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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's not easy being green

Charlie Baker likes to say he's not the smartest guy in the room -- and these days when his campaign braintrust makes head-scratching decisions, you have to agree -- or wonder whether he is in the room at all.

Baker's alter ego Chucky certainly was at the table when the campaign decided to skip an environmental forum. "Previous commitments" certainly doesn't cut it as an excuse when they offer to schedule it at a time convenient to y0u.

The problem is Baker is taking some stands you assume he is not comfortable with. And by that I don't mean opposition to Cape Wind based on cost -- and the concerns it generates within a Cape Cod community that holds many Republican voters.

No, Baker's problem is that of some-time climate change skeptic. The wishy-washy position was somewhat easier to understand (if not agree with) when he was facing a GOP primary, but hard to understand now, Hence the dance.

Baker's appeal to many in his bureaucratic days had been his non-doctrinaire approach, a willingness to take results over rhetoric. It was that pragmatism that made him an appealing alternative to progressives who had doubts and issues with Deval Patrick. And those voters are in far greater abundance in Massachusetts than climate skeptics.

Plus, taking the head-in-the-sand route is part and parcel of Tim Cahill's Tea Party strategy. While Cahill is the anchor on Baker's potential rise in the polls, differentiation and not agreement would seem to be a way to open more daylight between the two of them.

Cape Wind opposition also becomes more problematic in light of the BP Gulf disaster. While the windmills may be unsightly, they are far less a blight than tar balls washing up on beaches. Higher costs are a true concern and should be discussed openly -- by all candidates.

Charlie's dilemma here is clearly being caused by Chucky. But avoiding the issue doesn't make it go away.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read this article for more information on how hard it will be for wind to be a useful part of the electricity system -- http://www.eenews.net/public/climatewire/2010/04/28/2 -- and then tell me that Baker's position is anything but sensible. I'm glad Baker is willing to raise doubts before billions are spent.

June 21, 2010 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the two candidates who are opposed to Cape Wind are also the ones who will not be attending the conference due to "scheduling conflicts". Raising money is apparently more important to them. What is Baker concerned with, that he might get pinned in a corner and say something that will be difficult to defend?

June 21, 2010 9:51 AM  

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