A primary stunner in Massachusetts that toppled Rep. John Tierney on Tuesday night has House Democrats breathing a sigh of relief.
Tierney was the definition of a candidate with a lot of baggage.
For years an entrenched incumbent north of Boston, he was nearly ousted in 2012 over a scandal in which his wife pleaded guilty to tax fraud in connection with her brothers' illegal gambling ring. Tierney likely scraped out a victory only because President Obama dragged him over the finish line in solidly blue Massachusetts.
Without the president on the ballot this year, Tierney was in even more danger of losing to the same candidate he nearly defeated two years ago, former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R).
But Tierney won't even be on the ballot in November after losing a four-way Democratic primary to Seth Moulton.
Neither party will publicly rejoice when one of their incumbents loses, but Tierney's loss probably helps Democrats keep his seat.
Tierney loss will get quiet cheers from Dems. Moulton a fresh face in a seat they can’t afford to lose.— Rick Klein (@rickklein) September 10, 2014
Moulton is a cookie-cutter candidate, in a good way. At 35, he's a young Harvard grad and Marine who served four tours of duty in Iraq. In a Democratic district like this one, even the most generic Democrat would stand a better chance against Tisei than the damaged Tierney, but Moulton comes with bonus endorsements from the likes of Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McCrystal.