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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 18, 2008

Tim for (fill-in the blank)

Nature hates a vacuum -- and so apparently do politicians.

Here we are two weeks past the end of a two-year campaign for the White House and one ambitious Massachusetts politician is already talking -- well maybe just mumbling -- about the gubernatorial race.

And it's not Deval Patrick.

Treasurer Tim Cahill's open musings about 2010 in the face of questions from the Herald's editorial board isn't exactly flattering. While the headline declares Cahill challenged Patrick, it was hard to find the substance in the story.

Yes, he questioned the shifting the Mass. Turnpike debt to Massport as he questioned an earlier proposal. And while he utters the taxpayer friendly line about “At some point you have to pay the bills,” I haven't really seen an alternative.

We also know Cahill is against lavish spending on public school construction projects. Who isn't?

What has Cahill accomplished in his one-plus terms as treasurer? Pension reform?

But what's most striking is the way he made his point to the Herald:
“I don’t want to say either way, because I honestly don’t know,” Cahill said at a meeting with Herald reporters and editors. “It would depend on the situation that the state faces. Obviously, you’d have to believe you could do a better job, but it’s a huge uphill battle to challenge someone from your own party.”
Cahill is not so naive as to believe that his Hamlet-like response to 2010 would not make it into print. Because he really isn't all that ambivalent. If he was, a better response would have been:
"We have a lot of problems on our plate right now that require our leaders to work together. There's plenty of time for politics after we've fixed them."
So now we face the specter of a year-and-a-half of Corner Office intrigue on top of the soap opera playing out in the House -- where Robert DeLeo and John Rogers are also not waiting for a vacancy to run for a job.

I'm intrigued by a comment from a previous Cahill post suggesting that Treasurer Tim is receiving high level tutoring and grooming for the Corner Office. If that's the case, he needs to take a make-up class.

Can't some of our elected officials roll up their sleeves and try to solve our problems before they start jockeying for a new job? That's really being the boss that Cahill wants to be.

Of course all of this presupposes Patrick is being straight with us about not taking a job in the Obama administration. If not, I'll be the one in the corner washing the egg of my face.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim is well tutored by his mentor Jack Connors, who helped him start his NEXT campaign even as he was just starting his first statewide job. Use every opportunity to establish the reputation for yourself as the fiscal watchdog for the state; hope that Deval trips up or decides to move on to another job; have a slew of articles ready to prove that there, but for the grace of God and the diligence of Treasurer Tim, the Commonwealth would have been driven further into fiscal hell.

You have to admire someone who lays the groundwork so carefully. Of course, whether Tim's ideas made any sense or not will never be the issue because he gets a free ride from the State House press corps.

November 18, 2008 5:53 AM  

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