"Take any two Massachusetts politicians, stand them side by side," someone once said, "and you'll discover that are likely to have only two things in common: first, they will both possess a secret but endearing love for the 'corruption' and, second, they will be members of the same family."
As election time comes once again to the Commonwealth, Massachusetts voters will soon be sitting in respectful silence while incumbents and contenders level scandalous charges against one another and dynasties marshal into line. Next month they will the Democrats hold their state convention in Springfield and the Republicans in Worcester.
Unruly Political History
September they will participate in state-wide primaries and on Nov. 6 they will march dutifully to the polls to choose a governor, a senator, 12 Congressmen, 280 legislators, and scores of state and local officials.
And this year the electorate can expect to be amused, for the campaigns of 1962 promise to be among the most interesting and animated in the unruly history of Massachusetts politics.
The senatorial race in particular-- more so because of the candidates than the issues--will excite the attention of the state and much of the nation as well. Among the contenders already announced are Edward M. Kennedy '54, younger brother of the President; Edward J. McCormack, nephew of the Speaker of the House; George Cabot Lodge '50, son of the former U.N. Ambassador and senator; H. Stuart Hughes, grandson of former Presidential aspirant and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes; and Laurence Curtis '16, a Boston congressman who is evidently related to no one but is nonetheless the former law clerk of Oliver Wendell Holmes.
McCormack, who has served three terms as Attorney General of Massachusetts and was previously a member of the Boston City Council, is apparently far ahead of opponent Kennedy in the bid for Democratic convention support, but that is by no means the end of the race.
Even if Kennedy should lose the convention he can still enter the September primary and would probably do so. The Kennedys, in the past, have proven to be a virtually unbeatable force and it is doubtful that the family would chance the embarrassment of defeat on home grounds without the assurance that victory is very much within the realm of probability.
George Cabot Lodge is the unquestioned favorite for the Republican nomination, but will face a very steep up-hill battle against the Democratic candidate. Unless Kennedy and McCormack badly scar each other at the convention and in the primary, Lodge can expect to remain a former Assistant Secretary of Labor for some time to come.
Curtis Trails Lodge
Within his own party he is opposed by conservative Curtis, who was recently re-districted out of a congressional seat he has long occupied. Curtis, running as more of a moderate than in the past, has been making some advances in recent weeks, but still trails well behind Lodge.
By far the most interesting candidate in the senate race and the one with the least chance of electoral success is the arch-liberal Hughes. He runs at a time when a dark horse stands a brilliant chance for victory, but unfortunately a darker horse than he could not be found.
Besides being far to the left of the average voter, Hughes is willing to answer questions with a forthrightness peculiar for a candidate for public office and is intent upon campaigning on issues rather than personalities. For these reasons he will be fascinating in the sphere of ideas but probably a failure in the world of practicalities.
In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Gov. John A. Volpe, though as yet unannounced, will unquestionably receive the endorsement of the Republican convention and primary and is now considered the favorite for the general election.
His Democratic opposition is currently divided into several warring camps and shows little promise of reunion before November. Lt. Gov. Edward F. McLaughlin and Endicott "Chubb" Peabody '47, a former member of the Governor's Council, are the most prominent candidates for the Democratic nomination and McLaughlin is much the stronger of the two.
Peabody, who alienated a large seg- ment of the state party in his campaign against Joseph D. Ward in the 1960 elections, does not show much promise of success in the convention and even less in the primary.
Clement A. Riley, currently the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, also seeks the Democratic nomination, but not with much likelihood of victory. There has been some speculation that former Boston Mayor John Hynes, long a popular figure in Massachusetts politics, would eventually enter the race, and if he does so he would be a formidable candidate.
(Ed. Note: With this article the CRIMSON begins its official coverage of the 1962 election. Subsequent articles will include profiles of the major candidates.