Baker’s Detachment Now Has a Body Count
Did it ever occur to Gov. Charlie Baker last week that maybe he should cut short his exotic junket to the United Kingdom and come home to the mess he left behind here in Massachusetts?
Nah, apparently not, because this was his answer when he was asked about his absence after he finally returned to the State House Monday:
“I’m really glad I went,” he said, because he learned so much about wind farms, or something, not to mention seeing the Red Sox get drubbed a couple of times by the Yankees. Those games especially left a lasting impression on him – the park reminded Tall Deval of the dimensions of his little town field in Swampscott.
Tall Deval was actually pretty animated talking about last weekend’s baseball – a lot more so than when he was discussing the latest disasters at a) the Registry of Motor Vehicles and b) the MBTA.
Actually, Tall Deval went so far as to claim that the T isn’t really as bad as it’s seemed lately, at least not on the commuter rail.
“I would argue some of the service has improved,” he said with a straight face.
About the summer-long repairs that have ground the Red Line to a near-standstill, he claimed, “I’m as frustrated as everybody is about how long this takes.”
As frustrated as everybody with a Charlie card, Charlie? I rather doubt it.
But at least nobody’s dead on the T – at least not yet. This catastrophe with the Registry left seven people dead, killed by a 23-year-old Ukrainian with a CDL who shouldn’t have been driving, who left behind a string of violations and arrests in at least six states (so far). The deceased were members or friends of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, comprised of Marine veterans.
I spoke to the president of the Jarheads a week ago, four days after the accident. The carnage happened in New Hampshire, but the driver had a Massachusetts license, and was from this state, as were two of the seven victims.
But the Jarheads’ president told me no one from our state government had called to express condolences. The pols in New Hampshire had been in touch, but nobody from Beacon Hill.
You know, it wasn’t that long ago that if, say, a blizzard was bearing down on Boston, as the governor and/or mayor were vacationing in Florida, they would make it their business to get on the first flight back to Logan. Okay, maybe they weren’t really needed at City Hall, or MEMA headquarters out on Route 9 in Framingham, but still, they were expected to be here, to suffer along with the rest of us.
It was good optics, as they say.
Okay, sometimes the hacks didn’t bother to return. As I recall, Small Deval was on a two-week junket to Japan back in late 2013 when a snowstorm hit the state. He didn’t budge. But most of the time, the pols enjoy presiding over those live news conferences while wearing either the traditional MEMA bomber jacket (Patrick) or the cardigan sweater (Dukakis).
Despite all the trial balloons recently about a third term, it appears that Tall Deval has really come down with an advanced case of second-term-itis. Sometimes governors check out by running for president – Dukakis, Romney (in his first term). Or they dream of an ambassadorship (Weld, Cellucci). Or they just plain go on the lam, like the Devals, Small and Tall both.
It’s bad though, this mess at the Registry. I mean, 53 bins of unfiled license-suspension records, in Quincy? The hacks just stopped filing them in May of last year, and nobody noticed until there were seven body bags in New Hampshire?
Check out the uncut video of Charlie’s press conference – it’s still posted on WMUR’s website. It would be one thing if Tall Deval were angry – that would be understandable – but he looks, if not bored, at least detached.
But hey, how many disasters can any one hack absorb before curling up into the fetal position? The Mass. State Police, DCF, the T, and now this.
It’s enough to make you yearn for another seminar on wind farms in the Hebrides, or something, right Tall Deval?