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January 31, 2013

Lynch Rides Markey’s, Circa 1976, Coattails?

by at 12:08 pm.

Crossposted from BlueMassGroup:


This diary originally started as a comment over on danfromwaltham’s diary: Stephen Lynch will go to Washington to stand up, not fit in

I thought better of it, and came to the conclusion to write such a comment would be taking a giant squat on Dan’s effort to promote Lynch. Thus, tantamount to ‘hijacking.’ As we endeavor to play nice, this Primary season, I chose to take my observation and remarks away from Dan’s work, placing it here, to stand on it’s own.

Please note the closing frame of the recently debuted Lynch ad, as seen on Youtube:

 photo FirstLynchSenateYTAd_zps4d9b9026.jpg


Just yesterday, I provided a link to a Markey tale, from 1976. I’ll repost it, so that we can all be on the same page.

Ed Markey: The milkman’s son who broke the rules

By David B. Hilder, November 22, 1976
… While in his second term in the State House, Markey pushed for passage of a bill to eliminate part-time district court judgeships in Massachusetts. Part-time judgeships were lucrative for judges, who were allowed to maintain private law practices, and for politicians, for whom they were patronage gold mines. It was no surprise, then, when the House leadership, under Speaker Thomas McGee of Lynn, fought against Markey’s bill. It passed despite their objections, and McGee, known around the State House for his pettiness, gained his revenge by throwing Markey off the Judiciary Committee, and having his desk moved out into the hall.

All this happened last January, and because of it, Markey received the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Legislator of the Year award and was praised in many editorial columns. Looking for a theme for an advertising campaign, Markey’s political strategists pounced on the Judiciary Committee incident.

Markey’s one television commercial opened with a narration of the desk-in-the-hall scene along with a shot of Markey standing in front of a desk placed incongruously in a State House corridor. At the end of the spot, Markey folded his arms across his chest, looking stern and tough. “They may tell me where to sit,” he said, “but nobody tells me where to stand.”

I like this Markey story. I makes me feel positive about the person that will go against the grain of the establishment, for the right reason. And, apparently, I’m not alone in this assessment, as Markey effectively rode this story to Congress, in 1976. No doubt, those who know Markey well, will know this story and the power it had. Has? I think it still plays well in 2013. I was 11, back in the day. Yet, growing up in our beloved Commonwealth, I can discern the political courage that Markey mustered. Likely, he will try to assure us that courage has manifested itself in countless ways, since his intial election. I’m listening.

Now, I’m no communications guru, but this feeling I have about Markey, must be coveted amongst any and all politicians. In elected representative government, the elected wishes us to feel that they will do, as we would do, in our stead. My opinion leads me to consider that Lynch’s communications guru would seek to displace Markey from this coveted perch, inserting Stephen Lynch.

Thus, “He’ll Stand Up. Not Fit In.” … Meh. I just heard Scott Brown try the ‘Not Fit In’ workaround. Echo?

Does anyone else, maybe folks with more ‘guru cred,’ get the same vibe off of Lynch’s newly minted slogan? Or, is this just what happens when certain ‘turns of phrase’ get reworked?

11 Responses to “Lynch Rides Markey’s, Circa 1976, Coattails?”

  1. Prince Charming Says:

    Jack - how about George Washington and the cherry tree? You believe that one too? It’s called political legend and the more you repeat something, the truer it becomes. Lynch is going after the lunch bucket (I know you hate this term) Reagan Democrats who have crossed over to the dark side. He knows he will never appeal to the Brie and Chablis Democrats from Concord. He’s going to play this one right up the middle and my money’s on the street smarts, not Caspar Milquetoast.

  2. Scott Ferson Says:

    As Congressman Lynch’s spokesman since the 2001 election I can tell you that the “not fit in but stand out” slogan has been used well before this election, and certainly well before Lynch ever thought he and Markey might be running for the same office. It reflected Lynch’s approach to politics from his iron worker past. Markey’s slogan was born from his worthy fight with Speaker McGee.

  3. Jack Says:

    Thank you for the clarification, Scott. I struck the words ‘newly minted,’ based on your respectful tone and effort.

    Maybe certain words and phrases, by necessity, tend to get overwrought, even when applied in all sincerity.

