ONE OPENING CAUSES MULTIPLE MOVES: As we see, the Massachusetts Republican Assembly likes to credit Bill Weld for Mike Day being in the Massachusetts House, but, from another perspective, you can more easily credit U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey, the pride of Malden’s Edgeworth neighborhood, who, incidentally, got his start in politics back in the 1970s by winning a place in the Massachusetts House. When Markey ran for and won John Kerry’s Senate seat, State Senator Katherine Clark of Melrose ran for and won Markey’s seat in the U.S. House, whereupon State Representative Jason Lewis, D-Stoneham, ran for and won Clark’s seat, creating the opening for Day, who had previously run unsuccessfully for the Massachusetts Senate against Katherine Clark.
HE GOES WALKING, THEY ALL COME TALKING: Speaking of Ed Markey, our state’s junior senator was interviewed on the run by State House News Service reporter Mike Deehan when he was spotted in the corridors of the State House on Tuesday, March 31. Asked the reason for being at the capitol, Markey said, “Just, you know, moving around, talking to people.” That’s a pretty good definition of politics, or lobbying for that matter -- moving around, talking to people -- although neither is really that simple, or that easy. Markey elaborated: “I’m meeting with legislators and talking about issues that might be of concern to them. Just kind of listening and hearing what their concerns are, and their vision is, for the state and how the federal government can be helpful to them.” While at the State House, he made separate visits to House Speaker Bob DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg. It’s good to see that becoming a member of the Senate, 100 of the most special and most fawned upon persons in the world, hasn’t gone to Markey’s head. At 68, he’s still Ed from Edgeworth, moving around, all humble and helpful-like. He’ll be unbeatable as long as he remains so.
BTW, CHUCK, ED’S TOTALLY WITH YOU: Notably, Ed Markey veered from local matters to the question of future U.S. Senate leadership during his impromptu conference with the State House News Service on March 31, and I wouldn’t say that was accidental. As Deehan reported it: “Markey told the News Service he supports New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s bid to become the next Democratic leader in the Senate after the retirement of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) next year.” Markey effused, “I’m a big Chuck Schumer fan. He and I were elected to the House years ago and we’re very good friends. And he’s going to be a truly great majority leader of the Senate when he takes over in January, 2017.” That’s a twofer. Schumer, who holds undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, gets a puff of wind in his mainsail from a loyal friend and the loyal friend gets to show the folks back home he’s tight with the man who could replace Mitch McConnell at the top of the Senate heap. Schumer holds the Number 3 spot in Senate Democratic leadership as vice chair of the Democratic Conference, behind Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois. Interestingly, Schumer’s embroiled in a dispute with Durbin over a supposed commitment Schumer made to Durbin to keep him as whip when he takes over. Politico reports that Schumer has angered Durbin by hinting he may favor Washington Senator Patty Murray as his putative second-in-command. Markey no doubt is steering clear of that unpleasantness.WORTHY FOOTSTEPS FOR FOLLOWING: Newly elected Lynn State Representative Brendan Crighton has a good head on his shoulders. He aims to walk in the footsteps of his mentor, Lynn state senator Tom McGee. Crighton, who served most recently as McGee’s chief of staff, told the Lynn Item, “I was with him (McGee) for nine years and he’s a person who has always done it for all the right reasons. I’ve learned a lot from him, and I hope to model my career after him.” Since Senator McGee learned at the elbow of his late father, legendary House Speaker Tom McGee, it can be said that young Crighton is treading in the footsteps of Speaker McGee. The Speaker was renowned for his devotion to constituent services and for declaring any day a good day when he was able to help at least one person in need.