The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Friday, December 22, 2006


I'm not going to get into the whole PC thing. I celebrate Christmas and some of my friends don't and if I'm looking at you I'll wish you the appropriate thing but on my blog we're an all-inclusive kind of group so Happy December Solstice Celebration of Your Choice and I look forward to hearing what you're thinking in 2007.

There has been an OUTCRY from people all over the country to want to support our latest endeavor, at attempt at representing the citizens of the First Berkshire District. We won't know when the special election is until January, and everyone's chomping at the bit to go out in a blizzard and collect signatures but you'll just have to wait. Eat and drink as much as possible for the next two weeks because life will be VERY busy. Bob and I are perfecting soup recipes so that volunteers will stay warm during winter canvassing parties. Yes, you are allowed to make calls from inside your house. Not to worry.

And for those looking for an address to send their best wishes to, it is:


This was once the P. O. Box of a famous politician so we will see what it's karma holds. Many thanks to the wonderful people at the North Adams P. O. who made opening a P.O. Box such a great experience! I'll never think of the number 616 again without howling with laughter.

The Ware clan is off to Alexandria VA for the holidays. First married Christmas for David and Jenny, and if Jenny's surprise party for her mom is any indication, we will be wined and dined in glorious fashion and a good time will be had by all. We are going "light" on Christmas this year. Some years it's been a joke in the family, but this year we are contributing to CHABHA, appreciating the work Annie has done around the house to make it more liveable and acknowledging that a year in which you run for office is going to be a year when you've already bought yourself all the presents you could use -- things like radio spots and billboards and campaign managers and office space.

It was quite a ride. We're ready to gun the engine again. But starting today at noon, we're taking a deep breath, saying our prayers that we get to and from Virginia safely, and that all our family and friends have a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of real life.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


One of my friends observed yesterday, "One doesn't often get a second chance in life. You may be one of the exceptions."

We'll see.

Yes, I am running for Dan Bosley's seat. The first call from a reporter, the amazing Carrie Saldo, came at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, before I'd even told anyone in my office.
But I had had the opportunity to have a good night's sleep.

And my family even wants me to do it. In fact my son couldn't figure out why I wasn't on the phone to the news media at 10PM on Sunday.

But one of the biggest inspirations was a woman named Deborah Blumer. She died of a heart attack a number of weeks ago. A State Representative from Framingham, she used her position to work for prison reform and a variety of other very unsexy issues in an effort to make the Commonwealth a better place to live and work. I had heard of her, knew she was a "good guy" but didn't know much past that.

As I read about her work, I realized that there are a lot of really good people doing good things, and yet most of them never get recognized. WE realize how terrific Dan is, but the average voter in other parts of the state has probably never heard of him. He's smart, thoughtful, wise and has a great sense of humor to boot. You don't often find that.

The good people on Beacon Hill need allies. Dan will still be there for them, but in another capacity. I want to attempt to have an opportunity to augment their efforts and buckle down to the work that needs to get done, in partnership with someone who will be a most exciting Governor.

And thank you to those who want to sign on early. The Post Office Box number will be forthcoming shortly.

I have a campaign manager, a campaign office, a seasoned corps of volunteers and the first planning meeting scheduled. Now I need the faith, trust and support of the citizens of the First Berkshire District. That's a tall order. I hope I deserve it.

Happy Holidays to one and all!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Western MA, and especially North Berkshire, is very lucky that this bright and capable public service will be steering the economic revitalization of the Commonwealth.

We all KNEW DP was smart......

Oh, and I guess there will be a special election, do ya think?

Friday, December 15, 2006


The name of the book I'm writing is "Don't Get Me Started" and I have the feeling that I'm about to get started....

One almost doesn't know where to begin.

The people who are holding a death watch over Senator Johnson, caring more about who's in charge than whether the man recovers? There's a message from the Universe or a Supreme Being when a country that is divided right down the middle has governance hanging by a brain vessel. We're supposed to get along people. I have now put a moratorium on gloating over the election. We're all in this together.

And then there is the Brouhaha over the inaugural balls. George Bachrach has got it EXACTLY RIGHT in the Globe today. Talk about focusing on the negative and same old same old from the press. Republicans can have inaugural balls and we can't? Do they sell their tickets over the internet for anyone and everyone to come? GIVE ME A BREAK. I'm so mad I could spit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


from blogging, the only kind of vacation I'll get for a while. But you have to admit that it's my blog and I shouldn't feel COMPELLED to write. Besides, my life now is pretty mundane, not that this blog started out as the story of my life. It's original intent was to comment on the political situation. But then I became a candidate, and I was, shall we say, "constrained."

Then, having been defeated, I was, shall we say, "chastened," and it was hard to be honest about all the conflicting emotions swirling around in my brain. But then my team won, and I was, shall we say, "exhuberant." But then it was time for back to work and Medicare D and all the other mundane parts of life.

So the fast forward is that we had an awesome party for the campaign volunteers on November 17th, with lots to celebrate given that the Democrats took everything that wasn't nailed down, both statewide and nationally. (My apologies to my daughter-in-law....I try to keep my glee hidden from the family at times...)Mom came up for Thanksgiving, which at age 91 3/4 is quite the accomplishment, and we had a wonderful time and my friend Bill surprised me with a birthday party on November 20 since my aging process was going to be lost in the shuffle of returning Mom to Philadelphia.

And so I thought the excitement was over. At my age, you can't take too much. And I have a rotten cold so I'm not making a lot of extra effort.

So what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a call from Leary, who said "get on your gear. We need some Selectmen to fill out our list, so come gallop to Boston and help Local Government Transist."

Now, if someone left YOU a message out of the blue asking you to be on a Transition Team Working Group, would you think it was a hoax or what? I returned his call with a page, so the poor guy sees a number pop up and calls and says "To whom am I speaking?" Understandable since he probably had 130 outstanding calls. After saying yes, I then wondered if this was real. But the next day, sure enough, come emails from Mayor Menino's office and today a Fedex package from the Mass Municipal Association. My employers are being very supportive of my great good fortune -- Councils on Aging are part of local government -- and I am a very fortunate person.

So I will say THIS about THAT. The swirlings and postings going around in the Patrickspere this week and last have been quite intense. Especially about education, both higher ed and K-12, but also about openess in government in general. The cynics among us would say "This is exactly what happens when you let the grassroots loose...." (I think that's a mixed metaphor, but I have a cold, so I have a good excuse for not being up to my usual literary standards....)

At the risk of hearing "easy for you to say" I will opine that while no process is perfect, this governor has probably gone farther than anyone else in history in trying to keep everyone in the tent. I think he is well aware of the failures of the first Dukakis administration (and I adore Michael D) when we were just a bit too holier than thou (Michael was also a relatively young man) and we eschewed relationships. Having diverse opinions and connected people involved in not necessarily a bad thing. Just because you aren't a true believer doesn't mean you don't have sound observations to make on complex issues.

And at the risk of being called a right wing nutcase, I think that Deval and Tim and everyone in the Commonwealth who is working to make this the very best kind of society that we can imagine, needs our thoughts and prayers and moral support. I have said repeatedly that my worst fear is, having put DP on a pedestal, the human impulse is to knock him off if he doesn't turn water into wine in one hundred days.

As those of us in healthcare know, change is difficult. It takes dialogue, discussion, dissension and disagreement. But at the end of the day, listening to a variety of views can actually lead to consensus. Who knew?


Thursday, November 09, 2006


I never thought we'd be looking at a Democratic Senate.

It's a great day for America.

I hope John Olver will start smiling.

I fear that the people for whom "it's never enough" will start carping before anyone in authority has time to accomplish anything. I hope I'm wrong.

The Deval Patrick organization has an opportunity to change the face of Masschusetts politics. That is not a pun -- it's a challenge. Let's see if we can live up to his ideals.

Confidential to T O'B: One of the benefits of losing an election is that one can say semi-publicly what others only say behind closed doors. Campaigns take the measure of a person. My life's work has been to assist those without a voice, those who were confused, frustrated, or simply in need of straight talk. I'll continue to be that person. I'll send you the book.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I mean, when you have people BEGGING you to post on your blog, don't you have to meet the public's expectations?

What prompted me to write is a friend's question this afternoon. "Do you think gas prices are going to rise on Wednesday?" An EXCELLENT QUESTION! Here was my answer -- clever I think, but then I'm my own best audience:

yes, but it will depend on who wins how much they rise.....if the R's win both houses, they jump 20cents...if D's win House they jump 10 cents .... if D's win both houses they only jump a nickel and start giving away silverware and glassware again.

I say this as someone who still has a few pieces of silverware and glassware from the 70's....of course that was before the '74 gas crisis. Even and odd....lines down the block....I feel like the Devil in "Damn Yankees" singing "Those Were the Good Old Days..."

We did a standout for Ben Downing in Williamstown late this morning and got a good reception. The talk of course was about politics and someone said that the only bad thing about the election being over on Tuesday was that the '08 election starts in with a vengeance. Ben said he'd already been invited to a fundraiser for someone running for Boston City Council in '07. It never stops. Usually I like that but right now I guess I'm a bit weary. But here's the question....

Who are "we" supporting for Prexy in '08?

Someone has posited that Webb was only put up against Allen to ruin his WH chances. Well, they did a damn good job because the guy's toast, whether he ekes this out or not. Kerry's toast, whether you like it or not. Warner dropped out. He was my putative favorite. I am not a Hillary supporter for complex reasons. So where does that leave me.

Al Gore or Barack Obama.

Make fun of me. That's the truth.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


You're going to have to send me an email to hear all my thoughts about life.....

