senate, we lose his considerable seniority in the House. But he sure does seem to have the experience and the oomph to begin to fill Teddy’s shoes.

Hmmm... I think what I really want is a Democratic candidate with the standards of Khazei, the experience of Capuano, the good political advisors of Pagliuca and the chromosomal make up of Coakley. And frankly, that’s about what it would take for anyone to begin to shrug the mantle of the “Lion of the Senate” around their shoulders.


dancingmorganmouse said...

You touched a politician!!? Wash your hands missy.
It's all very well to vote for them but really, don't touch ;)

SFD said...

I'm torn between Capuano and Khazei. Both are complete wonks- they know details and can speak and write intelligently about a number of positions. They're almost identical in their beliefs, so I'll vote for which ever is closest to Coakley.

Coakley lost my vote when she supported the re-authorizing of the Patriot Act as Attorney General. Now candidate Coakley criticizes the Patriot Act.

She used to support the death penalty until Romney hatched his ill conceived plan for 'fool proof exectutions' a few years back.

What are her real positions? I can't tell if she is a political opportunist by changing her mind on key civil liberties. She won't get my vote on Tuesday, even though she has done an admirable job as AG.

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Truthfully, a few minutes after I shook his hand I began to think about how many hands he must have to shake every single day. Then I thought, uh oh, I effectively just shook hands with ALL those other people the Congressman had been greeting that day!
Yes, the alcohol based hand sanitizer did come out!
- Lee

Hi SFD -
Thank you for taking the time to spell out your thinking on the candidates. Both Chuck and I are leaning the same way you are: Capuano and Khazei. I like a good policy wonk!
I can't remember a time when we have come down to the wire like this, still on the fence.
Thanks -
- Lee