The Launching Of John Kerry

The Event : Massachusetts Democratic Convention
The Place : Springfield , MA
The Year : 1982
The Candidates : For Governor
Edward King, Incumbent
Michael Dukakis

For Lieutenant Governor
John Kerry, Asst District Attorney
Evelyn Murphy, Environmental Affairs Secretary
Lois Pines, State Senator
Three Lesser Candidates

The Rules : Any candidate who received 15 percent of the vote, would have his
or her name on the ballot for the statewide primary election. The
winner of the primary would then face the winner from the republican
party in the general election. The convention choice would have his
or her name at the top of the ballot which would include after the
candidate's name , " Selected By Democratic Party Convention "

My Function : Delegate from Abington

The Massachusetts Teacher's Association was very interested in the
outcome of the convention. Their candidate was Dukakis, who had been
governor but was defeated by King. He was trying to make a comeback.
King was not a good education governor. I was at the convention to
cast my vote for Dukakis.

The Floor : There were speeches by supporters and the candidates. Delegates were
glad-handed and lobbied because they held the key to whether the
candidates would make the next step, the primary, or the possibility of
being anointed by the convention as the top choice. Early in the
proceedings , King workers wouldn't approach me because I was wearing a
large Dukakis button. But, as the time for voting came closer, the
button didn't help. Their characterization of Dukakis was every bit as
severe as the statements made by the republicans in the general election.
The Lt Governor race was wide open. Since I wasn't committed to any
candidate, I listened to all the workers. It was kind of flattering
to be so well-liked by so many people. After the voting, I was just
another body in the room.
I was torn between voting for Evelyn Murphy and John Kerry. I decided
to go with Murphy because of her experience as Environmental Affairs Secretary.

The Ruse: As the time approached for the voting, those workers I recognized as
Kerry supporters suddenly approached me and asked me to vote for Lois
Pines. I couldn't understand this but it became abundantly clear
after the vote.

: Dukakis was the choice of the convention. He went on to defeat King
in the primary and a republican in the general election. This victory, upsetting
a sitting governor , led Dukakis to the nomination for president in 1988.

The Results Evelyn Murphy was the choice of the convention. Kerry and Lois Pines
received the required 15 percent of the vote and had their names on
the ballot for the primary. Kerry defeated both Evelyn and Lois in the
primary and went on to be elected Lt Governor. Notice the names of his
opponents ... both women.

Kerry must have realized he wasn't going to beat Evelyn and become the choice of
the convention. He saw another way to use the convention. If he promoted Lois
Pines candidacy , he could assure she would receive the 15 percent and have her
name on the ballot. With two women as opponents , the women's vote would be
split and he could slip in.
John Kerry gave up his office after two years and was elected to the US Senate.
Evelyn Murphy was elected Lt Governor in 1986. She ran for governor in 1992 and
was defeated .
One candidate supporting another, which Kerry did in 1982, came back to
haunt him. The republicans supported Ralph Nader,in 2000 and 2004 to split
the liberal vote. All's fair in love , war and politics.