In her recent Globe column (“Nothing Pragmatic about Charlie Baker’s Death Penalty Gambit”) Renee Loth writes, “[f]or someone who has based his entire political persona on a non-ideological, pragmatic approach to government, Governor Charlie Baker’s recent flirtation with reinstating the death penalty is a distressing swerve.” I respectfully disagree.
American politics in 2018 is a hot mess. The Age of Trump will almost certainly be understood as a chaotic and terribly destructive time in American politics when our institutions were strained to the limit and democratic norms of conduct were shattered. Not so in Massachusetts, however.
The drop of the Bay State from 1st to 8th in the U.S. News rankings will undoubtedly complicate Charlie Baker’s re-election effort, but it isn’t likely to cause the odds makers to move the state’s gubernatorial race from a “likely” re-election to a “toss up.” Nonetheless, it is clearly an unexpected gift to the three folks competing to be Baker’s general election foe.There is a clear lesson here to be learned (or remembered), of course...
My advice to the Guv is to throw a “Flake.” Overnight the biggest personal check the law allows to Doug Jones ASAP. If Jones pulls it out, Baker will be able to say that he has, in fact, “put his money where his mouth is” and will continue to oppose unfit candidates regardless of their party label.
There are a lot more unknowns about the 2018 Massachusetts governor’s race today than there were a month ago. The pundits, pollsters, insiders, and blogging profs can be forgiven for attempting to apply conventional wisdom to this popular parlor game, but when it comes to the potential toxicity of Donald Trump in 2018, we may have to recognize a new species of unknowns that would probably even befuddle Donald Rumsfeld himself. In the Age of Trump we may have to get used to grappling with “virtually certain unknown unknowns.”
Yesterday morning I assumed that Charlie Baker would earn re-election the old fashion way. Today, I have my doubts. The situation is so potentially unstable, in fact, that I wouldn’t be shocked if Charlie Baker ends up running for re-election as an independent.
Is the 2018 Massachusetts gubernatorial election a repeat of 1970 or 1974? Depends on which party you ask.
Republicans see a repeat of 1970 while Democrats hope to turn the election into 1974. In their zeal, however, Democrats risk misreading the public mood by firing off trumped up charges that couldn’t deliver Cushman’s bread, let along victory (ask Professor Mo).
Each election season Massachusetts political players earn their way into the winners and losers column. Charlie Baker, Curt Schilling, the Boston Globe, Meghna Chakrabarti - which list did your favorite make?