Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So Much for Not Giving an Endorsement...

MA-05 was just starting to get interesting, but today we learn that Congressmen Meehan's wife will be serving as candidate Tsongas's campaign manager. Now, Marty Meehan didn't say "I'm endorsing Niki Tsongas," but the fact that his wife will be her campaign manager is such a blatant blanket of support that Niki's voters are going to be warm at night knowing that she's his man - in the political arena, of course. The sad thing is I was actually starting to like Niki, but I confess myself disappointed here.

What happened to Congressman Meehan's pledge to not get involved? If he truly wanted to support someone to replace him, that is his perogative, but this isn't the underground railroad here. He doesn't need to leave secret signs of support. Meehan should have stayed out of it or have been open and honest to begin with.

Update: It's funny, I was talking with Lynne and Mike earlier today about next week's LeftAhead show, deciding what topics it would be on, when I said something like 'let's not talk about the MA-05 race, unless something big happens.' Of course, I figured, what big things could happen at this point in the campaign? Oops. On top of Meehan's quasi-endorsement, a second candidate just dropped out of the race.


Anonymous said...

I object to spouses of politicians being seens as mere brainless appendages to their husbands/wives (does that ever happen?) Does Mrs Marty Meehan only function as a conduit for her man? She may, but the assumption is galling.

Lynne said...


*double sigh*

Stop playing the "you're oppressing the poor female spouse" card...FYI: this passes the shoe on the other foot test. If it were a Congressman Ellen Meehan stepping down and a Marty Meehan taking on campaign chair, I'd be saying the EXACT same thing.

As I said on my own blog, if I were in public office, and my husband wanted to take the position of campaign chair of one of the people running to replace me, I better damn well have some say in whether or not he should do that.

Fact is, the Meehan name is more than just some guy and his's part of an existing institution. If Marty wanted his name to remain neutral, he would have asked his wife not to do this. It's obvious that this is a sort of back handed way of endorsing Tsongas without getting in the race himself. If only by not objecting to it.

Tsongas is already seen as part of an institution, so really, this could backfire for her. If I were her I'd tread carefully on this one.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but Meehan is an individual and a professional in her own right. So why not treat her endorsement as her endorsement? If you are saying it is actually Marty's endorsement, then why hasn't he endorsed outright? And if it is his second-hand endorsement, is that really a compliment to Tsongas?

Why is it so hard to believe Meehan's decision reflects her own politics and not necessarily those of her husband?

Ryan Adams said...

The assumption that I meant she was some "brainless appendage" or doesn't have a mind of her own is just as "galling" as the one you two thought I made.

The fact is that it's a basic respect issue. Either she's willing to give a big FU to her spouse by creating an appearance of support on Marty's behalf (whether it exists or not) or she truly does have his support. It's a basic conflict of interest. I'd be saying the same thing if a wedded couple were a lawyer and a judge and the lawyer had a case assigned to that judge (if that could happen, which it can't). The appearance of an unofficial endorsement on Marty Meehan's behalf should have been enough for his wife to have at least taken on a less visible role in Tsongas's camapiagn.

"If you are saying it is actually Marty's endorsement, then why hasn't he endorsed outright?"

Because it would be politically frowned upon and people would be none too pleased. However, as I said in the blog, if that's the way he felt he should have just come out and said so. While I'd prefer he not choose sides, trying to do it with in code is just weak, weak, weak.

About Ryan's Take