Anyone who knows anything about recent presidential races, especially if they’re from Massachusetts, knows about the extraordinary moment when moderator Bernard Shaw asked Mike Dukakis in a televised debate:
If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?
In answering, Dukakis showed no hint of emotion, instead rattling off statistics about the Massachusetts crime rate. It didn’t go well from there.
So two days ago, a woman called into Howie Carr’s radio show to ask Charlie Baker what she thought about Jeff Perry and his strip search problem. She noted that Baker had campaigned together with Perry, and she then asked
what you think about all the allegations that have come out and the victim speaking up and criticizing Perry for his actions as a police officer?
Baker’s answer is remarkably Dukakoid, in that it shows no hint of emotion, instead rattling off prepared talking points about spending and Washington. Listen to it again.
No hint of compassion for the victim. No hint of emotion or any other human attribute; rather, a robotic recitation of talking points.
What if the caller had gone Bernard Shaw on Baker and asked about Baker’s own daughter? What if she had asked what he’d think now if it had been Baker’s own daughter who was illegally strip-searched and groped in a cranberry bog all those years ago while Perry stood by and did nothing? Would we still have gotten the robo-candidate we heard yesterday? Would we still have heard echoes of Mike Dukakis failing to respond with ordinary human emotion?
Hard to say. Maybe someone will ask that question of Baker before November 2.