What kind of president then can be expected? I think we know the answer. Donald Trump has no concern for tradition, previous history, institutionalized decision-making (he depends on himself), international agreements and commitments, or much of anything else that has come to define the sphere of concerns an American president must deal with. He will act as President much as he has in the campaign. He will do things his way. He will depend on what he thinks important or what interests him at the moment, will continue to be unpredictable in how he approaches given situations, will see international relations in terms of trade opportunities, will conduct negotiations on a one-on-one basis and will nurture his financial empire.
Clearly there are problems in all of this.
National political discourse suggests the Baker v. Patrick comparison features two opposing views on government: too often the problem according to Republicans and regularly the solution for Democrats. This narrative does not apply to Charlie Baker as both he and Deval Patrick see vital, necessary roles for government. I submit that a comparison of Charlie Baker’s inaugural speech yesterday and Deval Patrick’s final State of the Commonwealth address last January make their respective takes on the role government should play, and their conceptualization of Massachusetts residents, clear.
Later today Governor Deval Patrick will take the final “lone walk” out of office. When did this uniquely Massachusetts tradition begin? Until recently, it was widely believed to be the invention of a politically lonely Benjamin Butler in 1884.