Our One Hundredth: On to the General…
Democrat Elizabeth Warren officially cleared the field for United States Senate and avoided a primary with her only remaining challenger, Middleton Immigration Attorney Marissa DeFranco. Although as early as Saturday, John Walsh, the party’s state chairman, said he expected DeFranco to make it onto the ballot, perhaps as an appeal to those who would like to see a primary.
That did not happen. Warren secured more than 95% of the delegates at the convention, including near-universal support from Western Mass area delegations. While some political prognosticators said Warren’s muscle pushed DeFranco out, that, if true, is only partly why DeFranco failed to get on the ballot. Indeed, poor fundraising aside, DeFranco may only have herself to blame for the result, details into which we will go at another time.
The convention featured a host of speakers, including Governor Deval Patrick, who gave an impassioned speech on Democratic party values, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, Auditor Suzanne Bump, Treasurer Steve Grossman, and Mayor Domenic Sarno. Representatives Richard Neal, James McGovern, Niki Tsongas, Ed Markey, John Tierney and Bill Keating paid tribute to retiring Representatives John Olver and Barney Frank, the latter of which was not in attendance. Olver and Frank are retiring this year after 21 and 34 years in Congress respectively. Attorney General Martha Coakley, who had been scheduled to be out of the country, also made an appearance. Current polling puts Coakley at the top of a crop of Democrats who could succeed Patrick in 2014.
Immediately after the delegate vote, Republican co-chair Peter Blute, a former Congressman, said Warren and the Dems unfairly pushed DeFranco out. Laughably, Blute and Republicans eager to find some negative spin, forgot that the Massachusetts GOP did precisely the same thing in 2010 to keep Christy Mihos from forcing gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker off the ballot. Indeed, had DeFranco secured ballot access, Republicans and pundits would have read it as a sign of Warren’s weakness.
Instead, however, Warren is exiting the convention in a strong position, fortified by recent polls that confirm recent, and incessant stories about her Native American heritage have drawn little blood. Reports from the Globe, The New York Times and the Republican all suggest that she has gotten momentum and energy heading into what is essentially the General Election against incumbent Republican Scott Brown. Indeed, upon accepting the nomination, Warren had only one thing to say, “I’m Ready!”