For those of us who loved and admired Ted Kennedy, Mike Capuano would be a great choice.
Like Ted, Mike is a passionate and joyful warrior for the people and for democracy.
Like Ted, Mike is a man of principle, a man who speaks truth to power, a man who doesn't ask which way the wind is blowing before he casts a vote.
And Like Ted, Mike is becoming a master of strategy, of working the system to make things happen, from a position of principle.
Like Ted, Mike has a great BS detector, and listens to it.
Like Ted, Mike is unafraid to stand against war when war is not truly needed, and when the pack is baying for blood; someone who stands his ground when those around him are panicking and dodging for cover.
Like Ted, Mike sees democracy as meaning everybody in, nobody out. Everyone working together and supporting each other, not some of us trying to secure what we have by keeping others down. Everyone's children and everyone's grandparents equally precious.
Like Ted, Mike is unafraid to stand with Labor, and unafraid to work for the success and growth of business in Massachusetts, from the position of someone who represents and speaks for the working people who elected him.
And like Ted, for Mike none of this a strategy or a calculation; it is straight from the heart, from who he is.
But unlike Ted, Mike is not a child of wealth and privilege. He may have been educated in Ivy League schools, but he is one of us. The torch he carries is not that of one who has descended from the mountain to be among us - it is the flame in the heart of the "ordinary" working people of Massachusetts, longing for opportunity, respect, fair play and dignity for ourselves, for our children and for our children's children.
It is the flame of the American Dream.
Everyone says no one can replace Ted Kennedy. That may indeed be so, but in his way, Mike Capuano could prove to be an even greater Senator. The People's Senator.