The last time the White House endorsed a Democratic candidate for office in Massachusetts, the U.S. Senate seat long held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy ended up going to Republican Scott Brown.
Democrats are concerned now that the same thing could happen again in the Senate race next year, given the endorsement by presidential adviser David Axelrod of Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination.
Axelrod, who is no longer at the White House but is running President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, told the Boston Herald on Tuesday that he expects Warren to be nominee, brushing aside the six other Democrats facing off against her in the primary.
“There probably isn’t a person in America who’s fought harder for the embattled middle class in this country than she has,” Axelrod was quoted as saying. “When you combine that with the nature of Massachusetts, I think you’ve got the makings of a really, really competitive race and one about which I’m really hopeful.”
His comments caused an eruption among the other Democratic candidates and left some political analysts wondering if the whole thing might backfire again.
“This is what’s wrong with Washington,” said Scott Ferson, a spokesman for Alan Khazei, who ran to succeed Kennedy and is running again this year. “For hundreds of years, Massachusetts has been publicly electing its state senators and doing a pretty good job.”
Khazei lost out in the 2010 special election to replace Kennedy when the Obama camp threw its support behind Attorney General Martha Coakley. Coakley won the nomination but lost to Brown, who is now looking to be elected to his first full term.
“We have seen a carefully orchestrated and extremely powerful campaign to draw attention to Warren,” Bob Massie, a Democratic activist and Senate hopeful told the Herald. “It’s very disappointing when national Democratic
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