Tierney admits it can be awkward walking into a restaurant or coffee shop, especially when he is accompanied by an entourage as he is today with Driscoll, Salem state Rep. John Keenan, his own campaign manager and communications director, as well as a Salem News reporter and a reporter and photographer from Roll Call, an online Washington, D.C., newspaper. But these random visits afford the congressman the chance to meet with voters firsthand to hear their ideas, concerns and struggles, and, of course, to ask for their vote.
Some of those he stops are happy to see him. Others are more interested in talking to Driscoll or Keenan, who are both popular in Salem. Some voters are polite, but clearly have no interest in talking to Tierney. No one mentions the scandal involving his wife.
The race with Tisei is a dead heat with less than two weeks to go before the election.
“Want to go get your cards read?” Driscoll asks Tierney as they stroll down Essex Street, awash with Halloween spirit.
But the eight-term Congressman doesn’t need tarot cards to tell him where he stands at this point.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve got a 50-50 chance these days,” he says with a grin.