Diehl me out!

The last shot to stop Maura Healey from becoming the next governor of Massachusetts is for Republicans and independents to vote for Chris Doughty in the GOP primary tomorrow.

A vote for Geoff Diehl is a vote for Maura Healey.

Geoff Diehl cannot win in November. It’s as simple as that. He does not have the organization, the money or, most importantly, the fire in his belly. He’s become the perennial also-ran.

The last shot to stop Maura Healey from becoming the next governor of Massachusetts is for Republicans and independents to vote for Chris Doughty in the GOP primary tomorrow.

Diehl couldn’t defeat the fake Indian for the US Senate. He couldn’t even beat a twice-arrested-for-drunk-driving Brockton barfly for a state Senate seat despite outspending the Democrat 2-1.

When Geoff runs against Democrats, he doesn’t just lose. He loses in landslides. They don’t just count his opponents’ votes, they weigh them.

“Landslide” Geoff Diehl could only manage 42 percent of the vote against that drunkard Democrat in 2015. He plunged to 36 percent of the vote against the fake Indian in 2018. In one debate, Pocahontas pronounced Bourne as “Bern,” she thinks Massachusetts has a “west coast,” yet she still beat Diehl like a rented mule.

According to state campaign-finance records, Diehl this morning has less than $17,000 cash on hand. Maura Healey has $5.3 million.

Geoff Diehl is a nice guy. Unfortunately, nice guys finish last. He’s an Eagle Scout, which is great, except when you’re in a bare-knuckles brawl.

A street fight? Geoff’s not even ready for a pillow fight – he spent the entire summer squirming and cringing and curling up into the fetal position any time someone suggested that he should maybe debate a guy who’d never run for political office before.

Geoff is a sheep in sheep’s clothing. To a battle of wits, he comes unarmed. He is absolutely everything Donald J. Trump is not.

Since when is a career politician afraid to debate a political novice? It’s been embarrassing to watch Diehl all summer, dodging one debate after another, saying one thing one place and something totally different at the next stop.

The 2020 election wasn’t stolen – no, actually it was. He’ll take state money for his campaign – oh no, I guess he won’t. He’ll run for state party chairman – er, no, never mind. It’s terrible that Doughty’s business takes PPP money that he doesn’t have to pay back – but it’s okay for his wife to do the exact same thing.

After taking part in a single debate against Doughty on my show, he chickened out of invitations from Chs. 4, 5, and 22, the Boston Globe/WBUR, the Valley Patriot and the Norfolk Republicans. Last week I offered him a second opportunity for a statewide debate. When the phone didn’t ring, I knew it was Landslide Geoff.

Earlier this summer, I offered both candidates an hour on my show — by themselves — for a “town hall” forum. Doughty jumped for it, but Diehl was petrified even by the prospect of taking unscripted questions.

He tried to run in a ringer – his running mate, claiming he had an “event” to go to. My producer told him that wasn’t the deal, Diehl – he would have to actually sit in studio and take questions from callers, no matter what they wanted to ask him. Somehow Geoff overcame his flop sweat long enough to get through it.

The Real Diehl? It’s more like, What’s the Diehl? Or Where’s Diehl? No wonder voters are saying, deal me out.

Instead of accepting the free air time his destitute campaign so desperately needs, last week he did a press conference in Lowell. Nobody bothered to show up. Check the photo here.

As Chris Doughty was shaking hands with rush-hour commuters at South Station, Diehl was perched awkwardly on a horse in East Bridgewater as a trainer led the old horse slowly around a track. It may have been the most hapless look for a state politician since Mike Dukakis climbed into the tank.

This is a significant election. The voters must decide referendum questions on drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens and a huge income-tax increase that despite what the hackerama tells you is not just for millionaires.

Not only Republicans, but all taxpaying law-abiding citizens need a strong GOP candidate at the top of the ticket. Geoff Diehl is not that candidate. He has become the Republican equivalent of Beto O’Rourke. Like Beto, he apparently has so little else going on in his life that he desperately seeks any office that he can find to run for.

And like Beto, Landslide Geoff just keeps losing, more resoundingly each time.

When a party has a lousy candidate at the top of the ticket, it takes a toll on everybody running further down the ballot. Remember 1996? The late Bob Dole could only manage 28 percent of the vote in Massachusetts.

