Following a recent post here linking to chats with three Dem candidates for MA governor, a comment asked about the independents. The first Left Ahead did was today with Jeff McCormick.
Click below to hear the half hour with him. In addition, he recently appeared at Suffolk Law’s Rappaport Center roundtable. His 13-minute self-intro there appears as a video on Suffolk’s site here.
My diary draws on both his chat today and on the roundtable.
First, there are bound to be the obvious comparisons with Willard Mitt Romney. McCormick too has been very successful in MA as a venture capitalist (21 years with his Saturn Partners). Very much unlike Romney, he grew up blue-collar in upstate NY, to college on scholarships, and did not have a rich, politically and corporate connected father. He claims to have arrived in Boston with $800 to make his fortune, which he did. Unlike Romney, there is no delusion when he says he’s self-made.
Superficially, McCormick was a lacrosse champion in HS and at Syracuse. He has a chin that could be a weapon and a great jawline. Those are important only in that they serve to reinforce his self-confidence and well-thought-out positions. I never for a moment felt he was jiving me.
Voters and donors have not been kind to independent gubernatorial candidates here. The few original governors came to office before parties, but maybe only Henry Gardner in 1855 fit the category. Although, as part of the Know-Nothing Movement, he was sort of in a party and managed to beat a popular Whig by a landside.
At the moment, McCormick figures he can appeal to enough voters, particularly the 53% of unenrolled ones. He seems to think it might not be as hard as some of his professional accomplishments. When asked about whether he’s hitting the public meetings and diners, he’s in his element. “I’m really comfortable in diners, much more than in ballrooms,” he said. “I can relate to just about anyone.”