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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Whither the Massachusetts GOP?

Kerry Healey showed more class and dignity in her concession speech than in the previous seven weeks of the campaign. Given the sorry state of the Massachusetts Republican Party, she may have succeeded in scraping a little of the burnt edge off the toast of her political career.

To be clear: Healey is a figure in the future of the Massachusetts GOP because there is no one else. She is a three-time loser -- two state rep races and one of the most poorly run statewide campaigns in Massachusetts history.

But because Republicans have ignored grassroots building for more than 20 years, preferring to pick off the top of the ticket -- who do the GOP have in reserve? Reed Hillman?

The highest ranking Republican in Massachusetts come January is likely to be a county sheriff. The fault for this pathetic state of affairs rests with party leaders who put all their eggs in the constitutional office basket. It particularly rests with elected officials who used the governor's office as a stepping stone. You know the names: Weld, Cellucci. Romney.

In a very real sense, Massachusetts voters divorced the Republican Party tonight. The grounds: irreconcilable differences caused by being seduced and abandoned.

UPDATE: Kudos to Brian Mooney for a much-better reported view. The GOP operatives he spoke see the hand writing but can't read it. The task at hand is not sharpening messages or acting as the outsider. It's building a party from the ground up.

And hopefully one that is not beholden to religious zealots or ambitious businessmen. That model came under serious attack, finally. Unfortunately, it took the loss of some good people like Lincoln Chafee to make the point.


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