Charlie Baker’s the favorite, but re-election is not in the bag
will see a photograph of Jay Gonzalez, the Democrat nominee.
But even if Tall Deval remains the heavy favorite, I don’t think this fight is shaping up as quite the coronation he was dreaming of.
Can you imagine how Gonzalez –or any serious opponent – could eviscerate Baker if they had enough dough? Granted, TV ads aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be – who watches local TV news anymore? Tall Deval can certainly attest to that. He didn’t get much bang for the bucks with those vapid pre-primary spots about how It’s Morning Again in Massachusetts, or Making it In Massachusetts, or something.
But imagine the roll call of scandals and mismanagement a well-financed opponent could throw at Tall Deval.
The MBTA, the State Police, DCF, the DCR, the Registry of Motor Vehicles giving licenses to illegal alien heroin dealers, the higher-ed hackerama, transgender bathrooms, Stanley Rosenberg, traffic nightmares everywhere – you could lay it all at the feet of Charlie Baker, the micromanager with the macro-scandals.
But is Jay Gonzalez really the man to put that argument across? After all, he worked for… Small Deval. His solution to everything: higher taxes.
Vote Gonzalez – he wants to put the Tax back in Taxachusetts.
One thing could still derail a second term for Tall Deval: some kind of now unforeseen major national story that would bring out the Democrat base.
Think back to 1998. Paul Cellucci was the incumbent Republican in the Corner Office, a much more likeable guy, not to mention a better politician than Tall Deval.
He was running against Luther S. Harshbarger, a sanctimonious Dukakis Lite type, widely detested by Democrats for indicting, among others, Eddie McCormack and Biff MacLean, two titans of Massachusetts Democracy.
It should have been a landslide for Cellucci, but the Republicans in DC were on the verge of impeaching Clinton for his real high crimes and misdemeanors. The angry Dems turned out in droves, and Cellucci ended up winning by only 64,000 votes.
Most likely Charlie hangs on, being driven home on Election Night by one of his unindicted troopers, muttering to himself, “Apres moi, le deluge.”
Speaking of le deluge, how do you suppose Mayor Marty Walsh is feeling these days? He raises big bucks in the secretary of state’s race for Josh Zakim, the city councilor from Newton, I mean the Back Bay, and Bill Galvin crushes the callow youth statewide.
And now Galvin basically declares martial law in Lawrence and will handle the recount in the Third Congressional District, where Marty’s boy Dan Koh had more money than God and still lost. (Even more ironically, Galvin’s takeover of the Lawrence recounts is also a slap in the face for Mayor Dan Rivera, who embarrassed Galvin during the primary by recounting a private conversation.)
Mahhhhty can survive a couple of bad endorsements, but the turnout in the city has got to be concerning him more than somewhat. In the primaries last week, 92,000 voters came out in Boston – compared with 58,000 four years ago, and 65,000 just last year, when Mahhhhty was on the ballot, running for reelection.
The vote in the city was up pretty much across the board, except in four wards – 6 and 7 in Southie, Ward 2 which is Charlestown, and Ward 13, Savin Hill. Those are not propitious omens for the last of the pinky-ring union thugs from Dorchester. Walsh Country appears to be shrinking, or at least losing interest.
Two Democrat hacks in the Boston legislative delegation went down in flames as well. One was black, one was Hispanic. But they shared one increasingly toxic political trait in common with Marty. Byron Rushing and Jeff Sanchez were incumbent males.
Walsh is just lucky he’s got three years to figure out how to clear the field, because he looks vulnerable to an Ayanna Pressley type, as light as she obviously is. Is Michelle Wu a lawyer? Does she want to be a judge? I’ll bet Tall Deval would do the right thing for Mahhhty once he gets through the next eight weeks.
After all, Baker and Walsh have so much in common. They got their first big breaks in politics the same way – they drew Marsha Coakley as an opponent, Walsh when he was running for state rep, Tall Deval when he was seeking the governorship.
Sadly for all white male incumbents in both parties, they don’t seem to be making female candidates like Marsha anymore.