These Dazey Days of Summer, It Happens in Politics...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

THAT the Massachusetts Senate, during its brief informal session today, adopted a resolution congratulating David Sullivan, special counsel in the Office of the Senate President, on his retirement from state government, where he served ably for 41 years, winning countless friends and admirers along the way.  Sullivan provided counsel to former Secretary of State Mike Connolly (Bill Galvin’s predecessor), the Ethics Commission, and the Senate Ways & Means Committee.  He also served as general counsel in the budget office of former Governor Deval Patrick, now rumored to be considering a run for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 2020.

THAT Whitman’s state representative, Geoff Diehl, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Elizabeth Warren, yesterday found a novel way of distinguishing himself from the incumbent by vowing not to write a book if he’s elected to the Senate.   Reacting to the news that Warren, in 2017, earned $430,379 in royalties from her book, “This Fight Is Our Fight,” Diehl asserted that a senator should be so busy working for his or her constituents that he/she does not have time to write books.
THAT Geoff Diehl, in my humble political view, may be overlooking the possibility that Senator Warren, while undoubtedly a capable wordsmith, may have had some help in penning “This Fight Is Our Fight.”  I had my mind on such matters permanently altered many years ago by something told to me by a gentleman who had been a manager in John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.  This was around the time a book or article had been published, in which it was asserted that Ted Sorensen, not Kennedy, was the main author of Kennedy’s bestseller, “Profiles in Courage.”  Said I to this Kennedy hand, “That can’t be true, can it?  Kennedy was an excellent writer, right?”  Said he to me, “Kid, you have to understand, rich people would hire someone to go to the bathroom for them if they could.”

THAT Geoff Diehl and Scott Brown, a former Wrentham state representative who earned a surprise victory over former Attorney General Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election for U.S. Senate, only to lose the seat two years later to Elizabeth Warren, have much in common.  They’re both from humble backgrounds.  They’re both Republicans.  They’re both good looking and honorable. And they both perplex me out of my mind because they adore Donald Trump.  Brown’s Trump-love got him the ambassadorship to New Zealand, the best job on the planet.  I can’t help but wonder: what good deal could the cheddar-colored billionaire (thanks, Maureen Dowd) have in store for Diehl should Diehl be dealt defeat? 
THAT sometimes I can't help but conclude that Charlie Baker got the guy who’s challenging him for the gubernatorial nomination in the Republican primary, the Rev. Dr. Scott Lively, from Rent-a-Candidate.  There’s no possible way Baker can lose to a guy who, the day after Trump’s ex-personal lawyer/fixer pleads guilty to various crimes, puts out a press release with this opening paragraph: “The Fake News bloc is simply giddy over the betrayal of President Trump by his snake-in-the-grass former lawyer Michael Cohen (whose sleazy demeanor suggests he would give his own mother to cannibals to save himself from the ruthless Mueller political death squad) and the concurrent guilty verdict of former campaign manager Paul Manafort (whose years-old supposed financial crimes have absolutely nothing to do with Trump, the 2016 election, or Russian collusion).”

THAT, even though the Rev. Dr. Lively may be dwelling in an alternative political universe, I am beguiled by his verbal flair.  I wish I could come up with something as neat as Cohen would “give his own mother to cannibals to save himself from the ruthless Mueller political death squad.”  Were I so dexterous as to devise that, however, I wouldn’t waste it on the little problem, Cohen, when it applies so well to the big one, Trump.
THAT the Rev. Dr. Lively’s press releases are so much my guilty pleasure that I can’t help but quote now the last sentence of his “Fake-News-bloc-is-simply-giddy” masterpiece of the imaginative arts, which was: “In any case, whatever President Trump might have done in his past life as a New York liberal, he is today quite obviously a changed man with solid conservative principles and a deep respect for God and our constitution, and as such he deserves our full support in his role as Chief Executive of the United States.”

THAT the Mahhty Magic appears to be rubbing off on young Dan Koh, who aspires to succeed Niki Tsongas in the U.S. House of Representatives.  According to a UMass Lowell poll out today, Koh, who served as chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin Walsh before being infected with the electoral virus, has a narrow lead in the 10-person race for the Democrat nomination in the state’s 3rd Congressional District. The poll indicates that Koh, with less than two weeks to go to the September 4 primary, has the support of 19 percent of likely voters.  Tied at second place, with the support of 13 percent of likely voters, were Rufus Gifford, a former ambassador to Denmark (second-best job on the planet) and State Senator Barbara L’Italien.  Is it just me, or does it seem to everyone like this race has been going on since the Clinton administration?  I cannot wait for September 5 to arrive. 
THAT the Massachusetts House, near the end of its brief informal session today, held a moment of silence in honor of and respect for two valiant young men from Saudi Arabia, Jaser Daham Al-Rakkah and Theeb Al-Yami, who drowned in the Chicopee River on June 29 while helping to save several children who were caught in an overpowering current.  Rep. Paul Donato of Medford, the presiding officer, said, “Both men selflessly put themselves in peril to try to save the children, and while the children were rescued, both Mr. Al-Rakah and Mr. Al-Yami perished. Mr. Al-Rakah was a student in the engineering program at Western New England University and Mr. Al-Yami was studying engineering at the University of Hartford.  Both will receive posthumous degrees from their respective universities.”  How can pessimism ever overtake optimism when there are human beings as good as Jaser and Theeb in this world?  The motion for the moment of silence/respect was made by Rep. Angelo Puppolo of Springfield. 


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