As a result, Gov. Bill Weld lost what should have been a winnable race for a US Senate seat against John Forbes Kerry. The state’s last two Republican Congressmen were both defeated.

Every election, Diehl does worse than he did in his previous campaign. If Landslide Geoff is at the top of the ticket, Nov. 8 will be the same sort of bloodbath for down-ballot Republicans that 1996 was.

Why do you suppose so many of the politicians who know Geoff Diehl best are now with Doughty in this fight? Shaunna O’Connell of Taunton was perhaps his closest ally in the legislature. Now she’s the mayor of Taunton. She nominated Chris Doughty at the party convention in Springfield last spring.

Sheriff Tom Hodgson of Bristol County worked in the Trump campaigns with Geoff. He too is with Doughty. Ditto Rep. Lenny Mirra of Georgetown.

Geoff was on Beacon Hill for eight years. But according to the desperate, last-minute pitch he emailed out yesterday, Landslide Diehl has been endorsed by exactly two of his 30-plus GOP colleagues in the legislature. Two!

Do they know something you don’t know?

Most of the money for political campaigns comes from national super PAC’s. The PAC’s bet on candidates the same way horse players do at the track – they study prior performances, the racing form. If Geoff were a horse, instead of being led around on one, he’d already have been shipped off to the glue factory.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) gave Charlie Baker millions of dollars. He’s a RINO, obviously, but that RGA cash also put ultra-MAGA Paul LePage over the top in Maine in 2014. Just ask him.

If Geoff is the party nominee, the RGA will write off the governor’s race here. That is 100 percent guaranteed. If Doughty prevails, they’ll pour money into Massachusetts. Will it be enough? Who knows, but it means he’ll be competitive.

Doughty will get national attention. He’ll be portrayed as another potential Glenn Youngkin – a successful businessman running against a tired radical woke hack with a dodgy, dismal record.

Some people dismiss Doughty as “another Charlie Baker.” That’s a phony argument, like the PPP loans. Baker is the worst governor in state history, but who doesn’t think Maura Healey will be worse, much worse?

Doughty admits to voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016. We all make mistakes. Geoff Diehl is a former Democrat, and he voted in his party’s presidential primary in 2008. He claims his candidate was Joe Biden – that’s right, Brandon! But the fact is, at that point, Biden was already out of the race. The only two viable candidates left (in more ways than one) were Barack Obama and… Hillary Clinton.

Landslide Geoff, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I think that secretly Charlie Baker, like Maura Healey, is rooting for Geoff Diehl tomorrow. Maura because if he wins, the campaign is over before it begins. Charlie, because with a Diehl victory he can then wash his hands of this whole mess. All his money men and fixers looking for their next big score – the John Cooks, the Jim Conroys, the Will Keysers – can start setting up the inevitable Republicans for Maura Committees.

There is a path for a state Republican candidate this year. That’s why Maura is running those TV spots saying she wants to CUT TAXES. If her polling is telling her that she must lie about wanting to cut taxes, it’s a good indication which way the wind is blowing. But she won’t have to break a sweat if the GOP nominates a guy who couldn’t even knock Michelob Mike Brady off his barstool in Brockton.

We all owe Diehl a debt of gratitude. First, for defeating the automatic gas tax increase in 2014, and then for serving as Donald Trump’s point man to drive Charlie Baker out of politics.

But now there’s a new peril, and her name is Maura Healey. Never send a boy (scout) on a man’s errand. It’s time Geoff went out and got himself a real job and let someone with at least a fighting chance have a go at saving the Commonwealth.

Please, get out and vote. This is a winnable race. The secretary of state predicted last week that 300,000 ballots would be cast on the Republican side, a large majority of them by independents.

By late last week, more than 75,000 mail-in Republican ballots had already been turned in. Only the Doughty campaign bothered to chase those voters. Geoff was too busy riding a horse at the kiddy track in his own personal safe space in Plymouth County.

Another 30,000 or so Republicans and independents voted early at their city or town halls.

So probably more than one-third of the votes have already been cast. It’s likely that Doughty is already ahead. But if you haven’t already done so, get out there tomorrow and vote.

Massachusetts is in a bad way. But it can get worse. It always can.

A vote for Geoff Diehl is a vote for Maura Healey.

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