Friday, October 20, 2006


It seems I have not posted to this blog for way too long. Was it the auto accident where I was rear-ended that took away whatever courage I had? Ennui? Lack of sleep (although sometimes that CONTRIBUTES to blogging, mais non?)

The news on the political front makes you wonder who put the crazy pills in the water. I could comment ON AND ON AND ON about the Foley scandal. I lived in both an "OJ-Free" zone and a "Monica-free" zone during the last two big scandals. Didn't want to know or hear about them. But this one I read all the articles, and this is why.

Here is a person heading the caucus on "Missing and Exploited Children" and he goes and exploits children. Because he was exploited himself. And this is a gay man with a partner who lives the ultimate "don't ask, don't tell" existence. Talk about self-loathing. And then there are all the other people in national Republican politics who apparently don't see any contradiction between they're being gay and working for people who refer to "sodomites" and "bestiality." I mean, I know that there's something to be said for keeping your personal life and work life separate, but last time I looked we were also putting a premium on living an authentic, integrated life, where your values from one arena carried into the other (assuming you had worthwhile values!)

It is also the first weekend of the Williamstown Film Festival. I have to admit I'm not feeling terribly social these days, so I may not make as many events as I have in the past. If there's one thing a political campaign does for you, it's taking the fun out of being in public. I now love solitude, long walks on the beach, sleep and playing computer games. And writing my book. Next weekend lots of friends are joining us, so I'm saving up my sociability for their arrival.

My new focus is TRUST. After venturing out into the wider world, one learns who can be trusted and who can't. It's a worthwhile endeavor and a hard-won lesson. I have always been too trusting. On the one hand, one doesn't want to wall oneself off from the world. But probably a little dose of reality every decade or so is useful.

SPEAKING OF TRUST....I almost forgot to commemorate the anniversary of the Saturday Night Massacre. Ah, those were the good old days, when Rosemary Woods was stretching over the desk showing us how little gremlins could have erased the tapes....Do we have a need for the government almost to come to a halt every quarter century to wake people up?

And so it goes.....

Monday, September 25, 2006


You know, when I was in high school, we made fun of Warren G Harding making up the word "normalcy" rather than using "normality." And now you see "normalcy" everywhere. Standards are falling, but we didn't need a grammarian to tell us that, did we?

You know life is weird when cleaning the bathroom gives you a kick! I have literally done no housework for six months (some would say I haven't done any for 35 years....)and the effects are startling. My apologies to anyone who stayed with us during that period.

So Saturday saw me scrubbing the bathroom and having the best ole time. Now, once that was done, I have to admit that my concentration waned and I never did tackle the refrigerator or anything more than 1/2 the kitchen counter and the coffeemaker. But hey, we don't want to make too quick a transition here. I might get the "bends."

The classic question is "How ARE you?" I think people are waiting for PTSS to set in. Well, maybe I'm in denial, but I'm FINE. I did my best. I have to admit that finally looking at the vote totals from all the communities was a little disconcerting. In some cases, I knew I had never gotten traction in a community, for a variety of reasons. But in other cases, I worked my butt off and didn't see the success I expected.

And then there's my hometown. God bless them every one.

And then there is the GREAT CITY OF NORTH ADAMS. Which is really a tribute to the Abuisi family. God love 'em.

So this a.m. I go back to work. Lots of seniors to help and lots of caregivers to nurture. I think I will have enough on my plate for the next few months.

And my book proposal just went off to the agent.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Three hours until the polls open; 16 until they close. A hell of a ride.

I spent yesterday watching other people work their tails off for me. I just obsessed and listened to rumors and tried to explain the rumors. All for NAUGHT.


Chicken Marbella for dinner cooked by Chef Sammons and then I crashed.

We head off at 6:45 for a latte and a tour of the polls.

I have received so many calls and notes telling me that we ran a good race. It means everything to me.

I certainly have the most incredible volunteer corps ever assembled in Berkshire County politics.

Thank you to ALL of you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


There's a phrase somewhere, perhaps Biblical, about not being a prophet in your own country.

Well, that's how I'm feeling this a.m. about the ENDORSEMENT OF THE SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN. Here is an editorial board that read the press releases, watched the Channel 57 debate, listened to the competition and says that my nine years as a Selectman will serve the people of the First Senate District well. It's as objective view as you can get. They didn't have a dog in the fight and they just looked at the landscape.

To say I'm honored is an understatement. It will certainly be important in the 16 towns outside Berkshire County that have a greater readership of the Republican. And I hope it's an indication to undecided Berkshire County voters that there is a prophet in their midst.

This was great news because yesterday started off with one of the usual idiot letters. I need to shrug stuff like that off better. I am improving, but the lies and misrepresentations "frost my cookies" as one of my friends said last night. But that beginning of the day was MORE than compensated for by a wonderful coffee at the home of my friend Margie Metzger who brought a diverse and interesting group of undecided voters together for a lively discussion. We got some converts and we talked serious issues. Food for the soul.

There are so many good, thoughtful people out there who DO want good government, intelligent choices and an end to cronyism. Hopefully enough of them will turn out on Tuesday to make a statement and the need for a fresh voice in the State Senate.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I achieved a "zen state" about the campaign.

Somewhere in between last night's candidates' forum, which was a bit bizarre, and tonight's, I realized that "jacta alia est" or words to that effect. The die had been cast. I had done everything I could do to try and win. Although there were 13 days to go before the primary, with our radio buy completed we had put the final push on and now could only tweak around the edges, work on GOTV and say our prayers.

As they would say in an Alka Seltzer commercial (OK, so I'm dating myself...) "what a relief it is."

Rumors continue to fly about who's up, who's down, who will be endorsing whom etc. etc. etc. It will continue to be that way until 9/19. But I have given up fretting about it (a possible endorsement of another candidate by someone sort of tangential to the whole process had me in a tizzy last I'm sanguine!) and decided rather to concentrate on the fact that I'm proud of me and this whole damn campaign. People have worked hard. We've focused on issues of importance. We've built a wonderful volunteer network of caring and supportive people who believe in good government. We've had fun and we've made friends. We've given people hope that things can change for the better in the political arena.

This achievement has not been without cost. One of our volunteers dropped dead of a heart attack. Another suffered a subdural hematoma. Three volunteers had offspring who had serious medical problems. Three others had parents in similar situations -- one has already died. It was as if we had been cursed.

But what it's really taught us is that winning isn't everything. It's about doing the right thing, remembering that friends, family, health, sickness etc. are all more important. So the tragedies have given us perspective and understanding. And this campaign really IS a family.

There are, of course, more tales to be told. About the weird forum last night. About the WONDERFUL WEDDING of our son David and his bride Jenny Hansen Ware. About how I collected enough campaign donations at the wedding to finally get Betsy's radio spots on the air. We've done a lot with a little. But it's a good metaphor for government.

But we'll save some of these stories for the next installment. I'm exhausted and ready for sleep. There's a lot to be said for "1/2 the calorie Cookie Dough Hagen Daas" and a Jack Daniels Manhattan as the perfect end to the perfect day.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I think that I might have set a new record for mileage this weekend. The itinerary included Cummington multiple times, Gill (WHERE you say? It's not even in "the district!), Pittsfield, Ashfield. Sunday was unfortunately a WASHOUT....the people who ran the Ethnic Fair in Pittsfield really did a good job of keeping people's spirits up and ignoring the water dripping down!

But the real find of the weekend, besides the fact that there were so many WONDERFUL people at the Cummington Fair, was the OLD CREAMERY GROCERY in Cummington. You have NOT LIVED until you have eaten there! Wild rice salad to die for. Terrific gazpacho. Thai peanut chili (which I believe was vegetarian....) AWESOME! Nice people. Great atmosphere. A MUST STOP!

And then there's Elmer's. What is NOT to like about Elmer's. Got to go back Sunday a.m. and have a quick cup of coffee before church. "How's the campaign going?" the owner asked. IS THAT WONDERFUL? Even on a rainy morning, Elmer's was warm and cozy.

Customer Service. One key to a Western MA economy we can all be proud of.

Off to try on my Mother of the Groom dress. Yes, I do have to marry my firstborn off this weekend. Talk about living parallel lives.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


How to fit this all in when I'm about to hit the road for another fun-filled day on the campaign trail? Three separate trips yesterday to Cummington, for the amazing Cummington Fair, where we have a booth RIGHT BY THE ENTRANCE! Location, location, location!

But truly the best part of yesterday was attending the Grand Opening of "Rotary Park," a handicapped-accessible playground on Springside Avenue in Pittsfield. Seeing the kids (and the adults!) enjoy the park and remembering WHY we're going through this foolishness -- to actually help people and make their lives better -- was truly inspirational and it gave me a renewed commitment to hold my head high and keep working 24/7 to accomplish the goals of this campaign.

Which sometimes can be difficult, when one of the purveyors of Conventional Wisdom grins at you and says "Of course, Opponent X is going to win." "No he's not." I shot back. "I am." If the scene of this exchange were the holding tank of reporters outside a national debate, it would be called "spinning." In this case, it's just the truth. The individuals who are supporting me are very rarely in conversation with the people who spin the Conventional Wisdom.

I liked this note I received from someone whose view of the world and opinion I respect: "And then of course there's just the self fulfilling prophecy aspect of political cowardice (or self-preservation instinct if that's more charitable). Why do you think the polls in so many contests show a high percentage of undecided right up until election day? I maintain that it is not voters evaluating candidates, but sheep waiting to back the apparent winner."

So as they say, if all the people who think I'm the superior candidate would simply have the courage to say "She's the superior candidate. I'm voting for her," then I'd win. Which I will. Because somewhere out there are 7500 people who know what's good for them.

