Rep. Mike Capuano joined us to talk about the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy. He calls in 20 minutes into the show, as pre-arranged. We introduce the race and contestants first. Then we discuss Capuano’s voting record and politics.
As is his wont, he was plainspoken and straight ahead with us. He shied from nothing and wants everyone to know where he stands and how he operates.
We discussed the jack-rabbit head start of our AG Martha Coakley in the race. He is sure of two things there. First, all the candidates, including him, will have plenty of money to conduct this short race; money won’t decide it. Second, he’s the only one with a voting record and legislative history after 11 years in the House; he’s confident that voters will go with the person who knows how to do the job.
He spent some time on key issues. He won’t vote for health-care reform without a robust public option, for one.Â That is, as he put it, “the only way…that will really provide competition for insurance companies.” The other would be the impossible-to-achieve-short-term single-payer system.
He is strong on human rights, including GLBT rights and marriage equality. Likewise, he was one of the few legislators to vote against the PATRIOT Act. He viewed it as letting the terrorists dictate to us and change the way we live, giving the government far too much authority over individual liberties. He also spoke and voted against the Iraq invasion.
Listen for some colorful tropes too. He likened Republicans to a pack of dogs who hunt together and Dems to a herd of cats. He admires House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for having the temperament to manage all the cats.
While he says he could not do that, he said too that he is the only candidate in the race who knows how to get things done in Congress. “I like politics, both the internal politics and external…When it comes to hitting the ground running, I’m the most likely.”
He spoke about both what’s important to him and how he operates.