… Tim Cahill.
A week ago Cahill told the Herald that he might jump into a primary challenge against the Governor “It would depend upon the situation the state faces … I enjoy being the boss.” Uh huh.
State House News Service (quoted by Paul) says The Gov is brushing aside any anxiety about the Cahill challenge:
Patrick tells the News Service, “I’m running,” adding, “I fully expect there are going to be challengers, and that’s all right. Keeps my game sharp.” What about having to maybe pull a Dukakis and fend off a Democratic primary challenger? “Doesn’t matter to me,” a smiling Patrick shrugged.
Again, I think the Governor is catching hell — and will indeed catch more — for a lot of things that are not his fault. The Big Dig debt is a nightmare that was going to be dealt with one way or another. The financial crisis hits state governments particularly hard, since they can't just borrow their way into a stimulus. But if the electorate is feeling cranky in a year and a half, they'll take it out on the incumbent.
I'm pretty darned sure Cahill would have some problems, particularly with progressives. His committment to the new health care law is shaky — although with luck, that may not even be an issue of local concern at that point. He's emphatically pro-casino (not that that redounds to Patrick's benefit, either). He's mostly gotten press by being against Patrick's proposed financial reforms; at some point he'll have to offer credible alternatives, if indeed he wants to be boss.
And even more to the point … If Patrick is weakened enough by external circumstances to be vulnerable in 2010 — who would want the job anyway?