Marjorie O. Clapprood, the state's Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, yesterday brought her campaign to where such local campaigns are studied.
At the Kennedy School of Government's brand-new Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Clapprood told an audience of 75 people that, if elected, this year's Democratic ticket will help restore "hope and enthusiasm" to Massachusetts.
While conceding that her running mate Boston University President John R. Silber has a conservative history, Clapprood said that the Democratic ticket is still far more progressive than its Republican counterpart.
"You may not have the best ticket, but you've got to consider the alternative," Clapprood said, referring to Republican gubernatorial nominee William F. Weld '66.
Clapprood said that even though Silber has been a conservative in the past, his views are now well within the Democratic mainstream.
"I was one of the lucky ones that was born a Democrat, but we've got to embrace the converts," Clapprood said.
In addition, Clapprood said the fact that she and Silber still disagree on certain ideological questions has not precluded them from having a favorable working relationship in the three weeks that they have been running mates.
"It was a little uncomfortable the first 12 hours," Clapprood said. "After that, we started working through our problems."
"The only thing we haven't sorted out is who's Plato and who's Socrates," Clapprood quipped.
Besides affirming her support for Silber, Clapprood spent much of her time at the forum reiterating her stances on several social issues such as gay rights and welfare.
Clapprood, who sponsors a gay rights bill which will soon be discussed in the state's legislature, urged gay leaders not to abandon the Democratic Party, charging that Weld is a staunch opponent of gay rights.
"We made it through the primaries and now we're in the World Series, and gay leaders are now deserting the Democratic Party," said Clapprood, whose speech coincided with the national Gay and Lesbian Coming-Out Day. "Don't forfeit the game and give it to the Republicans at the end."
Clapprood cited the beneficial effects of welfare on her own family as an example of why the state should not cut such spending even though its economy is on the downturn.
"I think my family was stereotypical. My father died. My mother lost her job, then the house," Claprood said. "When my family was down there was a ladder for my family, and people tried to make sure there was a level plain for us".
Concerned About Ladders
"I'm concerned that that ladder remains down and that we keep building it up," Clapprood continued. "We need to be good to one another. We can't cut off our noses because of fiscal troubles or our Draconian faces."