Friday, November 13, 2009

The kiss of death

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning today to endorse US Representative Michael E. Capuano, a key coup in a race against Martha Coakley, who is seeking to become the first female US senator from Massachusetts.

Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, will formally endorse Capuano at the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston.

“Mike’s proven record of accomplishment in the House is clear evidence that he will be an outstanding advocate for the people of Massachusetts in the tradition of the late Senator Kennedy,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The endorsement in some ways is to be expected -- Capuano is an influential member of Pelosi’s leadership team, and is the only congressional member in the race. But it also provides a key boost in a campaign where Coakley has energized women and has criticized a health care plan that Pelosi helped engineer.

"Mike Capuano not only cast a courageous vote for this historic legislation, but was a constructive force in improving this bill and moving it to the Senate," Pelosi said. "Mike Capuano has a proven record of standing up for progressive values and what he believes is right. I am proud to endorse Mike Capuano for US Senate."

Capuano and Coakley squabbled earlier this week over whether health care reform should include a provision that limits coverage of abortions. Capuano said he had to vote for a legislation that included the abortion restriction in order to keep health care alive. Coakley and Capuano have both said they would vote against a final package if that amendment is not removed.

Coakley has been endorsed by most of the politically active women in Massachusetts, including Senate President Therese Murray.