Traditional notions of liberalism and conservatism have eroded so far that Democrats in Massachusetts should have no qualms about supporting a Republican for statewide office, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp said last night at a fundraiser for the Republican party's state treasurer campaign.
Kemp joined a host of state Republican leaders, including gubernatorial candidate William F. Weld '66, who came out to show their support for Republican nominee Joseph Malone '78, the Malone at the Copley Plaza Hotel.
In a speech rife with references to prominent Americans from Abraham Lincoln to Franklin D. Roosevelt '04, Kemp said that the Republicans best represent the interests of Massachusetts voters today.
"We're all Democrats, we're all Republicans, because we're all Americans first," Kemp said.
Kemp also told the crowd of about 700 that President Bush will be traveling to Boston in the next few days to campaign for Weld and other state Republican candidates.
Many of the guests, who paid $50 a piece to attend the fundraiser, carried Malone placards, including some that read, "Democrats for Joe Malone."
Representatives of Local Hotel Worker's Union 26, a traditionally Democratic labor union that includes Harvard University dining hall workers, attended the Malone fundraiser as well.
The union's president, Domenic Bozzotto, gave an endorsement speech before Kemp spoke. He was followed by three union members, all of whom were recently naturalized citizens. They delivered short addresses in Spanish, Chinese and French.
"Joe Malone is the first Republican the union has ever endorsed in the history of the union, and it's over 100 years old," Bozzotto said after Kemp spoke. "I'm a Democrat, but clearly we saw Malone could bring some rhyme and reason to the Treasury office."
When Kemp finished speaking, Malone offered him a Harvard football jacket.
"With all due respect to Harvard, I'd rather have the Local 26 Motel Workers'," Kemp said after attempting unsuccessfully to squeeze into the crimson jacket. Bozzotto complied, giving his own jacket to Kemp.
"Did you ever think you'd give a Republican the shirt off your back?" Local 26 worker Olivette T. Kilroy asked Bozzotto before Malone addressed the crowd.
"Joe has an excellent chance, as does the Republican party," said former senatorial candidate Daniel W. Daly '65 at the reception before the speeches began. "They're on the right side of the issues, and they're right because they represent change."
"We'll get some Crimson in there, one way or another," said Daly, who lost to James W. Rappaport in the Republican primary last week.