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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Politics in the Statehouse?

There's shock in both the mainstream media and the Twitterverse this morning: Deval Patrick practiced politics in the Statehouse!

The decision by Patrick to stop being a punching bag and jabbing back at his opponents was immediately characterized by the head of Charlie Baker's political team as somehow desperate. The local TV media pundit who recently made the governor a pinata saw, horror of horrors, an effort by Patrick the governor to coordinate with Patrick the candidate.

What is the world coming to?

The trigger point was Patrick's declaration, after testimony at a Statehouse hearing, that Baker, as head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, was in a position to have done something about health care costs in the Commonwealth.
“While we’ve been dealing with this crisis, at least one of the candidates in this race has been in the middle of this industry and hasn’t offered any solutions yet ... They talk about why it is they can’t help but charge double-digit increases every year to small businesses and families. Those small business and families don’t have a voice at the table. They have my voice at that table.’’
Um, sounds like a lot of facts wrapped in the jab: hardly meltdown material in my mind.

This, on the other hand, smacks of overreaction:
"Sad. @massGovernor reduced from testimony to meltdown, to empty campaign fundraising ploy in minutes."
When Lenny Alcivar cooled down himself, and offered more than 140 characters, he was a little more substantive.
“The governor had 3 1/2 years to take action on health care costs, but he didn’t,’’ Alcivar said. “For 3 1/2 years, Deval Patrick had the existing authority to do something, anything to address this problem, and he wouldn’t. Today, hours after waking up to polling results that show his reelection prospects dwindling by the minute, Governor Patrick was forced to testify on a proposal aimed more toward salvaging his political career than helping small businesses.’’
We were also treated to this astounding observation from WBZ-TV's Jon Keller:
From Gov's mouth to campaign web site in minutes! http://bit.ly/dah5Mb But has nothing to do with elex
I'm shocked, just shocked. There be politics here!

Meanwhile, Baker is being presented above the fray -- despite the fact he was indeed in the middle of it for the 3 1/2 years of the Patrick administration and more. The candidate was not made available to reporters, a somewhat curious decision in my mind, especially contrasted to Patrick's announcement he will enter the lion's den.

Obviously there's a long campaign ahead and spots are picked carefully. But I find it curious the Baker campaign did not bring out there candidate to directly answer questions aimed at the heart of one of his former jobs.

Baker candidly admitted he's "not a very good candidate" at this point in the race. But he's going to need to face the music soon enough.

Alcivar and Keller can't hold down the fort forever.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe that's been the problem, we have had too many people who are "good candidates" but don't turn out to be good administrators. When I want a good sermon I'll go listen to a mellifluous preacher, when I want a good President, Governor, or even a Mayor we shouldn't be as impressed by rhetoric as we have been.

March 11, 2010 12:10 PM  

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