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MA-Sen: The Globe goes for Khazei

The Boston Globe, a potentially significant force in what has been to date a very low- profile Democratic primary to replace the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D), threw its endorsement behind City Year co-founder Alan Khazei today.

Wrote the Globe:

"The 48-year-old Khazei offers a strong vision for success in the Senate, channeling the energy of activist groups and private-sector policy incubators while dedicating himself to the laborious task of building legislative coalitions."

The Globe, channeling NBA draft analysts everywhere, touted Khazei's "potential" as the highest among the major candidates -- Khazei, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, Rep. Michael Capuano and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca -- in the Democratic field.

Khazei isn't "trying to line up just enough constituencies to eke out a win; he's asking voters to sign on to a vision -- a less top-down, less programmatic way of improving people's lives," concluded the Globe.

The Globe's endorsement comes hours before former Gov. Michael Dukakis is set to back Capuano's candidacy; Dukakis, who was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988, will praise Capuano's "deep commitment to the welfare of ordinary Americans."

How do those two endorsements fit into the Fix endorsement hierarchy? The Globe, is, obviously, a newspaper endorsement while Dukakis amounts to a state-specific statewide endorsement.

By the endorsement hierarchy, Dukakis' support of Capuano matters more than the Globe backing of Khazei but in a Democratic primary where none of the candidates -- with the possible exception of Coakley -- are at all well known, the newspaper's support could sway a significant amount of votes ala the Washington Post's endorsement of state Sen. Creigh Deeds in the Virginia Democratic primary earlier this year.

All that said, regular readers of the Fix know we are always generally skeptical about the power of endorsements and Coakley is still the clear favorite in the Dec. 8 primary.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 29, 2009; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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I agree with Andy about Capuano, having recently talked to some folks in MA. Also I agree with Mark about being happy to hear from local folk about Coakley.

Anyone who is thinking about voting for her might want to read this and ponder her judgment, or lack of it:

Posted by: drindl | November 30, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I was in Boston and Cambridge this weekend and I saw a lot of Capuano signs but no signs for any other candidates. Now I was in Capuano's main area of support but it showed me that if he can get his vote out that he may have a shot at winning the race. Also he is on the air with commercials that talk about how he fougt against the patriot act, the war in Iraq, and how he has helped with healthcare. I don't know if he will win, but a Dukakis endorsement would go a long way in helping him out.
Personally, I think he would be an ideal replacement for the late Senator Kennedy.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 30, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

That should have been "...local take...", not "takes". Sorry.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 30, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Good to see MA folks chime in on MA - I already think I know more than I did. The alleged connection of Coakley to the soft - pedaling of the RCC investigation was completely new to me, for example. Ultimately, aside from CC's gems, it is the local takes that make this blog worth reading [not the flame wars among you-know-who].

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 30, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Ohiocitizen either doesn't live here or isn't reading the local press.

Coakley has plenty of endorsements. Whether they will also help her get out the vote remains to be seen. She managed to get the endorsement of about 1/2 of the legislature -- no doubt because she has avoided pursuing any public corruption issues unless a metaphoric gun was held to her head by other public figures and the media.

I think the most that the Globe's endorsement of Khazei will do for him is to give him a fighting chance for third in a four-person field. Dukakis has become the elder statesman of the Massachusetts Democratic activists -- and he does not hand out endorsements lightly. Going into the get-out-the-vote stretch, that's going to carry more weight.

Posted by: SGfromMudville | November 29, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Scott Brown is just a rino and a two face a**, if his daughter was not on american idol, he would probably have no chance. He was for the universal healthcare in MA, but is now aganist providing health care for all americans. He has no chance

Posted by: jtackeff | November 29, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

No endorsements because the catholic church baks her for unsavory reasons.
Coakley when she was middlesex DA soft pedaled indicments against priests.

While DA she sat on the cardinal's so called task force to deal with the priests scandal.

She is possibly the worst choice and one who will continue the grip of inaction on criminal justice on behalf of any business or former state senator
( bulger)

Massachusetts will suffer if Coakley wins
and many will work for a republican in the general election.

Posted by: JohnAdams1 | November 29, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Vote Scott Brown in January and bring some sanity back to Massachusetts. The moonbats are bankrupting the state and, with Kerry, Barney Frank, Ed Markey and 47 years of Ted, the country too.

Three consecutive Mass House Speakers indicted or convicted of felonies. Rampant drunk driving, bribery, nepotism, patronage, sexual harassment among our pols. The governor has approval rating of 20% now.

Coakley is easier on the eyes than the other hacks and she apparently does not have an incompetent, job hungry relative running her campaign like Khazei.

Posted by: NAuchi | November 29, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Khazai has no chance, absolutely no chance. Even with the endorsement. Its gonna be Coakley, sadly, but Khazai will still come in fourth

Posted by: jtackeff | November 29, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

What I find really interesting in the Massachusetts Senate primary is the lack of endorsements for the presumed front-runner Coakley. This to me indicates that she is very vulnerable. Name recognition is the only reason she is the front-runner. Her record appears rather nebulous. Capuano has received a large number of endorsements from fellow House members, including his Massachusetts House-mates, as well as others like Speaker Pelosi, from outside the state. Dukakis is a meaningful endorsement. Even more meaningful would be an endorsement from Boston Mayor Mennino or from a prominent Kennedy, such as Vickie, Joe, or Ted Jr.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | November 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

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