Are Massachusetts candidates cursed?

Posted January 3, 2013 at 12:00 am

Editor:

Two months after the presidential election, we politicophiles are still analyzing things. One thing I think we can all agree on is the fact that presidential candidates from Massachusetts have some sort of political curse.

Granted, two candidates born in Massachusetts have won election in the last 53 years. John F. Kennedy in 1960 and George H.W. Bush in 1988. However, Kennedy was assassinated before he could complete his term and Bush lost a bid for a second term in a landslide.

Other candidates have not even made it that far. In 1964, Henry Cabot Lodge won the Republican primary in New Hampshire, but the former Massachusetts Senator failed in his bid to get the nomination. In 1980, Senator Edward Kennedy challenged President Carter in the Democratic primaries and got nowhere in a bid when the incumbent was unpopular in one of the tumultuous years in American politics. In 1988, Massachusetts Governor Dukakis saw a 17 point lead over fellow Mass-born G.W.H. Bush evaporate into a huge deficit and carried only 10 states on Election Day. In 1992, Paul Tsongas was well on his way to the Democratic nomination when he had to drop out when he had a recurrence of a form of cancer. In 2004, John Kerry won the Democratic nomination but lost in a squeaker to the second Bush. And we all know what happened in 2012 when former Massachusetts Gov. Romney tried to unseat President Obama.

So when I hear people talk about Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Gov. Massachusetts Deval Patrick for the presidency in 2016, I sort of cringe. Massachusetts candidates just seem to have a political curse and both major parties would be wise not to nominate one again.

Sincerely,

David Shipp

Castro Valley, CA