1. A locking pin inserted in the end of a shaft, like in an axle, to prevent a wheel from falling off.
2. A person or thing regarded as an essential or coordinating element: Increased taxes are the linchpin of the Governor's budget proposal.
In my research for this blog, I was surprised to learn that lynchpin is also an accepted spelling of this mechanical item and concept. How lucky for Southie's own Congressman Stephen Lynch. He's probably very familiar with the term from his old union iron working days. He's also very familiar with the concept of union support. Without the linchpin of union backing, Stephen Lynch will remain Southie's representative in congress. That's all you need to know.
Don't waste your time begging Lynch for an answer as to whether or not he'll run for the senate seat that's soon to be vacated by soon to be Secretary of State John Kerry. Let's face it, on two separate occasions, live on the air, he answered, "I'm thinking about it" when my colleague Mark Ockerbloom asked him about running for senate. We can all agree he wants to run. The question is can he beat the DNC's anointed one, Congressman Ed Markey. The answer lies in the linchpin…unions.
Despite a recent falling out, Lynch still has better relations with organized labor than Markey. The Southie democrat is one of them, a blood brother. The last time Markey had dirt on his hands was when he helped his wife plant bulbs in the perennial garden outside their Maryland home. Blood is thicker than daffodils. However, Washington democrats have decided that Markey gets the nod to take on Scott Brown or whoever else the republicans offer up. That cleared everybody from the field except Lynch. Even Congressman John Capo-di-tutti-uano curtailed his threat of a bloody street fight.
Over the next few days, Lynch will say he's still trying to make up his mind. In fact, he'll be trying to galvanize his friends in labor to go rogue against the party bosses. Will they? The smart money is betting no. It's more likely that union leadership will stay out of the democratic primary. If Lynch still runs, he'll be up against party loyalists who will follow the DNC's lead and give their nod to Markey.
There is one person who's hoping that Lynch forces a democratic primary: Scott Brown. A bloody battle between democrats is just the linchpin he needs for a return to the senate.