Monday, August 21, 2006


With less than a month to go in the campaign, things are heating up in what, I guess, are predictable ways. We had an exciting but busy weekend. Our friend Molly Heslip got married, and we either fit the wedding and reception into the campaign or vice versa, I'm not sure. But it entailed driving to Otis for the quilt festival on Saturday a.m. and then BACK to Williamstown for the wedding and then to Stockbridge for the reception, a quick jaunt to Tanglewood to soothe our souls and then overnight in Great Barrington.

Where my husband locked the keys in the car. Since it is a new car, he hadn't taken the spare keys out of the little packet in the glove compartment. I am now very grateful to the GBPD for rescuing us in time to make church in Sheffield at 10AM.

WONDERFUL day in Sheffield. We have two amazing volunteers who literally took us everywhere and introduced us to everyone. And if you're into chicken, the American Legion barbeque MAY just be the winner in the competition. Although I'd really have to be eating the Grace Church Dalton chicken AND the Sheffield chicken side by side to do them justice. Three of four major Senate candidates were there and three of four Southern Berkshire Register of Deeds candidates also attended. We were stepping all over one another greeting people. I told the Legion they probably should charge us extra!

I returned home to discover that rumors are abounding. This one is that I'm dropping out of the race. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! While I have my suspicions about who circulates these rumors (I in fact heard that ANOTHER candidate was dropping now I know how that got started!) I have to learn that it is apparently all par for the course and part of the background noise of a campaign. I AM NOT ONLY NOT DROPPING OUT, I AM INCREASINGLY CONFIDENT THAT I'M GOING TO WIN! I am receiving support in unexpected places and realizing that our campaign is cutting through the fog of "same old same old." We're connecting with people and they're realizing that there is a person who, like Deval Patrick, represents the hope that things can change for the better.

Back to the trail. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there we're going to get my kid married off. Pass the rehearsal dinner place cards, please.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


at least when it comes to lawn signs.

We finally got tired of hearing every single person on the planet say "Your ideas on healthcare, divestiture from companies doing business in Sudan and affordable housing are great! But now, about your lawn signs....they're too small...."

So now we have new lawn signs. I hope everyone appreciates that we spent hard-raised campaign dollars on customer service.

Campaign dollars. Don't get me started. Another entry for the real story after the election.

This was the week of debates/forums. We had one in Great Barrington on Tuesday, one in North Adams on Thursday and taped two public TV Channel 57 shows on Friday. I keep trying to promote the idea of saving gas by all of us riding around together but it still hasn't caught on. On the other hand, we all have other commitments. Ben and Nate were off to Bertucci's while I had to get back to Pittsfield right away.
Stopped at the Organic Market, Clover's, on the way north and had a "to die for" natural tuna sandwich and also ran into a friend who took some "Dear Friend" cards so that was all to the good! This will definitely be a stop in the future. Excellent food.

Oh, sorry, I know you want to know how I did in all these forums/debates. I was great, thank you very much. In one of the articles, you could even LEARN that I said cogent things. Another one was the usual "everyone was pleasant." One frustration on Thursday was that the Transcript reporter left before it got interesting.

We are also not going to talk about endorsements. That will go into the "after the campaign" blog. Suffice it to say that no woman I know will be joining N.O.W. (not that they've been out here recruiting; their closest chapter is in Springfield.)

And of course I forgot to tell everyone that I am now AN OFFICIAL FULL-TIME CANDIDATE (with a little time off every once in a while to be the mother of the groom.) Wednesday was my first day of focus and although we're poverty-stricken, we do appreciate having only one schedule per day.

And a note to some of the other bloggers out there. I guess some of you have nothing better to do than to sit around in your pajamas and take pot shots at other campaigns. I think that's sad. Constructive problem-solving is what this country needs. For your information, I DO have time to blog and will as a Senator (women have been multitasking for generations) and I come from poor but humble beginnings -- a one parent family and a large college scholarship. I live in a house with one full bathroom. Middle class. Get over it.

Friday, July 28, 2006


There was a candidate forum last night, and in all modesty I must admit that I was great. I nailed it. We took an unbiased poll over drinks after the event, and two of my best friends, my campaign chair and my husband all agreed that I was terrific.

So I jump out of bed this a.m. and without even going downstairs to read the paper, I look at the website. NOTHING. OK, so the article will be in tomorrow. Full of vim and vigor, we decide to take the dogs to the track. My husband opens the paper. The article is there. And it is balanced. All the candidates got almost the same amount of ink, whether credible or not. All the candidates had a quote about the same length whether it was insightful or not. But the flavor of the evening was completely lost.

Now, all of us who are running have lots of observations about the coverage. "Was your announcement above the fold or below the fold?" "Did your press release make the first page of the Berkshire section or was it inside?" We look for nuance and hidden support/opposition/meaning in every word and placement. So one way you can look at the "fair and balanced" approach is that they're being nice to everyone.

But for those of us who did well, nothing in the article indicated that some candidates were more credible than others, some were more polished than others, some more animated (or too animated) than others. You had to be there. Or, maybe you virtually had to be there. I haven't talked to anyone who watched it on live PCTV. Will the broadcast give the flavor and the nuance or will it be some third version? I remember feeling as a Selectman that people who ONLY saw us on TV had a different opinion than people who were in the room.

The best barometers for me are the people who approach you after the forum and say "You have MY vote!" or "Where do I go to volunteer?" Bless you all. It really is one vote at a time.....

Sunday, July 16, 2006


This campaigning thing sure continues to defy description!

On the one hand, I had two INCREDIBLE things happen this week. Jesse Mermell, the Executive Director of the Mass Women's Political Caucus, came all the way from Boston to Pittsfield to join me for a press conference. We got good press and a good time was had by all. The only downer was that it wasn't on the steps of City Hall; rain rain go away. So we moved it to headquarters. A number of friends travelled a great distance to be there which was MOST wonderful.

Friday night we opened the North Adams office. SEVENTY people showed up from all sorts of was a smashing success, in large part due to Jeanne Driscoll's amazing organizational skills. Wonderful food and a great time was had by all.

Life being what it is, the same day that I'm getting great press and opening and campaign office and speaking (in my role as Elder Services staff member) at Congregation Beth Israel, I'm also being excoriated by the unhappiest resident of Williamstown. Now, everyone in Williamstown knows he's a most unhappy fella who takes his life's problems out on others. But the rest of Berkshire County MAY not know this, although they certainly do if they are the kind of person who reads the Letters to the Editor. He's been doing this for 20 years. He has yet to meet a person or cause he really likes in the long-term. He has dumped on the Youth Center, the 4th of July Parade, the Town Report, motherhood and apple pie.

But all of this goes with the territory.

And have I mentioned the "M" word? I am supposed to be dialing for dollars. I will do almost ANYTHING to put this task off. Even clean the bathroom. I have to begin to learn to suck it up and JUST DO IT! My campaign manager keeps asking me if I have a rich uncle fred who I can borrow tens of thousands from. Uncle Fred, are you listening?

Big week coming up including Jon Sussman's wedding. I'll use the occasion to get advice from former OH State Senator Priscilla Mead, aunt of the groom. But we have both been warned that going off into a corner during the reception and talking about politics is considered VERY declasse.....not to mention that I finally got the info to the printer for the rehearsal dinner for David and Jenny's wedding.

Life in the fast lane....oh, I guess I won't tell you about the woman who almost ended my life on Route 8 Friday night. She almost changed the face of politics in Berkshire County forever. You know who you are brown car!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


in campaigning, and there are bad days. Yesterday was a GOOD day! Four towns, four events and lots of nice people.

I started the day in Becket, and had the wonderful opportunity to meet Bob's wife Brenda and also watch my campaign manager, Joe Engwer, reconnect with people he hadn't seen in ten years or more. Especially when he saw one of his old teachers, that was AMAZING! Frankly, I could have stayed in Becket all day. Terrific people, great sense of community, and I promised I'd be part of a dunking contest next year if elected. Excellent pancakes from the volunteer firefighters.

Saw one of my opponents in Becket, none in Goshen, two in Adams, none in Florida. Anytime you see another candidate, your first reaction is "where has he/she BEEN and where is he/she GOING?" Everyone has a strategy of the communities where they think they can make an impact. The "primo" opportunity is a place where you know people who can take you around and introduce you. Not only do they have to know a lot of people, they can't be shy!

Now that I have literature, I can hand it out. I am also discovering that "If you've seen one woman, you've seen them all!" My female opponent had just sent out a big mailing and so half the people I met thought I was her. I told them I was cuter. Perhaps not true, but what does one say? Depending on the person you're meeting, you try to distinguish yourself from whoever they're mixing you up with in some gracious way.

And we're already out of BUTTONS! We've ALMOST given away 500....Bob left some under the seats at the Steeplecats game the other night. We gathered up as many as we can find for the fundraiser tonight and the replacements will be in this coming week. I know some people just take them for souvenirs. Other friends are DILIGENT about wearing them to the grocery store, etc. My friend Ellen says that it's always a way to start a conversation.

One trap that a candidate has to avoid falling into is believing that the people you and your supporters speak to represent the universe. People will say "Oh everyone I talk to is for you!" Well,'re wearing a "Ware for State Senate" button and they're for me and so they make a comment. The people who are supporting someone else don't come over!

But there are so many great people out there! And so many stories. At least three people I ran into will (hopefully) be positively affected by the new state health insurance program when it clicks into gear in the fall. Health care and education continue to be the issues that everyone is talking about. Both the fiscal implications and the policies.

