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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Gotcha politics

As a recovering political reporter, I'm quite familiar with the standard reporting ploy of searching for the Gotcha moment -- trying to get a candidate say or do something that will become a centerpiece of an opponent's political ads. Remember the "lead pipe guarantee?"

That's why I have to agree with Deval Patrick's steadfast refusal to say what he would have done in 2003 when faced with a yawning budget deficit. And why I have to laugh at the self-serving and misplaced indignation of Brian McGrory at Patrick's refusal to rise to the bait.

That said, offering his hypothetical answer to a future fiscal crisis was the only logical solution, and probably should have been offered earlier to keep the story to one cycle.

Another laughable gotcha moment is Kerry Healey's rush to anoint Patrick as the insider because he met with House Speaker Sal DiMasi and Senate President Robert Travaglini (at least he took my advice and skipped the photo op :-))
"He went into this race saying he had no debts to the political establishment on Beacon Hill. As of yesterday that statement doesn't hold," Healey said.
Hyperventilation aside, could it be Healey is miffed because of rumors that say she was shut out of the regular meetings Romney held with the leadership? Or do I smell an ad brewing?

Can't we talk about the real issues -- like what do we get (and not get) with our tax dollars and how do we build a solid state economy where people have good jobs and affordable housing, good, affordable health care, safe neighborhoods and quality schools.

Or does the tooth fairy bring all that for free?


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