BOSTON (CBS) – So you say you’re a Democrat or independent who wants to vote in the September 9th Democratic primary for governor, but haven’t had a chance to take a close look at the three candidates?

By all means, watch the debate we hosted with them on WBZ-TV last weekend. Also go to the candidates’ websites and check out the way they present themselves.

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Sink an hour or so into all of that and you’ll be a reasonably informed voter.

But to get you started, let me fill you in on some good news and some bad news about each of the candidates.

The good news about Attorney General Martha Coakley is that she’s a smart, cautious lawyer who won’t take unnecessary risks as governor.

The bad news about Coakley is that she’s a smart, cautious lawyer who is so risk-averse that she sometimes fails to show courage and leadership skill, qualities the governor’s job requires.

The good news about State Treasurer Steve Grossman is that he’s ethical, competent, and a real gentleman.

The bad news is, he’s so gentlemanly that he sometimes leaves you wondering if he’s suited for the alley-fight that politics in this state sometimes resembles.

The one time he had Coakley on the ropes in Wednesday night’s debate, he wound up apologizing for it.

The good news about former health care administrator Don Berwick is that he’s super-smart and principled.

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The bad news is, he’s a bit too eager to lord those qualities over others.

Wednesday night, after repeatedly slamming Coakley and Grossman for being political insiders, he was the one who injected the issue of electability into the debate.

So there you have it.

Primary day is next Tuesday.

Good luck.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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.


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Jon Keller