My Slate colleagues and our pals at the Washington Post are doing fantastic work covering the facts of the Boston Marathon bombings. I cover politics, though, and I’ve got to be gauche: How will this affect politics in Massachusetts? Two weeks from today, Democratic and Republican voters will choose their candidates for a summer special election. (The winner replaces now-Secretary of State John Kerry, until the November 2014 election.) The Democratic front-runner has been Rep. Ed Markey, who’s put 15 or 20 points between himself and Rep. Stephen Lynch. But Lynch represents Boston, and has stories like this to tell.
If you’re a low-information Massachusetts voter, didn’t you just learn a completely positive and compelling fact about Stephen Lynch? You probably know more about that than his voting record, which up to now has been holding him back. (He opposed the Affordable Care Act.)
The Republican primary doesn’t really have a front-runner since Scott Brown decided to pass on it. (He may take his talents to New Hampshire.) But some of Mitt Romney’s veteran consultants signed up with Gabriel Gomez, a novice Navy SEAL whose main political experience consisted of browbeating President Obama over his use of the OBL operation in campaign blather. That’s what makes this ironic: Gomez ran yesterday’s marathon, finishing it shortly before the bombing.