Trying to kick back today after a long day yesterday. But not grueling...just energizing and lots of fun. AND IF YOU MISSED THE OLD FASHIONED FUDGE IN GOSHEN, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006


So why the heck am I still up? I'm exhausted! I didn't drink coffee after 12 noon. This whole "pace yourself" thing is pretty difficult I must say...

So I'm sitting here reading other people's blogs and I sez to myself, "Self" I sez, "you haven't written in your blog in a very long time. Why is that?"

"Because I'm pacing myself" sez I. "I need to rest up for the Final Battle."

Fourth of July weekend was lots of fund MAINLY because daughter Betsy and her S.O. Andrew Fippinger (AKA "Fipp") were visiting from the West Coast. Who doesn't like driving to Albania at 11PM to meet a flight that was supposed to arrive at 7:30 PM.

The reason for the trip was so that Betsy could help me buy the MOG dress. (If you don't know who the MOG is, you don't have a kid getting married....) But we got to bed at 2:30 AM and had to be up at 9AM to go to church. We usually aren't that obsessive about church, but it was the first time Betsy had been home in six months, and the priest at our church had never met Fipp. So we all dragged ourselves out of bed and I made strawberry crepes as an inducement to get out of bed. (Maybe we should put the recipe on the campaign website....we already have Peter Marchetti's Italian Cookies and are just about to add "Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix." But I digress....

So we did church and then Bean and I booked it to Manchester, VT. PLEASE DO NOT TELL THE RESIDENTS OF SENATE DISTRICT ONE THAT I BOUGHT MY MOG DRESS OUT OF STATE. But one of the "learnings" of the trip was that when you pay women a liveable wage to make you a dress from scratch....GUESS WHAT!? IT AIN'T CHEAP! But I will look gorgeous and now I really DO have to win the election because I need to have places to wear this dress for many years to come. Deval, you better have one Kick Ass Inaugural Ball is all I can say. 'Cause I already have the dress....

Monday I took the day off from work for an attitude adjustment. I was starting to fall into negative thinking patterns, which was not good, especially since almost all the news coming my way has been good. So that's a clue that one needs to kick back. So I hung with Betsy, kissed some babies that belonged to friends of hers and made Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix (see above.) And a nice Chicken Marbella for dinner.

Up early (but not early enough it turned out) to get to the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade. It turns out it takes a LONG TIME to get from the Colonial Theatre to the Senior Center while you're schmoozing and handing out giveaways (pens that say "Margie Ware for Senate" and small bags of "Margie Ware's Campaign Trail Mix" -- see above.) Now I don't want to rat anyone out but the RULES are that candidates who are not elected officials are not supposed to march in the parade. They may campaign before the parade but not interfere with the ability of the viewers to enjoy the spectacle. Why do I know this? Because my campaign chair is the chair guessed it...the Pittsfield 4th of July Parade Committee. So I was a good doobie. As was Ben Downing. As was Matt Kinnaman. I don't believe John Z was there. If you don't see someone's name mentioned, that means that they were NOT good doobies....they "snuck in." And yes, Rinaldo, that means you too. But this is real inside baseball. No one but the other candidates and their "handlers" probably care. But I do have (along with my other good doobie colleauges)the advantage of moral superiority, which might stand me in good stead one of these days.

From the parade to the reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Chapin Rare Books Library on the Williams College campus, which is a family tradition and a wonderful way to celebrate the real meaning of Independence Day. I remember the first year I attended after being elected a Selectman. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the reading because I felt like I was part of a long line of individuals who were trying to preserve democracy.

Off to the airport to say goodbye to the kids much too soon. Yes, sorry, Betsy is six months older than Ben Downing. Back to town for a nap and then on to the Steeple Cats game in North Adams. I missed watching Deval throw out the first pitch at the Dukes game BUT THERE IS A LIMIT TO MY STAMINA! One opponent at the game. Good game. Fun to sit with the K Line group that annouces when there's a strikeout. But since it went 11 innings, I couldn't stay for the fireworks. As luck would have it, it started raining on our way home so the early departure was quite fortuitous.

And so to bed. Had I accomplished anything? Haven't a clue. Did I enjoy myself? Yes, actually. In large part because my wonderful friend Priscilla shepherded me down the parade route and my wonderful husband and friend Ellen Bernstein hung out with me at the game and the hotdogs were good and the Toomajians introduced me to the K Line group so life is good.

More than you wanted to know? Perhaps. But remember, it's MY blog, so I can write about whatever I want. Next time it will be a posting of substance. But we're saving some of the good stuff until next week.....

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Everyone, these days, has an opinion.....I spent this last week being interviewed by endorsing groups. It is a bit of an intimidating experience, because there is one of you and nine or a dozen of them sitting around a table asking you the answers to questions where there's probably a "right" answer but you don't know what it is! Or, you know what it is, but everyone they're interviewing is giving the "right" answer so how do you distinguish yourself? I had four of these interviews face to face in Beantown and one by phone. One group has already reported in and, while they thought I was charming, (I mean, who couldn't love me?) they are backing the candidate with a pre-existing voting record. This actually doesn't surprise me. It may happen again. All I can do is show up and give it my best shot. ON THE OTHER HAND, Blog Comments just rated my blog a FIVE STAR!!!!! Top of the Heap! So take THAT all you other blogger candidates (of which there are few.....) Off to buck up my self-esteem and convince the insiders that I can, believe it or not, win. I am going to win. It's just not the conventional wisdom right now.

