What’s the Diehl

Last time I make that joke. Huh.

Whitman State Rep Geoff Diehl is poised to take on Elizabeth Warren next year. It sounds like he’ll announce tomorrow.

As Donald Trump’s state co-chair, he has sounded to me like a smoother Curt Schilling. I suspect his actual very conservative brand politics will find very little purchase in a general election beyond die-hard Herald readers … but I should not be in the business of projecting confidence.

He will be well-funded: He will not sign the People’s Pledge to forego ads by outside groups. He will raise tons of money nationally from people wanting to take out Warren. Trump will no doubt loudly Tweet his support for Diehl — at least.

I’ve got some connections with his team that I made friends with and are loyal in a campaign-related way. I think the president himself sees the senior senator as a major obstacle to a lot of what he wants to do,” Diehl, a Whitman Republican, told the Herald yesterday.

“She opposed every single nominee and forced a slow walk of his Cabinet. So I don’t think there’s any love lost between the two,” he added. “And I would say when the time comes, he’d be in support of whomever wins the nomination to replace her.”

It will be an impossibly ugly campaign.

And one nasty data point is that Warren is only moderately popular in MA: 51% approval, and 46% say it’s time to give someone else a chance. I wish that were not true.

Warren raised — and spent — tons of money on her 2012 race. While she has a fiery charisma, she was not a campaign-trail natural. She may have learned much of that since.

What do you think? An annoyance? A real challenge?

Recommended by fredrichlariccia, johntmay, jconway.



Discuss

21 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I remain flabbergasted

    that she is anything less than universally adored in this state. I personally have never met a person in MA for whom EW is not among their top two favorite politicians.

    So that fact that some poll says she has only 50% approval shows that I must be supremely out of touch.

    • I know quite a few Baker/Warren voters

      They like him for telling Beacon Hill to go screw and they like her for telling Wall Street and the White House to go screw. As long as she keeps fighting both big business and Trump she should do well among progressives and independents alike. Incidentally 51-46 is awfully close to her spread against Brown (54-46). So the 46% isn’t buyers remorse, but the same folks who voted against her before.

      • Agreed but

        I agree that is is probably less remorse and more the same folks that voted against her in 2012.

        Given that was an Presidential election year the turnout was probably higher than we’ll see for this one. So we’d need to work toward making sure that enough supporters actually turn out to vote!

        I also suspect she’s be a larger than normal target for dark money given her stands.

        I’ll also optimistically hope that the incumbency bump will work for her – I suspect Brown would have gotten even less in 2012 with it.

        It doesn’t mean I think she’ll lose or panic is required. But I’d avoid complancy.

        • Aiie, typos

          Typos corrected:

          I also suspect she’ll be a larger than normal target for dark money given her stands.

          I’ll also optimistically hope that the incumbency bump will work for her – I suspect Brown would have gotten even less in 2012 without it.

          Stupid internet typo monkeys – messing with my posts!

  2. Any person I speak to who opposes her

    Does do simply on information they received on a right wing “news” source. They offer no specifics other than “she’s a bully” or “she wants her un-elected bureaucrat to run things”…

    Clearly, the smear campaign is working, and working well.

    On the plus side, this could be the motivation for Democrats in this state to join together as working class Americans and defeat Trump.

    Or we can gather in our usual sub groups and watch our Waterloo…..

  3. Take it seriously-she's got my vote/money/time

    Diehl will raise outside money, he can use the anti-Olympic referendum to appeal to the kind of anti-Beacon Hill Independents that elected Brown, and it’s a bon-presidential year with a popular Republican governor on the top of the ticket running against our C team.

    On the other hand-Warren has a huge war chest and national base, she’s become a far better campaigner and brawler in the last few years, she’s now looking at 2020 and will take this race incredibly seriously, Diehl couldn’t seal the deal in a special senate race and since even there he was largely unknown outside his rep district. And on the flip side for Baker-having Warren fight against a real Trumper could drag him down.

    My hope is it doesn’t become too competitive since I want that money and energy spent elsewhere (like the progressive income tax amendment). But this is a great way to inspire liberal turnout for 2018 and could have good downballot ramifications on the governors race and ballot questions.

    • Agreed, in toto

      good points

      I suppose I was quite surprised that Trump won the midwest, but I would be even more surprised if a Trumpy guy beat her in a national-office election in Massachusetts, in the middle of the Trump administration. Although no one here would ever deign to admit it, Scott Brown was a uniquely good campaigner, and has the good fortune to run when Dems controlled the Senate. Once a vote for Scott became a vote to keep the most radical Republicans in control, he petered out.

      Totally agree that a Trumpy guy on the ballot is Baker’s worst nightmare.

  4. State Rep Geoff Diehl Gets our Vote

    State Rep Geoff Diehl will get our vote. Warren ‘s poll numbers is not a reflection of the full spectrum of registered voters. She’s become an isolationists. She refuses to meet with the general public and answer questions. Warren is fixed on Trump and nothing else.
    What has Warren done on filing bills to help the residents of the Commonwealth. Really nothing. She at times appears to be erratic at times when speaking.
    The Voters and Taxpayers deserve better that an Elizabeth Warren, Veterans definitely deserve something better that’s for sure. Warren needs to be defeated in 2018.

    • She refuses to meet with the general public and answer questions?

