Hardball with Chris Matthews, 4/26/13, 5:58 PM ET

Matthews: Mass. has a chance to carry on a ‘solid, noble progressive tradition’

Chris Matthews shares his thoughts on the upcoming special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Massachusetts has a chance to carry on a solid, noble progressive tradition

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

Massachusetts has a chance next week to fill the seat of Senator Edward Kennedy. It’s quite an opportunity. After all, he was quite a senator.

I remember his older brother Jack who held that seat back in the 1950s. He was asked to help select the five greatest senators in history. Had Jack been able to look forward in time he would have included his younger brother.

And this is a bi-partisan assessment. Ask the conservatives in the Senate who they were most proud to work with on a piece of legislation.

Fortunately, Massachusetts has a solid chance to continue the great tradition of the Kennedy brothers. Edward Markey, the dean of the delegation is running in the primary and most voters know where he stands on the issues. He’s where Ted Kennedy was on a woman’s right to choose, where Kennedy was on his career-long mission: the need for fair, decent, and affordable health care. He’s alone in the field on these crucial matters and it should count most with voters.

Markey is also one heck of a legislator—on the environment especially, on safe and clean energy. This is going to be a great election up there—an opportunity to carry on a solid, noble progressive tradition in the Bay State.

Massachusetts has a chance to carry on a solid, noble progressive tradition

Updated