Governor-elect Charlie Baker is off to a good start. He was gracious to losing candidate Martha Coakley on election night and the day after. He struck the right tone with Deval Patrick in discussing the transition. Pushed to announce his positions on everything, he has refused to get sucked into the illusions of hosting the Olympics though he thinks we could learn things from preparing a bid. He’s starting the nuts and bolts of putting together an administration. He’s no stranger to this activity, and that’s reassuring.
Let’s just hope Charlie’s in good health and that it stays that way. Can you say Governor Polito? Karyn Polito, the former state rep from Shrewsbury who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2010, was added to the ticket to appeal to conservatives wary that the real Charlie Baker might be a RINO (Republican in Name Only), provide the cosmetics of a female running mate, and the electoral advantage of an experienced politician who could bring solid votes from Central Massachusetts. The strategy worked perfectly.
Her record in the legislature was staunchly anti-gay marriage, she supports strict voter ID laws and calls public housing and welfare benefits the “dependency system.” Of greater concern, she is a darling of the Tea Party and last summer was presented the Tea Party’s “Citizen Patriot award.” The presentation was made by former Florida Congressman Alan West, a radical right-winger elected at the height of Tea Party madness. West has said, among other things, that Obama supporters are a “threat to the gene pool.” Polito has reportedly praised West for having a “good message.”
She avoided most debates and never became an issue in the campaign as did Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle. The press largely ignored the race and how she might govern differently were she actually to become governor.
We have been without a lieutenant governor for the last two years, since Tim Murray drove off the road in the wee hours of an icy morning. And, practically speaking, no one noticed. But the last two Republican governors elected in their own right, Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci, left before their terms were up. Their lieutenants succeeded them as governor. There’s always that potential for Polito.
So, Charlie, eat your fruits and veggies, get plenty of sleep and regular exercise, and bundle up well when that Polar Vortex descends this weekend.
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