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February 19, 2020

The Debate

Joe is a different kind of leader. That's what it boils down to.

On the debate stage last night, Joe was asked what he would do differently than the incumbent Senator he is challenging. It's a fair question in a Democratic primary – where there is going to be lots of agreement on the issues.

But there is disagreement too. Senator Markey's Iraq War vote. Joe's commitment to keeping Super PACs out of the race. Joe's advocacy for structural reforms like ending the filibuster and the electoral college.

But the key difference in this race comes down to how each candidate sees the role of a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Want to understand Joe? Look at how he approaches his current job.

Joe is always back home. He holds open constituent office hours in all 34 cities and towns he represents every term. He shows up at ribbon-cuttings, community health centers, schools, fire stations, small businesses, democratic town committee meetings, and countless places in between. The minute he casts his last vote in DC for the weekend he is on a plane back—to his family, his home and the people he represents.

But he does more than just that.

Joe writes – and passes – really good legislation. From a bill to expand mental health care to low-income children and pregnant women, to legislation to make hearing aids more accessible to a major overhaul of our entire domestic manufacturing sector: Joe is known in the House as someone with the policy chops. Under President Obama AND President Trump—and largely under GOP leadership in the House—Joe has gotten things done.

But he does more than just that.

Joe is a national voice for the Democratic Party. From his headline-making attacks on Trump's attempts to repeal the ACA ("an act of mercy") to his striking critique of American capitalism, Joe has seized some of the most pressing fights of this generation, becoming a national figure for the Party's future. He was chosen by his colleagues to deliver the Democratic response to Donald Trump's first State of the Union. In the 24-7 news frenzy of the House impeachment vote, it was Joe's heartfelt letter to his two kids, read on the floor, that made national news.

But he's done more than just that.

Joe hustles like hell to help Democrats win back the seats, representation, and power they need to actually pass progressive reforms. Texas. West Virginia. Minnesota. Arizona. Joe was in over 20 states last cycle campaigning with new candidates for office and bringing new voters into the fight. He has spent countless hours and raised countless dollars supporting Democrats in key races up and down the ballot. Because he knows that the only way we get bills by Mitch McConnell is to take down Mitch McConnell.

Joe thinks being a Senator is a multi-dimensional job. Every damn day.

Writing a good bill is important but the job doesn't end there. Holding a press conference criticizing Donald Trump is important but the job doesn't end there. Writing a strongly-worded letter to the Administration is important but the job doesn't end there.

This is Joe's kind of leadership. It's different than the incumbent he's up against. And we think that's a good thing for Massachusetts.

Let's fight like hell. Just like Joe.

- Team Kennedy

Posted on February 19, 2020.