As far as campaigns are concerned, her record is mixed. She ran for
State Rep twice, twice losing to Michael Cahill. She became head of the
MA Republican State Committee, and was hand-picked by Romney as a
running mate. So her single election victory was not her own doing. Not
much to go on there.
The LG’s role is pretty vague: In the current Administration, Healey is
said to have acted as “liaison” to cities and towns. What does that
actually mean? <a
Globe article from last year indicated that she has listened well,
gaining credibility with mayors. However, does that translate to
support? Unless she acknowledges local leaders’ bitterness about the <a
administration’s dismissive attitude, and backs that up with
substance, I suspect that even the mayors who have praised her
heretofore will be looking for another option.
She also seems to make much of her support of Melanie’s Law; it can’t
hurt that certain members of the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature <a
href=”http://www.statehousenews.com/public/roundup.htm”>made asses of
themselves opposing what is mostly a justifiable law. I have little
doubt that she will try to pin the intransigence of certain members on
the “Democratic Legislature” as a whole, deserved or not. As a
criminologist, she’s been strangely quiet regarding the upsurge in
violence in Boston. Maybe she doesn’t see herself getting many votes in
Boston anyway, but that’s a lousy reason not to share one’s expertise,
not to mention burnish credentials.
Does Healey have charisma? Of a sort: she’s tall, blond, and
possesses a manner with elements of both soccer-mom and heiress.
had our fun with her brittleness: She’s been impolitic
at times, sounding like a Harvard-know-it-all dispensing simplistic
“solutions” to entrenched problems, famously saying that <a
in MA were, uh, “overhoused”. This glibness seems to be a <a
quality in the Romney circle.
Through her husband Sean, head of the investment group AMG, Kerry
Healey is extremely rich, and she is likely to spend a good chunk of
change: in ’05 <a
cashed in $13 million in AMG stock options. That is some serious
scratch. Now, in 2001, Sean took a $1.2 million tax credit he probably
shouldn’t have. In the end, she will likely have
highest dollar/vote ratio of anyone, win or lose.
She has stated she won’t collect a salary if elected. I don’t like the
implication of that: If you’re working for the taxpayers, take a
salary; give it to charity of you like, but at least it’s a periodic
reminder of whom you work for.
What does she offer as a candidate? Judging by her announcement speech,
it seems that she’s following a long Republican tradition: Promise
the moon. <a
spending proposals and tax cuts! You can have it
all. And it’s still craven and
dishonest, but let’s not kid ourselves: it’s been an effective strategy
for conservatives for a long time. In order to counter this central
strategy, the bluff needs to be called, early and often: What do
you plan to cut? Since we’ve tried everything else, we might start
standing up for the principle of, like, arithmetic.
Ideologically, she’s clearly not “New-Romney” conservative … but
isn’t it hard to tell? Social issues will not dominate the
landscape in 2006: She’s pro-choice, and pro-civil union, which may put
her roughly “in the middle” of the same-sex marriage debate;
practically speaking it’s actually not on the map at all. Strangely,
continues to be much, much more of an issue outside the
Healey’s hard to classify: she’s not really a longtime hack or
glad-handing pol candidate; she’s not really a citizen-candidate; she’s
not really a résumé candidate, either. She is, however, a big, big
money candidate: That $13 million that Sean Healey took out of his AMG
holdings dwarfs the $9
million and change that Mitt Romney spent in 2002. (She may end up
being the Massachusetts version of John Corzine, who has done
everything but drop dollar bills out of helicopters in NJ looking for
votes.) Given the recent progressive political trends in the Bay State,
her low poll numbers, the probable independent candidacy of Christy
Mihos, and her tendency to shoo votes away with insensitive comments,
she’s going to need all of it.