The final, and perhaps most critical, phase of the closely watched 6th District congressional race began yesterday with the first of four scheduled debates at North Shore Community College campus in Lynn. (The Salem News and Jewish Journal will hold one on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Danvers High School.)
John Tierney continues to be dogged about his wife’s legal troubles and this week was the subject of an embarrassing Boston Globe story questioning whether the couple should have paid taxes on the more than $200,000 she received from her brother, Robert Eremian, who remains a fugitive from justice in the Caribbean, where he operates an Internet gaming enterprise.
On the other hand, like U.S. Senate candidate
Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic congressional candidates elsewhere in the country, Tierney has likely benefited from the meltdown within the Republican presidential campaign.
Mitt Romney has been losing ground ever since the Tampa convention with one gaffe after another, and seems to be fading in many of the key battleground states that will determine the winner of this year’s election. Indeed, one gets the impression these days that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is more interested in positioning himself for a run in the top spot four years from now than in helping Romney gain the White House in 2012.
Of course, as with the 6th District race, everything could change depending on how the candidates perform in the upcoming debates.
Though he’s been retired for more than a decade, former GE head honcho Jack Welch, a North Salem native, remains a formidable presence via his writing and frequent appearances on national TV.
He’s a big supporter of fellow businessman Romney and told Fox News recently that another four years of Obama could be a disaster financially for many, including “retirees like me.”
This from someone who, according to Forbes magazine, received benefits worth some $417 million when he retired in 2001, “by far ... the largest severance package paid to any American CEO in the last decade,” and $100 million more than his next-closest competitor.
Following the comment, Welch launched into a story about meeting a friend in Nantucket the previous weekend, which would indicate he’s not ready to put an application in to the Salem Housing Authority for subsidized digs just yet.
Appearing on one of the Sunday talk shows last weekend, Gov. Deval Patrick defended Obama’s economic policies, stating that the “trickle-down” theories espoused by the Republicans “have been shown to fail.”
Asked to comment on Democrats’ coziness with the union movement in light of the teachers’ strike in Chicago then still ongoing, Patrick had nothing but praise for the Bay State unions (MTA and AFT), observing “they were right there with us” in the effort to reform the educational system.
Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News this summer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him daily on Twitter (@nelsonbenton).