Quixotry

This post is nearly five years old (and somewhat out of date with respect to the discussion of Weld's presidential endorsements), but I am bumping it up in honor of Bill Weld's recent move back to Massachusetts, and the faintly hilarious speculation that he might actually run for statewide office again. Talk about a pol being past his sell-by date. Here's Joan Vennochi's take, with which I agree.

And yes, I'm aware that there are two copies of this post on the front page. Not sure why - some sort of glitch with promoting posts originally written in Soapblox.

I trust everyone has heard about Michael Cresta, the carpenter from Lexington who recently shattered the single-word and single-game records for competitive Scrabble.  His amazing single-word play was “quixotry,” a 35-point word (the 8-point “X” was doubled) that was greatly amplified by hitting two triple-word squares and by the 50-point bonus for using all his letters, for a record total of 365 points.

“Quixotry” is a synonym for “quixotism,” meaning ”that form of delusion which leads to extravagant and absurd undertakings or sacrifices in obedience to a morbidly romantic ideal of duty or honor, as illustrated by the exploits of Don Quixote in knight-errantry.”

All of which puts one in mind of Bill Weld, don’t you think?  This, to refresh our recollection, is the guy who improbably became the Governor of Massachusetts when the Democratic party nominated the worst candidate in modern history (John Silber), thereby driving swarms of Democrats to vote for the guy who wasn’t Silber.  Weld, who quickly became bored when he realized to his chagrin that governing required actual work, then went for John Kerry’s Senate seat and lost a not-very-close race; resigned his office to pursue the ambassadorship to Mexico even though it was obvious he’d never get it; became CEO of a sad little college in Kentucky that ended up under federal investigation; and ran a highly improbable and quickly-failed campaign for Governor of New York.  Jon Keller offers this warm remembrance:

When I asked him last fall if he had any personal regrets over the [Big Dig] tragedy, Weld said “no, the project was on-time, under budget, and being properly handled at the time I shuffled off.” Wow. The man is either a world-class liar or in a pathological state of denial.

Anyway, Bill Weld has now taken up his latest quixotic cause: Mitt Romney.  Today’s Globe reports that, despite Weld’s long-time friendship with Rudy Giuliani, and despite the fact that Weld’s positions on almost every issue of any significance are far closer to Giuliani’s than to those of Romney’s latest reinvention of himself, Weld is backing Mitt Romney for president.  Asked why, Weld basically said that he thinks Mitt is a winner.  (The actual quote: “It’s just that I think Mitt Romney is going to be and should be the next president of the United States.”)

Which should comfort those of us who don’t care for the idea of a President Romney.  Bill Weld’s track record of picking winners is about as impressive as the Chicago Cubs’ track record of winning the world series.  Quixotry indeed.

Recommended by williamstowndem.

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6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Nice piece of writing, David

  2. A perfect combination

    Like Willard, William was for gay rights before he was against them.  His moral menopause coincided whith his campaig kickoff in NY.  Sound familiar?  No wonder he feels affinity for Willard.  I'm sure they'll be happy together, and wish them all the blessings they deserve.

  3. Impossible Dream?

    I always thought quixotic carried with it a hint of charming and partially-redeeming nobility, but that may be my own connotation based on such examples as Don Quixote and the Cubs.  I see that's not part of the definition, nor am I feeling that about old Billy.  Nice take on this, David.

  4. Cash for endorsements...

    I've long suspected candidates handed out cash for election endorsements, but now I am convinced.

    To pay Weld a backhanded compliment, I know that he is way to smart to think that "Mitt Romney is going to be and should be the next president".  Especially this early in the game. What could Weld have to gain by making such a statement now?

    Either cash or Willard found some comprimising photos or financial dealings left over from Weld's administration that he is cashing in for this favor.

  5. Weld like Muffy

    Are looking for plum appointments, they figured if they backed the right horse they might get a job in the administration.  Weld did actually win an election so he has one up on Muffy other than being handpicked by Romney as Lt. Gov.  Funny thing is that Weld doesn't really want to work but Muffy does.  Her problem, she's not that good and no want wants to elect her to anything.

  6. Too little and too much credit

    Weld was the first politician I really remember supporting (young ones follow their parents), and I remember being tainted for backing him over Kerry after he lost. That said I think your a little unfair. Silver was an out of date socially conservative Democrat but Mark Roosevelt had the strong backing of key players and was a solid progressive and get soundly trounced by one of the best margins a governor has had in this state. That’s impressive especially
    considering what party he belongs to. It’s a record of fiscal conservatism, business friendly environment, environmental protection, law and order especially in regards to gun control, public transit and education investment, STEM investment and social moderation. If every Republican was like Weld there would be a competitive two party system in MA which would be good for the state. I’d take a Weld Republican over many of the hack DINOs out there, the Cahills, DeLeos, DeNuccis and Kujos of the world.

    That said his time has passed, my dad never forgave him for
    Resigning and it was obvious he got bored and eventually got bored with the state. He is past his sell by date and we can agree on that.I might’ve backed him as a 3rd grader but I am older and wiser and his time is past.

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