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View Diary: Marty Meehan (D) MA-05 to Step Down (18 comments)

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    The state legislature has a veto-proof Democratic majority in both houses.  The conservative-Democrat legislative leadership, particularly former House Speaker Tom Finneran, wanted to run the state, so they did their damnedest to ensure that the weakest possible Democrat would be nominated for governor.

    For instance, consider 1990 (Bill Weld over John Silber):

    In 1990 Silber ran for Governor of Massachusetts as a Democrat. His outsider status as well as his outspoken and combative style were at first seen as advantages in a year in which voters were disenchanted with the Democratic party establishment. After winning the Democratic nomination, Silber faced Republican William Weld. Silber's angry personality, which appalled many liberal voters, coupled with Weld's socially liberal views helped Weld in the race. Weld was able to hold on to a significant portion of the Republican base while appealing to large numbers of Democrats and left-of-center independents, enabling him to defeat Silber by four points. Weld became the first Republican to serve as governor since 1974.

    That's the most egregious case, but there isn't much to be said for Scott Harshbarger (lost to Paul Cellucci in 1998) or Shannon O'Brien (beaten by Mitt in 2002) either.

    Finneran's ouster, along with netroots pressure, opened the way for a real honest-to-god gubernatorial candidate for the Dems in 2006.  Hence, Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA).

    You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
    Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

    by N in Seattle on Wed May 16, 2007 at 12:08:52 PM PDT

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