Friday, June 16, 2006


In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that my kickoff day could be so much fun! At the beginning of the week, to be perfectly frank, I was beginning to get a knot in my stomach. What if no one showed up? What if it rained all day? I spent Wednesday a.m. getting some advice from two of my most media-savvy friends and they not only gave me good observations about my speech but also put my head into a different psychic space. So hats off first to Judy and Cathy for a job well done! First thing Thursday a.m. I was again putting finishing touches on my remarks.....wonder what the effect is that it now doesn't match what's in the press kits but that's someone else's problem. Get to Spring Street (our first stop) at 8:20 and there doesn't seem to be a soul in sight except the inestimable Joe Engwer. He assures me that numbers of people are sitting over at Tunnel City waiting for the action....and indeed they are. I looked quite cheery in my Senator suit and Kim had brought a red lapel flower with a red white and blue ribbon attached for what Myra would call a "splash of red." We ended up having 40 people on Spring Street and what a wonderful sendoff! The most poignant moment came when my friend Jean Donati said "Nadine would have been SO proud of you!" Nadine Kalt died way to early of lymphoma and was a friend, mentor and Mount Holyoke alum. There were MHC alums around all day and so her presence was felt. I'm not sure the people in each crowd realized how MUCH it meant to me to be able to look out at their faces.....supportive and inspiring. Quick stop at the office for additional editing and on to North Adams Regional Hospital. NARH had been kind enough to let us use the new portico as a backdrop and it was a wonderful event. The most special moment was seeing a dear friend who will be undergoing chemo (at the age of 40 no less....) just emerging from the hospital where she'd had a port put in. She looked gorgeous even though she'd just been through a surgical procedure and it did my heart enormous amounts of good to see her. And one of "my elders" happened to be waiting for her ride home and she grabbed a bunch of buttons to take back to her friends. The stop at an AARP luncheon will be left for the book......lunch at Cafe Reva was delicious -- have you EVER had eggplant fries? They're to die for.....and then on to Stockbridge for a TERRIFIC press conference including Carrie Saldo of WAMC who's been my friend and reporter since her days as a cub on The Transcript. (By the time we got home someone had already heard Carrie's piece on the radio...!) The elders asked great questions and we had a good time. No one believed that my campaign chair, Peter Marchetti, HAD REALLY MADE THE ITALIAN COOKIES WE BROUGHT. They all accused him of stopping at Morningside Bakery. You can imagine how good they were if people thought they were from Morningside, the home of Champagne Cake, the official cake of Elder Services. So we are posting his recipe on the website just to prove he made them! We will also be posting some random photos from the day. And the brochures are in! So when people say "do you have any literature?" (I'm usually deaccessioning my life, so I don't WANT more literature. But some people actually won't take MY WORD for it that I'm wonderful. They want it in print.....) I can actually hand them something! It was hard to pull myself away from Heaton Court but we got up to Pittsfield and did our last press conference right on North Street complete with three of the major league hitters of the Berkshire press corps -- Joel Librizzi, Jack Dew and Larry Kratka. As I said later in my remarks at the party, I've been to dozens of these events......BUT THEYVE NEVER BEEN ABOUT ME! The party at Zucchini's couldn't have been better. The venue had been chosen weeks before Joe joined the campaign. On first hearing the plan, he said "YOU NEVER HAVE YOUR KICKOFF OUTSIDE YOUR HOME BASE!" He said if 50 people showed he'd be thrilled. Try double that number. We had Stockbridge, Mt. Washington, Adams, Pittsfield, Lenox, Lanesborough to name a few and of course a WONDERFUL Williamstown contingent. It will not surprise you that I was in bed by 9PM. Which is why I'm up at 3AM posting to this blog. It was a wonderful moment in time. Would that all my campaign experiences lived up to June 15, 2006! Happy Birthday Uncle Bob...!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Well, you didn't think I was going to post to this blog and NOT mention the WHEN straw poll, did you? Yes, I I am going to enjoy my 15 minutes of fame. There will be setbacks in this campaign and when they happen I will have needed to enjoy the peak moments to get me through the troughs. (Have I mixed enough metaphors here? ) This time the order of candidate answers was varied so we got fewer "me too" answers. I think the most interesting question was "What have you done in your life to reach out to people who were different from you?" Really makes you stop and think, which hopefully is what these sessions do. If we all just repeat our stump speech, none of us will learn much. People are always asking "How is it going?" I tell them it's going well, and I actually believe what I'm telling them! What I recognize is that I get energy from meeting people and experiencing their participation in the process. There really isn't anything like Democracy to make your heart go pitty pat. I also had my first standout with my friend Alice at a local Post Office. It was fun meeting people and, again, some really good questions. The problem, of course, is I tell people what I think, rather than waffling. And so you can see this funny look come over their faces like "that's not what I wanted you to tell me...." and they wander off. People CLAIM they want to hear it from the horse's mouth. And they probably do. But anymore we don't have a tradition of respecting that on some issues, reasonable people will disagree. Question is: Is there a group of voters out there who are willing to cast their vote for a candidate with integrity, who's willing to listen to differences of opinion and who is willing to be honest about where she's standing at the moment? We'll see.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I was thinking of doing two for the Convention and one for my 35th college reunion, but there is a theme that ties them both together. This was a wonderful, if exhausting, weekend, but what a kick! Started off with a telephone interview with Planned Parenthood and then on to a terrific coffee given by Stephanie Beling, MHC '57. Interesting people with good questions and a very supportive feeling in the room. After a dynamite haircut from Susan Burns in Lee, I was off to the Convention. As if I needed to be reminded of how much I love politics, people there kept saying "Margie, aren't you tired?" And at the time I really wasn't. Even though I had schlepped two tons of puzzle books to the convention floor in 110% humidity, the minute I started chatting with the delegation my feet didn't hurt anymore (ok, so I took off my shoes....) and I felt energized. The rumored rules changes didn't materialize but it was interesting to see how many people turned out for Friday night. Special thanks to Rep. Chris Speranzo for the Guinness (sp?) and to Auditor Joe DeNucci for the only food I had all evening. I guess Martha Coakley and Tim Cahill were responsible for the food too, but they had left by the time I got there....or in the case of Martha, we got to connect as she walked out the door with the world's BEST CAMPAIGN MANAGER (other than Joe Engwer...) Dennis Newman. And the amazing Joe Shannon, manager in training. Next day dawned bright and early and breakfast was even more fun because Cam Kerry was staying at our hotel and I got to meet my first lobbyist, who, as it turns out, has mental health as part of her portfolio, a subject in which I am schooled having worked at N Berkshire MH in the 80's. Back over to the Convention hall and things were already hopping. Checking in, signing one's name, making sure that the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed. We had the BEST delegation. Nice people. Many were first time attendees and their enthusiasm and energy did a lot to make the weekend a success. Also saw our former State Rep. Tom Lussier who now lives in DC during the week, fairly close to David Ware and the future Jenny Ware. Mayors Claire Higgins and Michael Bissonnette rounded out the cast of greats and near greats, not to mention Steve Grossman. The moment I knew that the ballots had been certified I booked it out of the DCU Center (sorry Tim had my support but I figured you could get that endorsement on the second ballot without me....) into literally POURING rain to South Hadley and the 35th reunion of the Class of 1971. They had put my posters up in Chapin Auditorium (the parade was cancelled for rain) and hopefully SOME of the audience lived in one of the 48 communities in the BHF district. My classmates were great wanting to hear about the convention and the campaign and I returned home with several hundred dollars in contributions from uncommon women...... Two of the people there were friends from freshman year (now called "first year") in college and said "Margie, we always knew this was what you were meant to do." It literally brought tears to my eyes. It's pretty hard to impress people who were classmates of Pulitzer Prize-winner Wendy Wasserstein....we're an amazing group of people....and so their love and support were all the more appreciated. Back home and collapsing. BUSY WEEK this week with a WHEN forum and standouts and parties.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Memorial Day weekend has come and gone....all sorts of activities including the wonderful Riverfest in Williamstown where I went for a raft ride on the Hoosic. Now I've ridden on rafts in Colorado and Wyoming....but I never went on the dumb is that? I learned a lot from our wonderful guide. The saddest thing was seeing an old town dump from 30 years ago that is now exposed right on the river. It needs to be recapped but the question is, will that be enough? One of the best things about running for office is learning new things, listening to other's opinions and generally trying to keep an open mind. It's hard because the natural inclination is to convince the other person that you're right and that you know everything. And sometimes you're speaking to someone who themselves doesn't have an open mind, and so all you can do is listen. But it behooves one to try and figure out where the wisdom lies.....I am sad to say that today I imposed a new control on this blog. You have to be "registered" to comment. It's not my style, but I came home after a very long day on the campaign trail to find a snide remark awaiting me. I don't mind snide if the person says who he is. Then I can put it in context. But anonymous snide I don't need. This is a difficult enough task, "putting yourself out there" and generally allowing anyone in the world to have an opinion on you, that one doesn't need gratuitous taunts. So sorry everyone. This week is the Democratic State Convention. I've been to tons of them....but never as a candidate.....not sure what to expect in that all the focus will be on governor and lt. gov. but all the Senate candidates will be there trying to grab people's attention too. It should be quite the experience. We will have the famous oval "WARE" window stickers available and a few posters and will generally try to work the crowd. It helped that the Deval Patrick delegates had two meetings this in North County and one in Pittsfield. It's a great group of people that I'm proud to be associated with. It always helps to learn people's names and faces before you get to the hubub of the convention floor. For some people this is a first convention so you want to make sure they have fun and feel part of what is going on. It's democracy in action with a large dose of chaos thrown in. I also just noticed that I missed my own "blogiversary." I began this blog last 16 May so happy versary to me. What a difference a year makes.....

Thursday, May 25, 2006


It's one thing to be known as the "Blogger Candidate." It's another to have time to campaign and blog. Which is probably why very few do it! In reading my last post I realized that I had left out THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY PRESENT POLITICAL LIFE (with the exception of the undying support of my spouse and offspring....) I HAVE A CAMPAIGN MANAGER!!!! It is even cooler than having a big map of one's senate district. Joe Engwer is, simply put, the answer to a prayer. When you have a campaign manager, you call him/her up and ask them to do something....AND THEY DO IT!!!! Now it works both ways...he calls you up a lot and says "remember to do this" or "you have to take care of that" but that's helpful and it sure beats me bugging my husband when he's getting ready for a trial....I am also profoundly lucky that Joe has a WONDERFUL sense of humor and so he can keep me laughing when I need a chuckle. Which brings us to the intrigue. Of course the first aspect of "rumor, intrigue, innuendo and the usual campaign guff" (I'm not allowed to be salty in my speech/humor now that I'm a candidate....) was that a rumor was going around that I was paying Joe five times as much as I was. I WISH I could pay him that much. He's worth it. But no.....this is the children's crusade where we raise $ on a "just in time" the rent was due on the headquarters and VOILA! three of my college friends sent me enough scratch to pay for the rent and the security deposit. The more disturbing aspect of intrigue was the report I received last week while I was taking R & R in DC (for my future daughter-in-law's bridal event which couldn't have been better timed because I needed a break and I was somewhere where no one asked about prescription drug coverage and I didn't have to be a candidate...although I did meet someone at the shower who had a friend in Alford....but I digress.....) was that a "push poll" was being conducted in the District. A push poll is ostensibly a poll to ask voters what candidate they're supporting, but it also contains negative information about many of the other candidates so that the respondent is, perhaps, pushed to make a choice based on "information" received during the question. This poll had negative information on three of us and positive information on a fourth person. One never knows whether there was some third party involved, or the candidate didn't know it was happening or what. But it violates the ethics of the American Assocation of Political Consultants and hopefully it won't happen again. There was some other intrigue that we'll save for the book, but the intrigue is, to be perfectlyhonest, distracting, energy-draining and counterproductive. Hopefully there's just this little flurry and then we can go back to concentrating on a positive message for the voters. And speaking of "campaign trail" my "campaign trail mix" apparently can't be taken into the Convention Center because God forbid someone might eat so much of it that they don't want to purchase overpriced food from the DCU center (you can tell I'm not running for Mayor of Worcester.....) Foiled again!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


