Delegating Denver #25 of 56: Massachusetts

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Total Number of Delegates: 121 Pledged: 93 Unpledged: 28

How to Recognize a Massachusetts Delegate: Massholes. It's the name that everyone from Maine to Maryland loves to call the residents of Massachusetts. Oh, sure, it's funny, but it's not entirely true. Well, it's true on weekdays during rush hours in Boston and every day during the month of August along U.S. Highway 1 in Maine, where everyone from Massachusetts is vacationing. Don't take their hoots and horns personally — Bay Staters just love to provoke people! Massachusetts is the most liberal state in the U.S., and it's just natural for its residents to favor their maximum personal liberty by reforming the behaviors of everyone else, from those in their immediate vicinity to the nation at large. They are easy to recognize because they like their clothes like they like their politicians: tight. Bay Staters have never let reality interfere with their idealized version of themselves or America. During the convention, look for Massachusetts delegates to be wearing their tiny-bit-too-snug 2007 World Series Championship T-shirts. It is as much a display of pride as it is an effort to provoke the locals.

Famous Massachusettsans: Artists Winslow Homer and James Whistler; boxer Rocky Marciano; industry titan Jack Welch, actors Steve Carell, Matt Damon, Matt LeBlanc, Leonard Nimoy and Matthew Perry; actresses Jane Curtin, BetteDavis, Olympia Dukakis, Agnes Moorehead, Amy Poehler and Uma Thurman; writers Horatio Alger, Emily Dickenson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dr. Seuss, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Sylvia Plath; surf guitarist Dick Dale; Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry; White Zombie lead singer Rob Zombie; and New Kids on the Block singers Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood.

Famous Massachusetts Democrats: 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy; Senator Robert F. Kennedy; Senator Edward Kennedy; 1988 presidential candidate Michael "Tank" Dukakis; 2004 presidential candidate John "Swift Boat" Kerry.

Famous Massachusettsans With Denver Connections: Indian activist/writer Helen Hunt Jackson; beatnik/writer Jack Kerouac; actor/writer Kurt Russell (Aspen); Denver Broncos center Tom Nalen; CBS4 weekend news anchor Alan Gionet.

State Nickname: The Bay State Population: 6,437,193 Racial Distribution: 79% white, 7% black, 5% Asian, 1% Native American 8% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $39,815 Unemployment: 5%


Most Massachusettsan Denver Neighborhood: University

Most Massachusettsan Bar: Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub 2030 Larimer Street While only 12% of the U.S. population claims to be Irish, 24% of Massachusetts is of Irish ancestry. This is the most Irish place in Denver to say "Cheers!"

Most Massachusettsan Restaurant: Steuben's 523 East 17th Avenue Spaghetti, meatballs and lobster rolls on the same menu, and everything is prepared nostalgically for Massachusetts visitors by Massachusetts transplants.

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Most Massachusettsan Day Trip: Logan County Courthouse, Sterling, Colorado For the first 350 years of our history, Massachusetts set the standard for American educational and political thought. Not anymore. Today's public-school students, who are 97% less Mayflower-descendent, have little interest in pilgrims, tea parties or Paul Revere. And today's pundits compare the "liberal" nature of Massachusetts public policy to mental illness. What better way for Massachusetts delegates to see the change in America's political landscape than with a drive through Musgrave country? Interstate 76 north out of Denver runs right through Fort Morgan, home to Representative Marilyn Musgrave, America's most anti-Massachusetts member of Congress. There is nothing to fear out here in Colorado’s fourth congressional district; these Coloradans are the friendliest residents in the state. Bay State delegates will quickly learn that the scary politics of the area add up to little more than a fear of God and his smiting of generous farm subsidies. The highlight of the trip is a visit to the Logan County Courthouse in Sterling. In the hallways of the main floor, local history is interpreted in the lacquer-happy paintings of outsider artist Eugene Carara. Collectively, the pictures illustrate the people's progress through perseverance in the face of prairie hardships. For Massachusetts delegates, these historic vignettes will be like taking a look back into their own future.

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Sean Cronin