Charlie Baker’s Trainwreck Editorial Board Interview

Charlie Baker’s Salem News editorial board meeting started out innocently enough, but as reported by sister newspaper Gloucester Times Baker stumbled badly on a few follow up questions.

First is the well documented role that Baker played in increasing taxes as Selectman in Swampscott, via the Globe and BMG:

Minutes from selectmen’s meetings and local news reports offer no indication that Baker opposed increasing the local tax burden. He voted to approve annual town budgets, voted to place the override on the ballot, and later voted for the override at the ballot box.

Seems pretty straightforward, Swampscott made a decision on what services they needed and added revenue to meet those basic needs, but Baker blanked when asked the question:

During his three-year term as Swampscott selectman, Baker voted to place almost a dozen override questions on the ballot to let voters decide which services, if any, they favored. But when asked whether he personally voted fo r any of the overrides at the polls, he blanked.

“I don’t remember,” Baker said.

It gets better, or worse, depending on who you’re asking.  Potentially working in a heavily Democratic legislature Baker was asked for examples of how he was able to successfully work with other parties:

As a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, Baker was asked about working with Democrats and specifically who he’d been able to work with successfully in the past.

After an 11-second pause, he could not name anyone.

Holy crap, after 11 seconds of silence?  That must of felt like a lifetime sitting there stewing at his chair.  But to be fair, Baker did later say that his mother was a Democrat in response, so maybe he was able to successfully negotiate passing the potatoes at the dinner table as a kid.

Hudak?  Yes, they asked.  Baker responded in what would rival Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First”:

Is he supporting Hudak’s campaign?

“I certainly support the Republican ticket,” Baker said. “… I hope Mary Connaughton wins. I hope Karyn Polito wins. I hope Bill Campbell wins. I hope Brett Schetzsle wins.”

Does he hope Hudak wins?

“I’m supporting the ticket,” Baker said.

Is he supporting Hudak?


Is that an endorsement?

“I’m supporting the ticket,” Baker said.

What now?  Thanks Charlie way to go, we need someone decisive as governor.  

To recap, we have a Mitt Romney quality of doing one thing and saying something else during an election with taxes, a person who has never wanted to attempt to work across parties lines to accomplish goals for the state and refuses to show any kind of leadership in disassociating himself with the fringe nutty birthers of the Republican party.

This post was originally published with Soapblox and contains additional formatting and metadata.
View archived version of this post


18 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Same article in the Salem News

    Link here.

  2. 11 Second Pause?

    He couldn't name even one Democrat he's worked with sucsessfully? He must have had a miserable time on Deval's transition team back in 2006.

  3. Just Another Indication That Charlie Baker Is A Fraud And

    not fit to occupy the governor's office.

  4. He Knew Better in 1998

    From the Globe's (overly reverential, IMO) interview with him in 1998 just before he left Cellucci administration.   Most significant thing he learned in state government was the importance of being able to work with the legislature (no kidding!).  

    August 30, 1998


    Andrew Caffrey, Globe Correspondent

    For almost eight years, Charles D. Baker has held some of the most powerful jobs in state government. He has over-seen the state's vast human services bureaucracy. He has, most recently, served as secretary of administration and finance. He has played such a key role on Beacon Hill that former Governor William Weld once referred to Baker as the "soul" of his administration.


    Q.  What was the most significant thing you learned in state government?

       A. When you're on the outside, you don't get to appreciate the role of the Legislature. I certainly didn't. It's a lot of work to move an agenda because you need to figure out how to move a whole bunch of people. You really need to make the case to them. I know I didn't understand that the Legislature has phenomenal authority.

  5. I miss Christy Mihos

    He may have been crazy, but he wasn't a liar.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  6. Baker just keeps giving Deval...

    ...more and more fodder for campaign commercials. Keep digging Charlie. The Hudak stuff is hilarious. He can't decide who he is voting for in the Congressional race? His moderation is a fraud. When they talk about issues it only gets worse...their negativity about Massachusetts is astounding.

    • Is that why Charlie's now running neck and neck with Patrick in the polls?

      Even the Globe admitted:

      Baker catches Patrick in new poll

      With just five weeks to the election, Republican Charles D. Baker has pulled even with Governor Deval Patrick in a gubernatorial race shaped by anti-incumbent sentiment and unusually high excitement among Republican voters, according to a new Boston Globe poll...  

      Patrick has lost ground to Baker since the Globe last surveyed voters in June, when the governor led his Republican challenger, 38 to 31 percent...

      The current trend favors Baker, because Republicans are much more enthusiastic about the election than Democrats.

      And Jon Keller's analysis of said poll--

      But here's the bottom line - four years after they swept an unknown political outsider into office with a depth and diversity of support rarely seen in modern times; after a year that has seen the governor on the air repeatedly demonstrating capable handling of storms, floods and a water main break; after two televised debates and a flurry of TV ads promoting him and trashing his chief opponent; after all that, 65% of those polled want to fire Deval Patrick.

      You guys can shout HUDAK HUDAK HUDAK until you're BLUE in the face and continue focusing on petty issues - but the fact is, your candidate has the WRONG priorities, eight tax increases, relying on one-time stimulus funds from the federal govt to close budget gaps, selling out our education standards, kowtowing to the 40 union organizations that have endorsed him, supporting free tuition for illegals, shopping his memoir two years ago while the legislature was voting on casinos-- the taxpayers have had enough, and we are ready for the real deal, Charlie Baker!

      • If one poll can make you that giddy...

        you might want to stay away from the election pages in the newspaper.

      • Hudak was at the very bottom ...

        what about the rest?  

        Best education in the nation, fast growing economy in the nation are things that you oppose?

        Baker has been pretty shady on cuts, giving no specifics.  You would rather have someone who will gut funding in education?  

    • Fodder

      Yes, Charlie Baker keeps giving Deval Patrick more and more fodder for campaign commercials, but Deval will never go negative like that.  You know that Charlie Baker would give anything for that kind of fodder for negative campaign ads, because he's got nothing positive to offer.  In contrast, Deval Patrick and Tim Murray are all positive -- maybe because they have so much that is positive to offer -- e.g., first in the nation in job creation this year, health insurance coverage, and educational achievement.  Not a bad record to run on in the worst economic climate in 70 years.

  7. Hudak and Baker

    Frankly, I can't imagine Mr Baker handling the question any better than that. It's plain political suicide to disavow Hudak: demoralizing one's base never wins elections. It's foolish to directly endorse him: endorsing lunatics attracts the attention — the bad kind. So his answer seemed stunningly well crafted: neither an endorsement nor its opposite. The wording was neutral and boring. An anti-sound-bite. Just what the situation called for.

    There are certainly many and better reasons to oppose Baker-Tisei.

  8. No surprises here

    When I hear most Republicans talk now, they speak in unwavering unison, painting with a broad, negative brush: Patrick is terrible, Obama has done NOTHING right, Pelosi is awful, do da do da...

    At this point, to engage even a moderate Repub is rare - when at least there is room for constructive conversation. I am always willing to listen to the opinions of those who differ, but the reciprocation is dwindling.  Somewhere along the line, 'cooperation' morfed into a four-letter word.

    Sadly, it seems they have hidden from reality like a frightened child, and we all know where unilateral thinking got us.  Baker's silence is telling in many ways, and none of them will serve the Commonwealth.


« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Fri 19 Dec 5:40 PM