or that some of us have been waiting for. The first candidate forum. I wouldn't say we went mano e mano since there probably wasn't a dime's worth of difference among our positions, but it was a good crowd (there may have even been two undecideds in the room, you never know...!) and it was a wonderful warmup to what will be a long and winding road to the nomination. Modesty prevents me from telling how well I did but suffice it to say I've been winnowed in. We sat up on a very crowded stage at the American Legion in Dalton and yours truly was literally "on the edge" (if you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room!) and also had the distinction of getting to go FIRST for the opening and closing remarks and LAST for the one minute answers to the questions. They didn't rotate the one minute answers, so I was ALWAYS last and so the temptation would have been to say "me, too!" but of course the challenge was to reframe the issue each time with a bit different lens. So while the format wasn't perfect, the mental exercise it provided was probably worth it. The other highlight has been the article on the "Blogger Candidate" coming out in the Valley Advocate. The blogosphere is bouncing it around and talking about it. Andrew Varnon did a wonderful job with the piece and so he wins the award this week for MY NEW BEST FRIEND. And, oh yeah, Medicare D closed the open enrollment period on Monday and we're still standing. In fact, I witnessed an interesting phenomenon yesterday. The phone was QUIET. I sort of didn't know what to do.....and then I remembered that there are other people who actually don't have a phone growing out of their ear at work, and can catch up on long forgotten administrative tasks and can plan ahead. Who'd a thunk it? A new life. It may take me some time to adjust.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Bet you didn't know you could get cool maps at the Secretary of State's office. You might not even know that the S of S has a "Western" office in Springfield. It was actually my second visit. I once was there to file a friend's papers. Now I was filing my own. The experience will be part of the memoirs but suffice it to say that I filed signatures and an ethics statement and supposedly I'm ON THE BALLOT. Now, of course, since I'm the WORKING PERSON'S CANDIDATE (I actually work all day and campaign at night and on weekends....) I had to do this in the midst of attending a conference in Springfield....Efficiency at lunchtime as we say.....I also tried to book myself as the keynote speaker for the conference next year with the title of my speech being "Up From The Trenches" with Senator Margaret Johnson Ware. Well, they wanted someone funny, and I am never know. But let's start at the beginning. Yesterday, I worked all day in Pittsfield and then drove to Lenox for a 5:30 meeting with the Lenox DTC. The only good thing about having it at the same time as a kickoff event for one of my opponents was that at least his supporters weren't there. But hardly anyone else was either although the people who were there were quite wonderful. Then on to Becket. GREAT crowd. Appeared with another opponent. On to Lanesborough Town Meeting. I have to admit I left at 9:30 or so when they were on Article 9 and they had 31 more to go. They were actually going to go faster, but since I'd been up since 5:30 it seemed like the right choice. And then the temperature indicator on my car says its overheating on the way home. Except it wasn't.....but that scared me so I needed to change cars today. But the dogs ran away from my husband at the track, so I was late for the above-referenced conference.....I DONT THINK THE OTHER CANDIDATES HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ALL OF THIS!!!! I literally have to have a "staffer" to tell me if my tag is tucked in at the back of my dress and if I have a run in my stocking. And then someone to tell me where my car keys and cell phones (I have to have for work and one for personal...) are. This is HAHD WUUK as Betsy Ware would have said when she was four.....but I'm LOVING IT!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Well, it seems I'm going to have to be a LOT more responsible about this blog. Now one of the State Reps says he's reading it and so I have a responsibility to keep everyone posted. So, how about if we start with this: In Plainfield, they DONT know where the bodies are buried. One of the problems of living in an old New England town is that sometimes records are lost or unreadable or not accurate. And it turns out (please don't quote me because this is NOT an area of my expertise!) that the cemetery records in one of the main cemeteries are inaccurate, and so to compensate for that, they've been burying people on the outer reaches of the real estate just so they don't "run into" anyone. Well, the outer reaches are all filled up and we have to have a moratorium. Anyone willing to pay for a sonar detector should contact the cemetary commissioners. Condo conversions are also being considered. Seriously folks, it was a wonderful afternoon. The people of Plainfield are committed to their community and are willing to sit for an almost inestimable amount of time on not very comfortable furniture to make sure the place is run right. They have hardworking volunteers in town government and Thomas Jefferson would have been proud to be a part of their town meeting. But it is true that at this time, they don't know where the bodies are buried.....Meanwhile in Ashfield, you have to have even more stamina than in Plainfield. You start at 10AM, take a lunch break at 1PM and keep going. In both communities, the fate and future of the Mohawk Regional School district was the main topic of discussion. In both towns, the final votes supporting the schools was not particularly close but the debate before the votes was intense, respectful and impassioned. There were at least as many people present in Ashfield as we get in Williamstown (with the exception of the famous waterline meeting that pulled 1,000+) so that's commendable considering that they have a smaller population. The relatively new Mohawk superintendent, Michael Buonocanti (my apologies if my spelling is off -- especially because Mike's brother is STEVE who is a State Senator..!) had to speak to three town meetings in one day, and had just finished six others within the last week or so. The fact that he could still keep his cool in Plainfield is a tribute to his stamina and commitment to his job. There are no easy answers, but I have a much better handle on the school building/funding issues in these communities than I did on Friday. Now Lenox was a whole different story....and yet it wasn't. The selectmen held onto their health insurance by 15 is a comment on the place that health insurance plays in all our lives that this was a heated (but again respectful) discussion. A few years ago, the costs and availability of health insurance weren't much on people's radar screens. We now have the "haves" and "have nots" and the costs are exhorbitant. It will be interesting to see what effect the new health insurance reform legislation has on these discussions. Will the cities and towns actually be able to control some of their costs? It is a good thing that people who don't live in a town really can't jump up and participate in someone else's town meeting. I am a former selectman and I do health insurance counseling. I had LOTS of thoughts I could have shared. But I sat quietly in my seat and whispered to my neighbor. But I also learned a tremendous amount. Lenox also passed the CPA that still has to appear on the ballot, but I was pleased to see the discussion. And their effort to allow single family residences to add "in law" apartments is commendable in a community where affordable housing is almost nonexistent. One of the reasons that my family moved to MA is that we loved the idea of the traditional New England town meeting and I have yet to be disappointed when watching this time-honored version of democracy in action. I hope no one ever tries to convert THAT to cyberspace!

Friday, April 28, 2006


Well, as it does to many, the days of MargePAC have come to an end. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance gave me "conservative" advice and said that changing the Chair of my PAC from myself to my husband might not cut the mustard. The PAC still had my name on it, and candidates cannot have PACs. So we closed it down yesterday. RIP. Gave the rest of the $ to Deval Patrick so he could get two inches further down the road to victory. It was fun while it lasted. I learned a lot, got wonderful support from good friends and supported terrific candidates. I had three wins and the jury is out on two other candidates (Coakley and Patrick....although I think Martha's closer to the tape than Deval at this point....) I learned to ask people for $, something that will hopefully stand me in good stead in this campaign. As readers know, I have a "thing" about the influence/effect of $ in politics. One of the wonderful things that has happened so far is that I have received unsolicited campaign contributions from people who know how expensive it is to participate in this process. Many of the people were giving the "widow's mite" sums that were far more than their budgets usually allowed. To them and to all my contributors I say "THANK YOU." I will never forget you no matter what the outcome of the election. So we are opening the campaign account today, paying some bills and then starting to solicit and spend dollars. I guess it will have to be a "faith response." I'll have to have faith that "if you build it, they will come." We'll see!!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Well, We're Off and Running

Saturday a.m. was my first experience being in the same room as the other members of the field. One of the things that is true about politics is that people get into it because they want to be loved. It's a bit like junior high. So the first thing I had to learn is that all of the people present are going to talk to all of the candidates -- I talked to all of the candidates -- and so one can't spend one's time wondering if the person who is speaking to one of your opponents loves them more than they love you. They are all assessing, asking questions and also being polite. It is a dance sort of like a mixer....Modesty prevents me from describing in detail how I thought this matchup came off but I felt fine as I left. The backstory will be part of the memoirs. It was a rainy day so that gave me a perfect excuse not to stand outside and get signatures. We are counting them up and we appear to be in good shape but one has awful nightmares about your dog eating the nomination papers or someone spilling coffee on them and invalidating them. So I will drop off more tomorrow to City clerks to get more certified and get one step closer to really being on the ballot.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I suppose that this was one of (or THE) first day that I took a vacation day for campaign purposes. After 12 hours I'm definitely ready for bed but it was a great day. I had the privilege of appearing on a panel about women running for office. I knew that Rep. Ellen Story would be the moderator, but I had no idea that Rep. Mary Rogeness and Mayor Clare Higgins of Northampton would ALSO be in attendance. The other panelist was Rosemary Sandlin who is running for State Rep. from the Agawam district. She had just suffered a devastating fire at her house and it was amazing that she could even show up! I won't go into the details of the panel discussion but hearing these experienced women talk about what got them started made me realize how many other people had to break the ice before I had the guts to proverbially throw my hat in the ring. And to bring things full circle, a former colleague of mine, Peggy Fallon, was in the audience and I didn't even recognize her. Luckily I'm sure that's not because I'm getting older....I'm sure her hair is different or SOMETHING! I spent the first hour in Amherst being interviewed by a reporter from the Valley Advocate. Interestingly, the whole "blogger as candidate" thing does appeal to a number of people. My friend Sally drove me to and from the event which not only gave me a break from driving but also someone else to gauge reactions, observations, etc. We also made a quick stop in Conway and got some good advice on photo ops! After I got home I headed out solo to the Berkshire County Selectman's Association dinner where I did a bit of working the room but mostly catching up with old friends. And then on to the Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield for a Deval Patrick meeting. They have gotten grassroots down to a science. I only hope I can take some lessons from that campaign and parlay them into helping my own efforts. And, as Ben Jonson would say, "and so to bed...." I'm 'zausted!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Berkshire Hampshire Franklin/Pittsfield Williamstown Stockbridge

Four weeks as a candidate and I'm still standing... Peter Larkin is out. We won't go into that because it would take an entire blog entry and in reality that will be part of the memoirs no matter how the election goes. And have I learned a lot. I've had lots of lunches and breakfasts with lots of people. Some are straightforward with me (much appreciated....) Some are more indirect verging on obtuse. That's harder for me because I'm a "what you see is what you get" kind of person. Some people are obviously speaking in code and I'm supposed to discern the truth. Very complex and often below the radar but I guess it's a case of "cultural competency" -- I have to learn to live in their territory/world rather than introducing them to mine. The most fun things are the unexpected, serendipitous happenings that may end up shaping my world profoundly. A chance encounter with someone who's impressed by something I say. Being introduced to a dynamic couple in Franklin County who have "been there, done that" and have lots of wisdom. Finding friends who know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody....Getting a call from a virtual stranger who gives me one of the best ideas of the campaign, gratis. I guess it's no surprise that the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is geography. I do not live in Pittsfield. I work in Pittsfield, but unfortunately, the management won't let me spend the night at the office. It makes me ponder the nature of "belonging" and "community." Are we Western MA or Berkshire County, or North/Central/South County or individual towns/cities? And what does each construct say about our ability to solve problems and work on common solutions? I did get to float my idea about a sci/tech magnet high school in Pittsfield for a group this a.m. and got a few encouraging nods, so that was a plus. The hardest thing is that we are a small community of 160,000 souls. Everyone knows everyone and no one wants to "take sides" or "commit" because they know everyone/owe everyone/love everyone. And some people might pay a price for making a commitment, and who among us is willing to do that over a political race? All I can control is how hard I work, how many people I meet and what ideas I promote. The rest is up to the voters.

