As expected, the candidate with the best memes has carried the day.
Sen. Ed Markey, best known outside Massachusetts as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s partner in the Senate – the pair co-sponsored the Green New Deal, which Biden has embraced – has triumphed over Joe Kennedy III in a hotly contested Democratic primary. The race was remarkable for several reasons: Markey, the incumbent, and a longtime Congressman, became the ‘outsider’ candidate, while his challenger, the 39-year-old scion of the legendary Kennedy political family, was painted as the incumbent.
When Kennedy first announced his candidacy last September, it provoked speculation that Markey might decide to retire rather than risk what many felt would be an inevitable victory in favor of Kennedy III.
Apparently, these pundits had never seen that clip of Kennedy drooling all over himself while delivering the rebuttal to President Trump’s 2018 state of the union.
This, along with conservative positions like his skepticism of legalized marijuana – now an institution in Massachusetts – helped Markey capture the sympathies of the liberals and the energetic young grassroots, thanks in large part to the help of AOC.
Turns out, Markey was the first Senator to invite her to the Senate dining room after her primary victory over Joe Crowley. That meeting led to what has been a successful political partnership.
In a piece published Tuesday, the Washington Post said: “there are Markey clubs at every major college, Markey memes splattered across social media and phone banks around the country organized by the Sunrise Movement, the youth climate-change activists who coined the Green New Deal shortly before Markey endorsed it.”
A few minutes ago, Cook Political Report editor Dave Wasserman officially called the race for Markey, who entered the day with a slight edge in the polls.
I’ve seen enough: Sen. Ed Markey (D) has defeated Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D) in the #MASEN Democratic primary.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 2, 2020
Markey has apparently carried nearly all the early reporting towns, along with sweeping East Boston, where Kennedy launched his primary campaign.
At 830PM EST, six Massachusetts towns are 100% counted. @EdMarkey has won five of them. Lots more to count, but Markey could well finish the night as the first Massachusetts Democrat ever to beat a Kennedy. pic.twitter.com/7hoFQCIZAv
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) September 2, 2020
Heard from a couple sources that Markey swept East Boston, where Kennedy launched his campaign last year.
— Stephanie Murray (@stephanie_murr) September 2, 2020
Incumbent Senator Ed Markey is the Projected Winner in the Massachusetts Senate Democratic Primary. He will defeat Rep. Joe Kennedy III.#MassachusettsPrimary #MASen #MA01 #MA04 #MA08 pic.twitter.com/HcfaelUp8C
— The Election Center (@ElectionCenter_) September 2, 2020
Jokes flooded twitter…
It was tight and then Markey got a *massive* pile of votes in that sealed the deal — where did this come from? Boston? https://t.co/XrPsBkTmNB
— Caroline McCarthy 🧢 (@caro) September 2, 2020
I’ll admit, I didn’t follow this race much. Too much other stuff going on. But did people really think Kennedy was going to win?
— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) September 2, 2020
there was just no way joe kennedy was going to compete with this level of drip pic.twitter.com/Kim4qepNcL
— Logan Hall (@loganclarkhall) September 2, 2020
joe kennedy will now have to fall back on his family’s money before starting a new career as a lobbyist
— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 2, 2020
Congrats to everyone who cyber bullied Joe Kennedy out of Congress. Bullying works.
— Jack Califano (@jackcalifano) September 2, 2020
Joe Kennedy and I don’t have a lot in common, but we’ve both won the same number of Senate primary races.
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) September 2, 2020
As one veteran reporter pointed out, Markey’s victory is historic because it marks the first time a Kennedy has ever lost a race in their home state of Massachusetts. Family Matriarch Ethel Kennedy – Joe’s grandmother – even hit the campaign trail as a surrogate for her grandson.
When I started following politics in MA many years ago, Ed Markey was the guy who got cold feet running against John Kerry and Jim Shannon for the Senate in 1984, backed out, and had to fight to stay in the House.
Now he’s the guy who beat a Kennedy in MA for the first time,
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) September 2, 2020
In case you needed another reminder: American political dynasties have become intolerable to vast swaths of the electorate.