He builds up a huge warchest - the biggest among Democrats in the House of Representatives. He has future ambitions to run for Senator of Massachusetts, something he would have been a favorite to win had John Kerry decided to run for President instead of Senator. Now that Kerry will run for reelection, what does Marty Meehan go and do?
US Representative Martin T. Meehan has emerged in recent weeks as a leading candidate for chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, a move that would set off a political stampede to fill his much-coveted seat and create the first competitive fight for a Bay State congressional district in more than five years.
Quite frankly, I'd be disappointed if Meehan left. He's built up quite the tenure in D.C. and has an ability to have a strong impact on very important decisions. Now, he's not a perfect congressman, but he's fairly solid on most issues. He's been very outspoken in getting rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell - one of the most horrible, self-destructive policies the military has ever instituted (for example, I know more gay members of the military than straight ones - they're just shushed into the closet). Now that Meehan is in a position to actually enact important changes - changes his constituents no doubt want - he's taking interviews to be the Chancellor of UMASS Lowell?
Don't get me wrong, UMASS Lowell needs a top-notch Chancellor. However, would Meehan even fit that bill? Wouldn't it be better to find an already-successful Chancellor (one who students actually like) and hire he or she, rather than installing another politician into a position that requires more than political skills? Would a Chancellor Meehan understand that his most important duty is to create an environment that would allow students to excel - which means earning the trust of the student body, professors and even parents who he's never met.
UMASS Lowell is no doubt just as important to Lowell as UMASS Dartmouth is to the South Coast, so I wouldn't want to hamper UMASS Lowell's ability to succeed by criticizing a Meehan Chancellorship. However, as important as the resurrection of Lowell is, Marty Meehan's in a position to help the entire country from his current position of power. The Democrats just won its first Congressional Majority in more than a decade - and Meehan's rise in Congress has been rapid. It would be a sad waste for Massachusetts and the entire country to see it be all for not.