From Joe Kennedy to Elizabeth Warren to Ayanna Pressley, maneuvering Massachusetts pols face some tough decisions on their political future that could open — or close — doors for some of their colleagues and rivals.
Rumors are swirling that Pressley could try to move from her seat in Congress to a fifth floor office in Boston City Hall as mayor in 2021.
Pressley, who has become a national powerhouse in just a few years, would be a formidable mayoral candidate — even if incumbent Marty Walsh decides to go for a third term.
If Joe Biden wins the White House, Walsh, a buddy of the former vice president, will be on the short list for a Cabinet post or other high ranking position in the Biden administration. Or how does ambassador to Ireland sound?
Walsh could decide to take that job in Washington or Dublin rather than run for a third term and face Pressley.
Another potential mayoral candidate, City Councilor Michelle Wu, also appears to be looking strongly at running against Walsh, looking to make history as the first person who’s neither white nor male to take over Boston government.
Warren’s future also depends on whether Biden takes over the White House.
With Biden as president, the former Harvard Law professor instantly becomes a favorite to take a Cabinet post or other position that would give her the national platform she so desperately wants. Warren’s open Senate seat then becomes a huge scramble for high-profile Democrats like Attorney General Maura Healey.
Kennedy, fresh off his stinging Senate loss, will leave Congress at the end of the year but must decide whether to keep his political options open or move into the dreaded private or nonprofit sector.
The 39-year-old Newton Democrat is way too young to call it quits. He badly miscalculated Sen. Ed Markey’s staying power and overestimated the appeal of the Kennedy name, but those weren’t career-enders.
His potential options include running for Senate again if there’s an open seat, running for governor or holding out for a Cabinet or ambassadorial post if Biden wins the presidency. Kennedy and Walsh might have to compete for that Irish ambassador job.
Then there’s Gov. Charlie Baker, who has to decide within the next year or so whether to run for a third term in 2022 or head back to the private sector.
Baker right now looks unbeatable for a third term, even against popular Dems like Healey or Joe Kennedy. He’s actually way more popular among Democrats than Republicans, so winning the primary might even be tougher than the general election.
If Baker does decide against a third term, that would pave the way for his second-in-command, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, to run for the top job. Polito would face a tough road against a Democratic opponent, and likely would face an intra-party challenge against a pro-Trump Republican like party chairman Jim Lyons.
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