Monday, April 10, 2006


In case you didn't realize it, throwing your hat into the ring, when you're a female candidate, is the equivalent of running the gauntlet at a college mixer. OK, so I'm dating myself. No one KNOWS what a college mixer is anymore. Well, in the olden days, when men were men and women were co-eds, those of us who attended women's colleges had to go to mixers to meet the opposite sex. And often, you'd get off a bus in some misbegotten town (I live in one of those towns now and so it's doubly funny!) and in order to get to the facility where the dance was being held you literally had to walk past almost every one of the young men who were attending the event. At the less polite schools, the comments got pretty rough; it is alleged that at one school, if you went to the cafeteria, there would be a number put on your tray by the cashier which indicated the "vote" of the collective dishwashers and scoopers (I guess) about your general outward appearance. Guess what....not much has changed. I want Barney Frank to tell me that he had people telling him not to look rumpled, and Smitty Pignatelli telling me that everyone said he had to gain weight. But somehow I don't think that happened. But it turns out that there is an entire industry devoted to having women candidates "dress for success" and wear "signature pieces of jewelry" not to mention the whole botox/hair color/makeup thing. Now I did hear that General Schwarzkopf and people like that have to use botox because, one the one hand they have to have gravitas and experience, but on the other hand you don't want them to look old and haggard. So they have image consultants. But last time I looked, I wasn't invading Iraq, or even appearing on anything bigger than cable TV so why this is such an issue I really don't know. Suffice it to say that I now have two campaign suits, although I'm trying not to do the total Hillary thing with six black pants suits, and a variety of blouses. And you just might see that signature piece of jewelry. There's not much interest in my ideas on education, workforce development and customer service in government, but ask someone whether I should perm my hair, and you've got a debate going!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


One of the advantages of waking up at 4:30 a.m. is that you can remember to say "Rabbit, Rabbit" as your first spoken words of the month because no one is up at that awful hour to talk to! (Or I suppose I could have called my daughter in LA and see if I could wake her up.....)

And I just realized it's also APRIL FOOLS DAY! I'm not sure that I'm up for either playing any tricks or having any played on me. Life is currently playing enough tricks to last a lifetime. On Friday March 17, when we all heard that our current State Senator, Andrea Nuciforo, Jr., wasn't running for office again, one comment was "It's St. Patrick's Day. Not April Fool's Day. I'm not kidding."

I'm currently off the campaign trail at the moment, playing mom. Hopefully my minions are out collecting signatures at a rapid rate so that when I return, I can simply put my feet up, and smile for the camera and pontificate. HA!

And speaking of cameras, for someone who hates having her picture taken, this will be AGONY. I've already been asked by two media outlets if I have a picture I can email. I do not keep pictures of myself, nor do I send them out. I've been married 35 years. One doesn't need to have a picture posted! But now I'll have to have lots and so my friend Duncan in DC took some pictures yesterday and hopefully ONE of them will come out (you have to take about 100 -- which he did -- the wonders of digital photography -- to get one good one of me....) and I can send it to whoever wants it. But then you have to do the whole brochure thing with probably MORE than one picture. Since our kids are grown and living elsewhere, I suggested to my husband that we have a picture with our two dogs. To show that we're a nukular family. The dogs are underwhelmed by the idea. It means standing still and that's not part of their skill set.

So we "moms" are off to Orange VA today with the bride and groom - to- be to taste food at the Willow Grove Inn and check out B & B's. Hey, it's a job! As I keep telling people. Thank goodness I'm not the mother of the bride. I don't think brides would think it was very funny for your mom to start running for State Senate in the middle of wedding preparations. As it is, my son and future daughter-in-law are being VERY GOOD SPORTS.

Maybe I can get another hour's sleep before we head off. Sleep is an issue these days. I wake up writing speeches, making "call lists" and generally trying to use every moment. But then the body says STOP! and I have to fall asleep. Which I did at 9PM last night. But it means I'm the perfect houseguest. So there are advantages.

All the other candidates have dropped out of the State Senate race because they've seen that there's no possible way to beat me. APRIL FOOLS!

Monday, March 27, 2006


Well, I've survived five percent of the campaign, and I'm still running. I suppose that's some kind of accomplishment. I've been written about in the press and probably talked about behind closed doors. I'm privy to the first, not to the second. Going to the different communities and meeting new people is still the most fun thing about the journey. Yesterday afternoon was Windsor, which sits on top of a mountain and offers some of the best food in the universe. In my work with elders, we always compete with one another to see who gets to do a presentation in Windsor, because they always have great lunches....INCLUDING WINE! Of course, at work we can't drink, and when you're a candidate you really can't drink, but it still makes for a very festive atmosphere! But the best part of the event was the fact that people were encouraged to bring their kids to this Sunday afternoon potluck buffet. They were all ages and some played outside, some sat inside, some were literally babes in arms (opportunity to kiss my SECOND baby of the campaign!) But it was a great example of how you can't teach kids about democracy unless they see adults going to meetings, voting, meeting candidates, working for something they believe in. I met a wonderful young woman who, it turns out, goes to Dartmouth, my son's alma mater, so that was very special. I sometimes wonder whether it makes any difference to someone that age, or younger, when they see a woman running for office. At the moment, that's really the only time I think about the gender thing. Mostly I'm driving in my car, planning, strategizing, brainstorming, organizing my thoughts, and it seems pretty irrelevant what my gender is. I'm running for office. I need to go and earn a living from 9 to 5. Time is precious and every contact counts. The funniest reactions I've gotten are from the volunteers in my program. They all ASSUME I'm going to win and write emails like "Gee, we'll miss you at SHINE, but you'll do a great job!" It doesn't seem to occur to them that I could have my head handed to me either in September or November! Which is why one loves to be in campaigns where the volunteers are wide-eyed, enthusiastic true believers. They will be the people to buoy you up when the going gets tough. And we KNOW the going will get tough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I just got a nice note from Lynne (Left in Lowell) saying "there should be more bloggers in politics."

What an interesting confluence this is.....I started this blog because there was discussion in the editorial pages (it might have been in the blogosphere, but I was uninitiated at that point) about "women's voices" in the media. A college classmate and I were discussing it and I said "yeah, I should go back to writing op-eds and humor pieces....I'm not in elected office anymore and don't have to worry about people not being comfortable with a 'funny' Selectman." She said "Why don't you start a blog? Your voice will be heard outside the boundaries of Berkshire County."

That was less than a year ago. From that first post or two, I "met" this whole group of people, most of whom I've never laid eyes on, and we have debated, discussed, dissed and diced to our hearts' content. It's been glorious. They're smart, savvy and socially conscious -- my kind of people. In the isolation of a Berkshire winter, they provide warmth and sustenance until the crocuses come up.

Imagine my surprise then, on Monday night, when my husband and I are driving to a campaign event in Charlemont (and I can now tell you that it's pronounced like the ch in "church" not like the Sh sound in Charlemagne or Champagne!) and we hear my good friend Carrie Saldo on WAMC (poor kid started out covering Selectman's meetings in Williamstown for the North Adams Transcript and look where she is now! Berkshire Bureau staff on NPR!) that "while Margaret Ware couldn't be reached for comment, a message on her blog stated, "......"

And then some people actually went and looked at my blog! And friends like Michael DiChiara, filling in a colleague returning from vacation, directed her to my blog. It's awesome!

Now, there is only one drawback to this "bloggers in politics" thing. There will now be a certain professiona patina to my musings and pronouncements. The reality of a political campaign, and life in general, is that everything that is public (and even things you don't THINK are public) are grist for the mill. And voters wonder why their elected officials and candidates waffle! So the goal is to maintain the honesty of this vehicle and its ability to ask tough questions and get feedback without feeling like I have to measure my every word for fear it will be misinterpreted. There has to be a certain measure of goodwill in a campaign. Hopefully the other candidates and I will have it among ourselves. Certainly we hope that the voters cut us some slack. Print and broadcast media -- what thinkest thou?

Saturday, March 18, 2006


You may see a change of "voice" in this blog because I'm not a regular person anymore. I'm a candidate.

I'd say "let me be the first to announce my candidacy in the blogosphere" but my friend Bill Densmore scooped me on my own story. He spilled the beans on GreylockNews tonight, having attended a party my husband and his new law partner gave to celebrate their new relationship.

I was sorry to confuse the situation by announcing to the gathered guests that I was running for State Senator, but we have only a few weeks to collect signatures on nomination papers, so one can't be a shrinking violet.

What is this you say? State Senator? Yes, folks, it's true. Our incumbent State Senator, Andrea Nuciforo, announced today that he is not running for re-election. My personal prediction is that the race will attract ten candidates.

It took me thirty seconds to decide.

Unfortunately, that was at 4PM and my husband's party started at 5PM. I called him at 4:45 to let him know his life was about to change. He was very gracious about it....!
I also had to tell my boss I was running and call two friends. So I was late to the party. But candidates are always late, right?

Anyhow, I secured the endorsements of two Republicans and a handful of hometown pals which was very encouraging. Most encouraging was the reaction of my kids, who now live in DC and LA. The primary is a few days after my son's wedding, so we'll have a busy summer.