      Please, dude, stop this nonsense. She was in Framingham just a few days ago, at a Town Hall event. I was lucky enough to get a second row seat at the packed auditorium where the event was held. She answered questions for over an hour and stayed after the event to meet anyone face to face. When I had my opportunity to meet her, personally, we spoke briefly (out of respect to the long line waiting their turn), and I even have a photo of the moment. So please, stop with the fake news. That’s Trump, not us.

    • Love this guy

      He’s some kind of operative that only shows up to shit on Warren. Thanks Eric for stopping by!

  5. Who is this guy? A Listicle

    He’s a small business owner from Whitman who was first elected to the House in 2010.

    In 2013, he filed an amendment to a House bill to benefit veterans through a property tax exemption and a “Support Our Veterans” license plate program. His amendment would have required that all persons seeking state housing assistance provide their social security numbers. When his amendment was ruled out of order because it did not pertain to the primary subject of the bill, he and allies requested a roll call vote on that parliamentary ruling. The result, a 126-29 vote upholding the ruling, created the scandalous (if entirely specious) impression that 126 members of the House had voted to give priority for state housing assistance to undocumented immigrants over veterans. That roll call vote became the centerpiece of a flyer distributed in 20 legislative districts by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and its sister PAC, Jobs First Massachusetts, targeting Democratic incumbents in 2014. The campaign had little success.

    Also in 2014, after the Legislature increased the gas tax from 21 to 24 cents per gallon and tied future increases to the consumer price index, he played a prominent role in the successful ballot campaign to repeal that indexing. The repeal has resulted in a (greater) shortfall in the state’s transportation funding.

    In 2015, he and other conservative legislators joined with other, more progressive groups to oppose taxpayer funding for the Olympics. Later that year, he lost the election for an open State Senate seat (the incumbent, Thomas Kennedy, had passed away in June) to State Representative Michael Brady.

    He was the first state lawmaker to endorse Donald Trump for President, in February of last year. And he stood by his candidate through every controversy, even Trump’s disparagement of federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, when others grew faint of heart.

    His legislative priorities for this session include a bill to give taxpayers the option to direct the state not to use any of their income tax payments to pay for abortion services. It requires the Revenue Department to calculate the amount of state money used to pay for abortion services as a percentage of the state’s General Fund, to apply that percentage to the liability of each taxpayer electing the option and to set those amounts aside in a special fund.

    • Fun Fact-sicle

      Scott was elected to the House when Cheryl Jacques left. When R-Sen. JoAnne Sprague retired, he ran for an won her Senate seat. R-Rep. Richard Ross was elected to fill the house seat. When Scott ran for DC Senate, Richard Ross ran for and won the Senate seat, and he was replaced with R-Rep. Dan Winslow. When Dan left, he was replaced by R-Rep. Shawn Dooley. Dooley and Ross are the incumbents now.

      I call the 9th Norfolk the Tinkers-To-Evers-To-Chance seat!

  6. REACTIONARY RIGHT - WING TRUMPISM IS A BAD 'DIEHL' FOR THE BAY STATE

    A ” Conservative” is someone who believes that living in a Christian nation means denying care for the sick, keeping food from the poor and hungry and exalting the already exalted wealthy. JOHN FUGELSANG

    Bring it on, Know – Nothing fools ! Our Champion progressive Lioness is gonna beat you like a rented mule.

    Fred Rich LaRiccia

  7. A couple of thoughts

    I don’t think Trumpism will play well here and the ads tying Diehl to Trump write themselves. At least he’s a legislator rather than someone like Schilling who would just be cashing on in celebrity.

    Incumbents by definition tend not to make me swoon. There are plenty I gladly vote for, but I’m more energized by new. This year, Warren is one of two exceptions to that rule, the other being Maura Healey.

    • Trump played well here in the GOP primary

      And Diehl will play well with his primary-the bigger question is how this affects Baker in the general. Does he welcome Diehl as a way to get the Trumpy parts of his party distracted in a different race, or does he worry this taints him with his base of independent voters? We will see. And I take Diehls entry as proof that Schilling is for sure staying out. And I definitely know Baker breathed a sigh of relief at that.

      • I predict Diehl wins the primary...

        …if there even is one to speak of, which there often isn’t for the MAGOP, but I was talking about the general which I thought was obvious. Trump got crushed here in November, which is hardly surprising. Baker would do well to keep the races as separate as possible and Dems I think would look foolish if they tried too hard tying Baker to Trump.

        • Full agreement

          I think the Dem nominee’s best strategy is to run against the do-nothing Governor and legislature alike and focus on a truly inclusive populist economic agenda. Diehl will be tying Baker to Trump for us.

  8. Is Schilling still in this?

    Or did he change his mind?

  9. warren wins 54-46

    charlie, that poll does indicate a bit of unrest.

    but 54-46 was her margin last time. over a sort-of incumbent. this time versus an unknown.

    plus she controls the “dial” –

    a) the ratio of how many national firebrand appearances, versus the sort of messages/appearances that might appeal to baker voters (or those who voted brown the first time around), plus

    b) the temperature/language she uses

    maybe i’m missing something.

    can’t she spin the dial as needed as the election nears? sort of like the celts and cavs basically have the same record now, but the cavs can “turn it on” whenever they want, and win when it counts?

  10. Wasn't he Trump's MA campaign chair?

    Let’s see if he actually runs. He’s a joke, maybe there are some gems out there defending Trump during the campaign. I bet there’s quite a few. No one else is running, so it he wants to run he’s in.

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