BOSTON (CBS) – Political campaigns are like a basketball game.
Before and during the game, coaches work the refs, a.k.a. political reporters, hoping for favorable treatment. Once the game starts, both teams try to set the pace, provoking a running game if that’s their strength, slowing it down to a crawl if it isn’t.
And if you’re the home team, as Ed Markey is in the U.S. Senate race in our relentlessly Democratic state, you do your best to whip up the partisan crowd, the better to intimidate the visitors.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
All these tactics were on display Monday when Markey once again hammered away at his opening gambit in this race, demanding that Gabriel Gomez sign the “People’s pledge” they used in the Brown-Warren race to restrain the role of independent outside groups.
Markey, who will raise and spent vast amounts of conventional campaign donations from special-interest groups during this race, accused Gomez of “welcoming vast amounts of undisclosed” campaign money by refusing to sign the pledge.
And he raised the spectre of Gomez in league a pantheon of right-wing villains, from Karl Rove to the NRA, even though he acknowledged there’s no evidence of their actual support for Gomez, who will likely prove too moderate for many conservative donors.
In response, the Gomez campaign has pointed to millions in Markey donations from special-interest groups and suggested they’d welcome a debate over who has the better ethics.
But a website that tracks how members vote on their donors interests gave Markey some of the best marks in Washington last year.
Both campaigns want to set the terms of the debate, we get it.
As a voter, I prefer to see them debate the issues that matter to me. How about you?
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.