Politics has been my lifelong passion. It feeds my soul and I have thought a lot about whether I might some day run for higher office. It seemed like a moot point because the higher offices were all held by good friends of mine. ( I should point out that "higher" in this case refers to the fact that I was formerly a Selectman in Williamstown for nine years. ) I enjoyed my time in that role and saw the effects that State decisions had on a small community. I think I have something to contribute from that perspective, as well as from the perspective of a parent, a human services employee, and a concerned citizen.

This will be an interesting race. For the sake of the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin district, I hope the best person wins.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Well, after the 2004 election, I vowed not to spend any $ in a red state. I took a vacation to San Diego (albeit a red part of a blue state!) and licked my wounds.

But of course my son lives in VA, so if we want to go visit, we have to cross the border. After that it's a slippery slope to fun and sun in the winter. First it was a trip to Naples (FL, not Italy...) and Palm Beach. I was visiting Democrats so I thought that that ameliorated things a bit. And besides, I was recovering from advising people on Medicare D, which the R's dreamed up. And my daughter was busy in CA, so I was forced to go to FL....I'm a Democrat and can't afford not to vacation where I don't have friends.

Now we're seeing the Carolinas. And a bit of Georgia. I have yet to see a bumper sticker or lawn sign for a D candidate. If they are Dems, they probably don't advertise it I guess. I did see a Linda Lovelace for Governor as a Republican....could it be the same? Maybe the South is more interesting than I give it credit for.

I can't believe that the entire city of New Orleans didn't decamp to Savannah. What a gorgeous city! And if you want to eat like a queen, go to Alligator Soul. For a real southern experience, there's Mrs. Wilke's, which has twenty dishes on the table family style. Vegetarians could get more than enough to eat! Now we're in Charleston and my husband FINALLY gets to see Ft. Sumter after all these years. He was studying for an antitrust exam the last time we were here and had to eschew tourism.

I'm sure you all want to know how the dogs are doing. Well, in point of fact, they're great. Savannah is a particularly dog-friendly city (drinking fountains with places for dogs and a restaurant on River St. that had out a dog water dish with a slice of lemon!) and Charleston is too. Our friends Virg and Shane live outside the city limits of Asheville in Buncombe (as in "that's pure buncombe") County and they had the run of the hills which pleased them no end. Tomorrow we are on to Richmond, then DC, then home. We have decided not to burn and pillage as we make our way north. We feel it is more appropriate to eat them out of house and home and wear T shirts that say "Free DC" or "1992 Democratic National Convention" as sort of subliminal advertising.

But in the midst of this one observation. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY WHEN YOUNG MEN BURN DOWN CHURCHES AS A "JOKE?" Remember that this happened in "family values" land -- Alabama. I know I will raise the ire of my friends when I say we need to be teaching values and character in the schools but obviously people aren't getting it at home! There was a wonderful op-ed in the USA Today of all things from an AP history teacher at TC Williams H.S. in Alexandria VA (TC is the alma mater of my daughter-in-law to-be, BTW...) about how one of the reasons h.s. students are failing is because many of them have no work ethic. And that parents are enabling this behavior by always agreeing with their kid and not backing up the teacher. It was a bold observation and I commend him for it. And, as a former substitute teacher in a high school NOT in the inner city, I can tell you it resonated with me.

We "progressives" have been remiss about not wanting to speak out about values clarity. Understanding values and ethics is one of the things that keeps a free society free and underpins democracy. It's how you learn it's NOT OK TO STEAL elections.

Or as Fastow said "I thought I was being a team player for Enron." Yeah, right.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


We need to get Cheney to resign before we can impeach W. While some might think that this a remote possibility, and I suppose it is, I offer exhibit H, or whatever letter we're up to by now ........ WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 — Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff told prosecutors that Mr. Cheney had informed him "in an off sort of curiosity sort of fashion" in mid-June 2003 about the identity of the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak case, according to a formerly secret legal opinion, parts of which were made public on Friday." Now, I'm not sure the of the construction of the sentence "in an off sort of curiousity sort of fashion" (perhaps that is part of the newspeak so popular among this Administration?) but I do know that the Dick broke the law.......But are we surprised?

Friday, January 20, 2006


I left town right after the Berkshire Brigades dinner and had a WONDERFUL weekend in our Nation's Capital and in the Cradle of Liberty.

Friday night we dined with my son and his fiancee and her mom, the incredible Judy Hansen. Dinner was in Crystal City at Oyamel which, if you haven't been there, is a MUST SEE! Gorgeous sculpture of butterflies hanging from the ceiling because apparently Oyamel is where the Monarchs go to hang out in the winter. Wonderful tapas and a pomegranate margarita to die for.

I'd say it doesn't get any better, but then on Saturday we had our Gourmet Dinner group, six couples who have been breaking bread together for close to 30 years. While there was no crab imperial, there was wonderful salmon/spinach wrapped in phyllo dough and a chocolate cake that made you want to curl up and die. Sunday in PHL there were fried oysters, keeping the seafood theme, and then wonderful Mandarin cuisine complete with dim sum on Monday for Nano's 91st birthday.

So maybe this is why, with all the eating and drinking and lovefesting, I TOTALLY MISSED THE FACT that Arlen Specter went on TV and said the "I" word.

Because like, yeah, when you violate the Constitution, your oath of office and a few Federal statutues in addition, then the remedy, as the good Senator said, is a "political" one.

Now remember, while we're talking the "I" word, we have to figure out a way to get rid of The Dick first. Showing W the door and ushering in TD is not to be wished for.

I'll be in DC again next week. It's the Families USA Health Action 2006 Conference. The way I feed my soul every year. Do you think something ELSE exciting will happen while I'm there?

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I'm sure there's some "blogger rule" that you have to post on relevant events within so many minutes/hours/days. Well, as you all know, I am NOT about rules, and so I'm finally getting around to telling you all about the wonderful Berkshire Brigades dinner last Thursday. I also left town the next a.m. (which we may or may not cover in a subsequent post...) so you can forgive me if I actually RELAXED for a change!

Four hundred people in one place in Berkshire County constitutes a riot. Especially on a cold day! But it was a love fest of sorts at the ITAM Lodge as virtually every Democratic candidate with opposition appeared to woo our 2% of the statewide vote (although we can be mightier in a primary.) We were also graced by the presence of Middlesex County DA (and Lee/North Adams native AND Williams College '75) Martha Coakley, who, although she has no primary opposition (I think Phil Johnston actually TOLD people they weren't supposed to run against her!) had to good sense to check in with the hometeam, teh people who knew her "when."

Let's start with Secretary of State, because that was the "unlovefest" part of the evening. I was a Cam Kerry supporter, and am sorry that he is not running. That having been said, I personally do not think that John Bonifaz did himself any good that evening. Too over the top and confrontational given the event. What good he DID do was make Bill Galvin a better candidate. Not known for his exciting presentation, Galvin shot right back and got some adrenalin going. Voting rights and ballot access are important questions -- too important to be shrugged off. So at least now we're talking about it.

As everyone who reads this knows, I have had a hard time with the crop of LG candidates, that is, until Tim Murray officially joined the race. And I was not disappointed Thursday night. He did a great job and gave a good presentation. Second place goes to Andrea Silbert who, while she isn't my candidate for LG, would be a good cabinet choice. And the microphone problems actually HELPED Sam Kelly who dealt with it with grace, ease and aplomb. He's become a better speaker.

Then there were the gubernatorial candidates. The Brigades organizers, while not backing a horse in this race, are politically savvy. If Deval Patrick had spoken first, the room would have cleared and the rest of the candidates would have been speaking to their advance people. As it was, Tom Reilly did a good job (another example of opposition improving someone's candidacy) but when DP concluded the evening with ANOTHER FABULOUS PRESENTATION SAYING NEW THINGS I HAD NEVER HEARD BEFORE the spontaneous standing O was a sight to behold. As Wes Flinn has pointed out, the DP partisans were on the feet when he WENT to the podium. By the time Deval finished, only those recovering from hip replacement surgery had failed to rise to their feet! BELIEVE AGAIN. that's the message.

Well, back to Medicare D.....DONT GET ME STARTED!

Friday, January 06, 2006


No, I'm not going to tell you how I spent NYE....well, maybe I should. I worked all day from home trying to enroll the last few people in Medicare D....not the last few people who NEEDED enrolling, but the last few people I could get to before 2005 turned into a pumpkin. Then we opened a bottle of Veuve Cliquot that's been sitting around for a while, got a filet and some shrimp, and collapsed.

But realizing that this is the first post of 2006 I wanted to call your attention to Ellen Goodman's TERRIFIC column today in the Boston Globe entitled "Desperate Ex-Housewives." The immediate focus is on a woman who 25 years ago wrote an op-ed in the Times bemoaning all those career women and making the case for staying home. Her 'update" this year tells about being handed her walking papers by hubby on their 40th anniversary and having an income that may make her eligible for food stamps.

Goodman writes that she's an embedded reporter in the mommy wars, and that, having traded depression for stress, would do the same today. You go, girl! It IS stressful trying to earn a living and raise kids, even in a two-income, two-parent household, and my friends who did it, and do it, on their own are even more zonkers. But they know that there's only ONE bossman to worry about, not two. And even in intact marriages, it's easier to find your voice when you at least pay the grocery bill. The way to a man's heart and all that....

I hope that the Gen X & Y 'ers will remember that when they think that a Supreme Court nomination can't have an impact on their lives. It has, and it will and it could.

Happy New Year.