When a person of American historical significance visits Peabody for any event, it’s the obligation of our elected officials to do what they can to make an appearance, and represent our community.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt got this yesterday. So too did Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, and Ward 3 Councilor Demo Moutsoulas.
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the Norman Schwarzkopf or even the Dwight Eisenhower of his generation of American military leadership, yesterday spoke to veterans at the Peabody Elks, and it was definitely noticeable how many Peabody politicos were missing in action.
After all, Peabody politicians have a reputation for being invasive creatures, who would show up at yard sale, if they knew there would be lots of potential voters to preen before.
So, why was it that the Mayor and just two city councilors were in attendance for McChrystal, whose last assignment was as commander of US forces in Afghanistan?
Well, for some of our elected officials it might have been a conflict, such as work or a summer vacation.
But I also wonder if political cowardice had anything to do with it.
After all, McChrystal, an American war hero, who could someday be presidential timber, was not only there to speak with veterans about his experiences.
He was at the Elks to endorse a fellow American hero and former Marine, Democratic Congressional candidate Seth Moulton.
Moulton is boldly launching a credible challenge to long-time Congressman John Tierney in the Sept. 9th primary, and the last thing the “fearless” men and woman who serve us in Peabody want to do is tick off the powerful sitting MOC.
Mayor Bettencourt had no such problem. Ted’s not endorsing Moulton, but he recognized that it was proper, as Peabody’s chief executive, to greet McChrystal, the man who led the truly brave American men and women keeping us safe by fighting the War on Terror.
Moutsoulous, who is running for State Rep, was there as a candidate, and that was smart, considering how many Peabody veterans were in the room. But he also gets credit for representing as a Peabody City Councilor.
Sinewitz, meanwhile, showed the most political courage. He not only introduced Moulton to the crowd yesterday, but he is also endorsing the candidate, who would represent a new, independent generation of pragmatic Democrats should he upset the famously, far left, highly partisan Tierney in five weeks.
But politics aside, Bettencourt, Moutsoulas, and Sinewitz all did the right thing yesterday. They represented the City of Peabody when a man of American historical significance came to town.
I wonder where the rest of Peabody’s politicos were hiding out. Maybe they were out bar-tending, or eating some ice cream?
Or, perhaps … they just went fishing?