Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Reilly Getting Fried Again

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.


MaverickDem said...

Ryan, wouldn't it be more fair to your readers to begin your blog with a disclaimer? For example, you could say,"WARNING: I am an unabashed Deval Patrick supporter. Please be advised that all content is intended to further that agenda. Moreover, I have never written a positive column about Tom Reilly or a critical column about Deval Patrick. I drink the Deval Patrick Kool-Aid exclusively. Thank you."

As you no doubt know, Eileen McNamara's editorial was written in response to yesterday's Boston Globe news article by Brian Mooney, "Reilly role in abuse crisis debated," 4/11/06. Mooney's objective account included a number of opinions from academics and law enforcement officials, but the most relevant opinion came from the sole abuse victim cited in the story:

Ann Hagan Webb of Wellesley, an abuse victim, said yesterday that Reilly's effort ''was unprecedented, but we were very disappointed at the time that he could not indict anyone in the hierarchy."

But Webb, the New England coordinator of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said she accepted his explanation.

And, why, you may ask, was Reilly prohibited from prosecuting? Very simple - while the conduct of conduct of Church officials was morally repugnant, it was not criminal. A prosecutor can only bring a case if a law has been broken. Over two centuries, Massachusetts lawmakers had never anticipated or prepared for this type of tragic development. We all wish that they never should have had to. . .

In light of your thoroughly unbalanced presentation of this issue and Tom Reilly in particular, I would respectfully direct your readers to Brian Mooney's attempt at an objective account. It is not a puff piece, but it is far better than your Deval Patrick Kool-Aid drinker's account.

Ryan Adams said...

Note to Readers:

"WARNING: I am an unabashed Deval Patrick supporter. Please be advised that all content is intended to further that agenda. Moreover, I have never written a positive column about Tom Reilly or a critical column about Deval Patrick. I drink the Deval Patrick Kool-Aid exclusively. Thank you."

Actually, I do have a disclaimer. It's under "About Ryan." Furthermore, I wrote an entire column on it. If I knew html well, I'd make a better one.

In any event, I appreciate your comments and thank you for your decorum. If Deval Patrick loses the primary and Tom Reilly wins, I will support him as vigorously as I have Deval. I promise!

Ryan Adams said...

Actually, I would like to point out that I have written negative columns on Deval Patrick's campaign as well. Just for the record.

Here's one and here's my disclaimer column

MaverickDem said...

Ryan, that was an impressively swift response!

Thank you for pointing out the disclaimer in "About Ryan." I was remiss not to note it. I would never have found your disclaimer column if you hadn't pulled it up for me, but thank you for doing that as well.

I do hope that you understood my central point. The title of your column is that "Reilly [Is] Getting Fried Again." According to who? You, I guess, but your basis for writing the column was Eileen McNamara's editorial. Basically, it's an opinion based on another editorial writer's opinion. Meanwhile, Brian Mooney's news account ("Reilly role in abuse crisis debated," 4/11/06) was filled with at least a half dozen opinions, most of which were either enthusiastically or moderately supportive of Tom Reilly's role in the Church abuse crisis. All of which is to say, you seem a little over-anxious to put Tom Reilly in a frying pan just because Eileen McNamara took exception.

The Boston Globe's Scott Lehigh recently wrote a column ("Reilly's openess stands out," 3/31/06") that lauded Tom Reilly's decision to release his income tax return. Every candidate for governor since 1990, Republican and Democrat alike, has been willing to share their financial interests and possible conflicts of interest with the public. Every candidate, that is, except Mitt Romney. Now, our own millionaire candidates, Mr. Patrick and Mr. Gabrieli, want to carry on Mitt Romney's tradition and play by his rules. So, does Scott Lehigh's column mean that "Reilly is on a Roll" or that "Patrick is Hemorrhaging Support?" Of course not. It's just one person's opinion. Just like Eileen McNamara's editorial.

I appreciate your enthusiasm for your candidate. I am equally passionate about Tom Reilly. (And I also plan to rally behind our party's nominee, regardless of his name, come Fall.) However, I believe that your column vastly overstated the significance of Eileen McNamara's column, particularly in light of Brian Mooney's article and my goal was to point out that issue.

Thank you for your respectful response and for the opportunity to respond.

Ryan Adams said...

No problem Maverickdem. One of the most fundamental aspects of becoming a party that frequently wins (again) is working together. We squabble during primaries and that's okay as long as we support each other in the long run.

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