Saturday, April 10, 2010


It appears that Congressman John Boccieri is taking a page out of the book of his good friend William J. Healy, II.  When he is dealing with tough issues, he does not put himself out there with the public or tough minded journalists to take "hardball" questions.  Rather he cozies up with the softball players who staff The Repository's editorial board.

The word is out there so much so among Stark County politicians/officeholders that The Rep editors can be had that they "volunteer" to appear before the Stark County's only countywide newspaper's editors.

So now Boccieri wants "guarantees,"  if he is to face the public on his health care vote, to wit: 
[if] “they can guarantee we can get 3,000 people in a room who are going to interact and not be intimidated by the loudest voice in the room. ... I’m not afraid to meet with folks face to face, but I just want to make sure I’m having a dialogue and discussion with my constituents.” (See Boccieri discusses health care vote, The Repository, Robert Wang, April 09, 2010)
 The SCPR does not buy Boccieri's protest that he is willing to take hard questions.  When he first started out with "Congressman on Your Corner,"  The Report was impressed.  He did appear to be willing to put himself "in the line of fire" as he has done many, many times in flying a C-130 in and out of Baghdad Airport as an Air Force Reserve pilot.

But then his political handlers got a hold of him and he no longer appears willing to take on the political tough stuff.  The SCPR believes that his political caution took over when The Report showed how he feigned (via video from an Alliance "Congressman on Your Corner" event) being against Cap and Trade, while The Report is convinced he favored it "secretly" all along.  For the record, the SCPR liked his stance on Cap and Trade.  Just not his "sleight of hand" political manner.  Boccieri should not be gaming the voters as he appears to The Report to be doing.

Ditto for health care.

This time he actually voted to "kill the bill" (the Stupak amendment) months ago.  But then on March 19th he voted for the bill without guess what?  Yes, the Stupak amendment.  He only got the assurance of an Obama executive order.  Something significantly less than Supak.

Again, for the record, the SCPR likes where he ended up in voting yes for the bill.  Just not his "sleight of hand" political manner.  The Report repeats, "Boccier should not be gaming the voters as he appears to The Report to be doing.

So in interviewing with the the softball players who staff The Rep's editorial board, he plays it safe.

Boccieri is clearly a courageous person as amply demonstrated in his military service.  You might even call him a warrior.

But as a politician, he appears more and more that he is showing precious little of his military-esque grit.

If he would, his chances for re-election would be greatly enhanced. 

Boccieri's contradictory way of being could be his political undoing. 

Will John Boccieri ever learn to play to his strength as a person in every aspect of life - including politics?

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