‘Exact Right Message’: Ed Markey’s Must-Watch 2020 Campaign Ad Praised For Hitting Trump’s Betrayal Of Social Contract


“Can Ed Markey just take over marketing for the DNC? This pisses all over ‘build back better.'”

— Amy Westerveldt, environmental journalist.

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams (8/14/20)

With Americans demanding a “new deal” including racial justiceMedicare for All, far-reaching climate action, and an economy that works for working people, Markey positions himself as “The Green New Dealmaker” in the ad, noting his co-sponsorship of the landmark climate legislation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

After detailing his work in the Senate during the pandemic—securing $300 million for fishing industry disaster relief in the CARES Act and rejecting Trump’s attempt to “cheap out” by demanding $600 per week in enhanced unemployment benefits—Markey tells voters that he is better suited than Kennedy to fight for Massachusetts residents and all Americans in the Senate, without mentioning his opponent by name.

“I don’t need to get on the phone and talk to lobbyists to know what working people think,” Markey says in the narration. “I get on the streets and I listen… We’ve got to make sure President Biden signs the Green New Deal. We can’t wait.”

Kennedy, who has served in the U.S. House since 2013, has been criticized by progressives for his past work for Michael O’Keefe, who The Appeal called “one of the most regressive district attorneys in Massachusetts”; for claiming Medicare for All would be too expensive before finally signing on to the bill in 2019; and for failing to prioritize bold climate action.

“Congressman Kennedy is a progressive in name only,” Markey said in a debate in June. “When he [got] a chance to lead on Medicare-for-All, on climate change, on the militarization of the streets of this country, he was not a progressive leader.”

Leading in youth support

Despite Kennedy’s youth at age 39, Markey, who is 74, was shown in recent polling to have the support of 71% of Massachusetts voters under the age of 30, while Kennedy has 21% of the vote. Markey is also leading Kennedy by 19 points among voters between the ages of 30 and 54.

UMass-Amherst released poll results this month showing that Markey is leading Kennedy by 18 points overall, ahead of the Sept. 1 primary.

“Right now, their relative ages are the only rationale left for Kennedy’s campaign, and he’s pretty plainly tested the limits of its political viability,” wrote Charles Pierce at Esquire on Thursday. A Markey endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, he added, “eliminated one powerful potential weapon in Kennedy’s arsenal—that he could campaign as a Squad-adjacent insurgent. Absent a connection to that national political narrative, Kennedy’s rationale for running was limited largely to a couple of lines on his birth certificate… For his part, Markey has campaigned with a vigor and enthusiasm that belies his age.”

In the ad released Thursday, Markey offers a final comparison between his own vision of the country’s future and the family legacy on which progressives say his opponent is running.

“With all due respect, it’s time to start asking what your country can do for you,” Markey says.

On Thursday evening, Markey’s ad won praise for succinctly explaining to voters how the social contract has been broken by Trump, the Republican Party, and the U.S. economic system, and detailing his efforts to negotiate a “new deal” for the American people.

Can Ed Markey just take over marketing for the DNC?” asked environmental journalist Amy Westerveldt.

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