Jeez, if it's not one thing, it's the other. Reilly has proven himself to be an inept candidate for governor. And the polls are starting to bear out that political reality. I commented in one of Lynne's blogs yesterday that "I honestly envision Reilly fading behind Patrick and Gabrieli." It becomes more true everyday.
Imagine, this guy was once, by far, the favorite? Just a few months ago, he seemed unbeatable. Even I was a little down and thinking that Deval Patrick would just be another Robert Reich... good idea, but lacked a certain something to the broader electorate. Of course, I had trouble finding out what it was that he lacked - I didn't see it - and kept with him, but there were some downer moments we all feel at some point during a campaign. I'm glad I stayed true to what I thought was right.
Why is Reilly making these kinds of campaign mistakes? It just makes him look inexperienced, nubish and unfit to take on Kerry Healey. Kerry Healy!! Just read what Eileen McNamara of the Globe had to say:
Thomas F. Reilly flatters himself.
The attorney general of Massachusetts did not run Cardinal Bernard F. Law out of Boston any more than The Boston Globe did.
The Vatican yanked the discredited archbishop out of Brighton because it made a calculation that the checkbooks of Boston Catholics would stay shut as long as Law remained at the helm of the fourth largest diocese in the United States.
In fact - and this is a sad thing - the Boston Globe had a far greater impact in driving Cardinal Law out of Boston than Reilly, whose role was minimal to none as McNamara points out,
It is tempting, especially for politicians seeking higher office, to rewrite history, but events as recent as this one do not lend themselves so easily to recasting. Reilly came late to this stage, and his role had little impact on the drama that began with Judge Constance Sweeney's decision to open church files to public scrutiny and ended with Law comfortably ensconced in a basilica in Rome. [Emphasis mine.]The truth is the Boston Globe actually did have a big role to play. It was the media that drove the story and the Globe led that drive. The editorial staff came down hard, as well, offering many poignant editorials that helped convince Bay State residents that something was awry in the Catholic Church. Ultimately, public sentiment is what influenced the church coffers and the scandal may have gone on for additional years without the Globe.
Where was Reilly? Reilly who? Is this the guy we're talking about?
Reilly could take credit for fearlessly challenging the Catholic Church if he had opened an investigation in 1993 when Roderick MacLeish Jr., a lawyer representing victims of clergy abuse, announced publicly that he had forwarded allegations against 20 priests to the Boston Archdiocese. Reilly, then Middlesex district attorney, did not.And people support him?
I don't mean to come down so hard on him. I keep hearing about how he's such a great guy. He's nice. He's soft-spoken. He's modest. He lives an a small apartment that he rents. His kids shared bedrooms. He never even paid for his vacation house or anything!
Seriously, folks. These are politicians. Every politician has a great story, be it Deval sleeping on the floor every third night or Gabrieli helping thousands of kids get after school programs. I'll let you all in on a little secret: Deval Patrick's personal story has nothing to do with why I support him. I'm too pragmatic to allow personal stories get in the way. After all, we're electing politicians, not demagogues. Patrick's right on the issues and has the charisma to convince people in this state that his issues are the right issues. That's why I support him.
Reilly may be a nice guy, but is he the right man to lead the state? That's a personal opinion, but I find him an odd mix of too careful and too dangerous. He's John Kerry timid and a Howard Dean scream all at the same time. He claims he drove out Cardinal Law, but he got in very late in the game. He was too careful. While campaigning, this modest, timid and supposedly shy candidate (don't make me laugh) has rushed campaign decisions and destroyed his invincible lead in the polls because of it. He's too dangerous. What has he really done that's supposed to mesmerize me as a voter? It certainly wasn't driving Cardinal Law out of town; he didn't do that.
Some democrats have this idea that they need to find electable candidates. Somehow, people think they can judge electability before an actual election. That's why we picked John Kerry; after all, he was real electable. So, is Reilly an "electable" candidate? Can he defeat Kerry Healy? I'd like to say yes. She's not a strong candidate. But, she's not stupid. Mistakes like the ones Reilly has made can - and possibly already have - killed his campaign. A well-funded Kerry Healey campaign would have a field day between Reilly picking a Lt. Governor who didn't pay her taxes and - in delusions of grandeur - saying he solved the sexual abuse scandal. It wouldn't be pretty.
Democrats in Massachusetts need to pick the candidate that feels right, not who they suspect would have the best chance to win. After all, it's not like any of these candidates are ex-cons. Let's pick the candidate who's right on the issues and has the capability to provide inspired leadership that can bring those issues to fruition, whether Robert Travaglini likes it or not. Oh, and not making mistakes left and right helps too.