March 28, 2010

HOW WOULD MA ELECTING A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR BE AN UPSET?:

The Next Scott Brown?: The health-care win has lifted Democratic hopes for the midterms. But in Massachusetts, they're worried a WASPy wonk running for governor could score another GOP upset. (Samuel P. Jacobs, 3/28/10, Daily Beast)

There’s a palpable sense of desperation around Beacon Hill. The incumbent governor, Deval Patrick, has presided over a series of budget shortfalls, leading his poll numbers to plummet. His Democratic colleagues aren’t helping much. Three straight state house speakers have faced legal investigations, giving the Democrats the stink of scandal that’s proving hard to scrub off; Patrick may be forced to testify in one of the probes this fall, just as his campaign for re-election shifts into high gear. A pair of other Democratic officials are being investigated by the federal government for bribery. Even demographics are conspiring against the Democrats, as the 2010 is likely to take away one of the state’s 10 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The chief beneficiary of all this turmoil? Charlie Baker, a rangey Republican charmer with an impressive resume and a background in health care, who could just become the next Scott Brown. [...]

On paper, Baker doesn’t have much in common with the pickup-truck driving, underwear-modeling populist sensation. Baker’s a WASP think-tank veteran whose father worked in the Nixon and Reagan administrations. Where Brown prizes his GMC Canyon pickup, Baker prefers a minivan. The Baker camp knows it won’t be a simple matter to bottle Brown’s magic for a win this November. They also know the momentum from Brown’s shocking upset will help.

A Baker win would be felt far beyond the Bay State. Yes, all politics is local, as a Massachusetts sage once said, and Patrick’s sinking numbers have next to nothing to do with Washington politics (see a fine summary here). But a repudiation of Patrick, whose message of uplift was a blueprint for Barack Obama’s, would be felt in the West Wing. And Republicans will surely tout an upset as a sign of things to come for the president in 2012.


After a long and successful run of GOP governors, the Bay State tried out a Democrat. The results speak for themselves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 28, 2010 12:49 PM
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