Who’s the Boldest Candidate of Them All?

There's a hearty competition among Massachusetts governor candidates who want to be bold.

Juliette Kayyem has just unveiled what looks like a big new theme for the next stage of the gubernatorial campaign, leading up to the June convention: “Bolder Today, Better Tomorrow.” There’s even a new hashtag for the campaign on Twitter: #BeBoldMA. “Bold” must focus-group really, really well among Massachusetts Democrats. All the cool kids running for governor as Democrats have been bold—if they do say so themselves. The Don Berwick campaign has touted his “Bold Progressive Leadership” from early on. Steve Grossman has been calling himself “bold” pretty regularly for months now. I hear it from Martha Coakley from time to time as well. Now Kayyem has jumped on the bold bandwagon, if that’s not an oxymoron. Joe Avellone, running as the moderate in the field, seems to be the exception. And it’s not just the candidates themselves. It’s their supporters, their endorsers, their press release writers; everybody seems to use the word about their choice to succeed Deval Patrick. Here are just a few examples:

“Martha Coakley will be the kind of bold, pragmatic governor that Massachusetts women and families need.” —EMILY’s List endorsement press release.

“Steve Grossman is a bold progressive leader.” —Howard Dean, endorsement press release.

“I have always admired Martha Coakley’s integrity, her bold leadership, and her commitment to fighting for basic fairness for people against powerful interests.” —campaign manager Tim Foley, in a press release.

“Steve is a bold and ambitious leader who has spent a lifetime fighting and advocating for equal rights.” —Sarah Peake, to Cape Cod Today.

“Both cited Berwick’s bold, progressive vision and his executive leadership in their endorsements.” —press release on Sue Tucker and Dan Bosley endorsements.

“Don has put forward a bold, progressive agenda.” —Sonia Chang-Diaz, in statement announcing endorsement.

“Ready to show my bold progressive vision for being the next #GreenGovernor4MA” —tweet from Berwick before Faneuil Hall forum.

“We think Don will be a smart, compassionate, and bold Governor.” —Jamaica Plain Progressives in a press release announcing endorsement.

As governor, Steve will take bold, urgent steps to respond.” —press release on heroin policy.