Schaper: Fisher, Baker, and Democratic Takers
Friday, January 31, 2014
The Massachusetts Governor’s race is getting interesting.
First of all, “Mister Governor” Deval Patrick, who replaced Mitt “ObamaCare Blueprint” Romney in 2006, and again in 2010, could gave run again. But run he swore not to do so. One of the few good decisions which has come out of Beacon Hill, so far.
The Democratic slate has some interesting names, including a politically seasoned Attorney General, the state Treasurer, an Obama official, and a former columnist for the Boston Globe.
The Democratic Candidates
The Attorney General, Martha Coakley would have remained cloaked in obscurity, except for near-coronation for the US Senate seated vacated by the deceased Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy. Her presumption paved the way for a then unknown state senator from Wrentham, Scott P. Brown, to roar from double-digit “don’t even bother running” to taking The People’s Seat by five points in special election January 2010. Brown reached out to voters, while Coakley and the Democratic machine had no idea what she was doing.
Still, Coakley manifested some grace in offering to prosecute the camp counselor who had molested Brown when he was a child, and she declined to run for the US Senate last year. Markey may have won in 2013, but recent polls against Congress and Markey suggest that he faces another uphill battle. Now running for the corner office, Coakley has polled ahead in some recent readings, and the state senate president has also endorsed her.
What about this Grossman guy? The state treasurer wants to move up in Beacon Hill. Before politics, he was CEO of a self-styled investment firm. He may have worked wonders in the private sector, but what business does he have staying in Beacon Hill? Massachusetts has burned out as “Hell for business”. For all the taxes and taking from the workers, it appears that Grossman has done nothing (nothing!) but fiddle while the Commonwealth burns away the taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.
The other Democratic candidates include Donald Berwick, a pediatrician and former Obama administration. He helped build up the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, yet the same legislation he proudly endorses may tear down his election chances (along with the rest of his Democratic competitors).
One independent, Evan Falchuk, claims that a growing army of volunteers are joining his cause. Reaching out to the largest part affiliation in the Commonwealth under the Banner of United Independents Party, Falchuk has offered a position of fiscally moderate and socially liberal, and might peel away enough votes from the Democratic front-runner during the general election. Another Ralph Nader in the works to give the GOP a Massachusetts state-wide victory?
GOP Standard Bearers
And what about the Massachusetts GOP? On the Republican side, who can ignore the possible names who turned down a 2014 gubernatorial run? State and US Senator Brown ran twice in two years, lost by five points (the majority liked the guy, but they stayed true to their blue affiliation, nonetheless). He said “No!” to running against Markey for a third try for US Senate, then turned down the Governor’s race. Now in New Hampshire, Brown faced a rocky reception from the Granite State Republicans, who resent a carpet-bagger attempt by Brown to find a more libertarian constituency for another potential US Senate run.
Then there’s real estate agent, State Senate Minority Leader, and Lieutenant Governor/Congressional candidate Richard Tisei. He turned down running for US Senate and governor, but is prepping for another shake-down take-down against John Tierney in MA-6. Good luck, Richard! And of course, let us give a minor round of applause for Navy Seal Gabriel Gomez, who had enough humility to decline running for Governor as well as a rematch against Markey.
So, who in the Massachusetts GOP is running to follow in the footsteps of Bradford, Coolidge and (kind of) Mitt Romney?
A health care executive turned venture capitalist (Romney again?), Charlie Baker is hoping to raise the dough and get his second run for Beacon Hill cooking. He ran in 2010, yet everyone knows how hard it is to take down an incumbent, even one like “Mister Governor” Patrick. Baker opposes the forever gas tax. He outraised other challengers in end of the year campaign reports, too. He is also socially liberal, which turns off conservatives and TEA Party patriots, but he has run statewide campaigns before, as well as served in public office. A little experience goes a long way, Massachusetts!
Enter Mark Fisher, the TEA Party favorite. At least the closed primaries will permit the consensus candidate to win. He wants to repeal the tolls along the Massachusetts turnpike, and he wants to stem the tide of illegal immigration. How? Not with stronger enforcement, but fewer benefits. Finally, someone gets it: immigration is not bad, as long as migrants are seeking work, not welfare. Fisher’s open letter to the Commonwealth has blasted the Democratic majority for creating the state’s problems, but not owning up to them. Instead of “Ask not what your country can do for you,” liberal Bay State Dems are declaring: “What can’t your country do for you?”
What will the next Massachusetts Governor do? Hopefully, change for the better!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
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Only one problem. I'm not writing about 2014. I'm writing about 2010. And while the Republican tide swept over nearly the entire country, it stopped dead at the border of Massachusetts.