There is nothing that entrenched politicians hate more than to have to spend their weekends asking peons back in the district to vote for them, especially if that district includes places like New Bedford and Fall River. But there was ol' Ed Markey on Saturday, glad-handing at a coffee shop in Fall River. Imagine the indignity of it all.

Markey has been in Congress since I was in high school. Part of his survival strategy has been to remain invisible, except of course at election time. It also helps that even during this time of great awaking in our country, there are still those in this mythical land some call SouthCoast who haven't gotten the word yet that liberalism is a scam and who continue to attach worship status to anything with a "D" next to it. That's Fall River.

Normally, Ed Markey wouldn't need to shill for votes in Fall River. No Democrat ever has to. But this time its a bit different for Markey. He is old and he has a young, good looking opponent with tons of money and the Kennedy name. Young Joe Kennedy represents Fall River in Congress. This time Markey has to work for votes by actually showing up and asking for them.

Ed Markey, like most Democrats, has taken this area for granted for years. The region is no better for its devotion to the Democrat Party but blind loyalty is tough to beat. It doesn't help that the Republican Party has all but abandoned this area as a lost cause providing voters with no other options.

Markey will be back often before the primary election. He has to. Hopefully, during one of those visits, someone in the crowd or in the media will question Markey about what exactly he has done for the region and why he deserves another term.

Don't hold your breath waiting. After all, he's a Democrat and that's enough in these parts.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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