So here’s an article about the recent gubernatorial forum, in which Tom Reilly and Deval Patrick differed on Patrick’s proposal to let towns raise their own restaurant tax money. Now, maybe that’s a good idea, and maybe (as some think) it’s not. But don’t you get the feeling that the Reilly/Patrick dynamic tends to go like this:
*Issue comes before the public awareness: health care, local aid, et al.
*Patrick puts out a specific policy proposal in response.
*Tom Reilly says he doesn’t support that approach, doesn’t propose an alternative.
*Reilly publicist says “Tom Reilly’s record on xyz is second to none.”
Look, if I didn’t know better, I’d say Tom Reilly is phoning this campaign in — phoning donors, perhaps. We got impatient last summer with Deval Patrick because we wanted specifics. Where’s Tom? Is this the best we get — a list of platitudes?
The most important question for a voter to ask a candidate is: “What will you do when you’re governor?” Look, maybe I’m an ignoramus, and maybe I don’t pay enough attention, and maybe the press is bad, etc., but I have no idea what kind of governor Tom Reilly would be. I don’t know what motivates him. I don’t know how he’d go about accomplishing his vaguely-stated goals. And since he’s not defining himself aggressively, it’s that much easier for non-events like the Conte phone call to suck up what little press oxygen the campaign has at this point.
Mr. Reilly, what do you want?
UPDATE: Eisenthal’s got more. He can’t figure it out either.