Politics

Stephen Lynch downplays speculation that he could join Joe Biden’s administration

"We all don't have to join the cabinet in order to be helpful to President Biden."

Rep. Stephen Lynch during an event last month in Boston. Nathan Klima for The Boston Globe

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As much speculation as there may be about various Massachusetts political figures joining President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, Rep. Stephen Lynch says he isn’t interested.

During an interview Sunday with CBS Boston’s Jon Keller, the Massachusetts congressman insisted he already has the job he wants (not withstanding his 2013 run for Senate).

“I don’t expect to be offered a position,” the South Boston Democrat said. “I think I can be very helpful to the Biden administration and the Harris administration as a member of Congress.”

Lynch, a self-described moderate, was the only member of the federal Massachusetts delegation to endorse Biden before the former vice president effectively clinched the Democratic nomination. Recent articles in The Boston Globe and Politico have floated Lynch as a potential candidate for an administration post, citing the nine-term congressman’s experience on labor issues and foreign policy — and even his outspoken scrutiny of the recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service.

However, the speculation around Lynch hadn’t been as active as it has been for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who reportedly wanted to be treasury secretary, or Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who has several large unions pushing him as a candidate for labor secretary.

In his interview Sunday, Lynch said he could play a part on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to pass a transportation bill during Biden’s administration.

“We all don’t have to join the cabinet in order to be helpful to President Biden, and I’m happy to do the job that I’m doing right now,” he said.

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Lynch noted that the House Democrats lost “quite a few moderates” in the recent election, as Republicans chipped into the Democratic majority with wins in several swing districts. Lynch, who defeated a challenger from the left in his own primary, also weighed in on the debate between the moderate and left-leaning wings of the Democratic Party over the extent to which more radical-sounding slogans contributed to those losses.

“It did hurt us when you have a certain segment of our party chatting ‘defund the police’ and pushing a more socialist-type agenda,” Lynch said.

While he reiterated that Democrats were a “big-tent” party, Lynch said voters in the “center” were the ones who determine which party has a majority and that it was important not to alienate those groups, even if he admitted that his view may be somewhat “self-serving” as a moderate himself.

“The message that works for some Democrats is lethal in other parts of the country,” Lynch said.

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