    I’ll be studying with zeal, how you work out the rhetoric to peel away Scott Brown’s support amongst Blue Dog Democrats. The crown jewel, in our neck of the woods, would be Rep. Dave Nangle. I’ll buy you lunch at my favorite place to get Phở, if you send me an embargoed copy of the PR.

    The Convention is July 13th.

  4. Jack Says:

    Yes, PC. “Legend” in politics is very powerful. Your man Reagan is a prime example. Rarely anyone mentions those dern TOW missles to Iran!

    As for the pathway to winning this primary, it will be a turnout election with both candidates pushing their own base of support. Likely, that could break even. The Youth vote is more of a gamble, but who do you think will appeal to young Dems? The ‘Green Economy” guy or the guy’s whose social values mimic their gandparents? Now, I won’t flaunt NARAL ratings,et al. I, personally, could care less about such things. But, these things do peck away at a candidate, especially among the young and those cheesey Concord types.

    Lynch may win Lowell, but how much will it take to build a bank of votes to overcome Markey’s appeal in other parts of the Comonwealth?

  5. joe from Lowell Says:

    I don’t think discussing Massachusetts Democratic primaries purely in terms of white voting blocs make a whole lot of sense in 2013, PC.

  6. joe from Lowell Says:

    Nor does lumping together blue collar (white) women and blue collar (white) men.

  7. Scott Ferson Says:

    Jack: happy to talk strategy. No secrets here, unless you’re working for Markey. Pho is a favorite, and I’ll let you in on our public strategy and tell you it’s top secret. I’ll bring Stephen with me.

  8. Jack Says:

    Scott, we better wait until Convention. I’ll be volunteering for Markey, here and there. 2013 is our municipal election season. The City Council and School Committee will draw most of my attention. I’ll be one of the few. ;v)

    Though, maybe after April 30th? Now that I think of it. Most, if not all, of the activists that I have talked to here, that now support Markey, will be working their hearts out to ensure the nominee gets elected.


    As an aside, the Lynch/Markey primary will mimic a paradigm we see here in our local politics. Today’s chat by Kendall Wallace, reminds us of Lowell’s ‘Blue Dog’ political tradition. The vibrant local grassroots campaigns, which forged the electoral successes of Deval Patrick, Niki Tsongas, Barack Obama & Elizabeth Warren loudly challenges the durability of the frame The Sun prefers to set.

    This Primary, should it remain stark between Lynch & Markey, will be a great bellwether for our local political scene. Maybe not so much of the city’s electoral mindset. We are consistently a blur BLUE dot. But, more so with regards to which Lowell ‘tribe’ can better GOTV. I see this primary as telling us who are the workhorses, and who are the showhorses.

    I’m expecting this Primary to neatly cleave Lowell along succinct political heartstrings. This will be a good thing, imho.

    Come early May, I look forward to a Unity Rally, here in Lowell. You can count on the workhorses to be there. No doubt, the show horses will be there, too; bumping with elbows to get in the shot. :v\

  9. Lynne Says:

    Yup, we’re a Markey shop here, afraid to say, Scott. However, it’s awesome that you are here and willing to engage. Keep at it. A healthy primary is never a bad thing (so long as we stay away from the circular firing squad with regards to personal attacks).

    Looking forward to a debate on the issues!

  10. Paul@01852 Says:

    I was in Malden for Ed Markey’s official announcement of running for Senate. A VERY enthusiastic crowd of approximately 500 people (not including what seemed to be 500 media in attendance) heard Anne Anderson, mother of James “Jimmy” Anderson, victim of the industrial ground pollution told about in A Civil Action and for whom the Woburn transportation terminal is named, describe how Ed Markey became aware of her fight and contacted her leading to the Superfund Law. All 500 cheered just about every word from Eddie’s mouth as he described how his upbringing influenced his career and the bills he worked hard to pass.

    It was also nice to catch up with Eddie’s brother Johnnie who was the first politician I volunteered to campaign for way back in 1978 in the Merrimack Valley congressional race eventually won by Jim Shannon.

    Also seen in attendance at today’s rally were Dick Howe, Jr., Geoffrey Feldman and Howie Savard.

    For anyone interested the Markey campaign will be outside Hanniford’s Drum Hill Plaza store tomorrow from 12-3pm collecting nomination signatures. If you are in the area please come by and help or at least stop by and sign the nomination papers.

  11. Brian Flaherty Says:

    He helped the folks in Woburn? That was 30 years ago…helps the narrative that he hasn’t done much lately.

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