Charlie Baker is a ‘Their guy’ candidate.
by Kevin Sowyrda
Not much time to blog this date, given the fact that it’s been atleast a day since I watched The Michael Jackson Story on TVONE……….so here goes.
Charlie Baker could well be the Steve Pierce of 1990, then the House minority leader who was the ‘chosen one’ of the G.O.P. establishment and the winner of the party convention that pivotal election year. In fact, just weeks before the big primary vote in September, the party bosses demanded that the populist in the race, Big Red Bill Weld, drop out for the sake of the party; and to avoid the embarrassment of a crushing defeat.
Didn’t work out that way, did it? Unless I’m pulling a very senior moment, Weld put it into fifth gear and left Pierce in the dust……….and the party elite looked red faced, if not ashen.
Sure, Weld had a smoking gun in his hands. News of Pierce ignoring his state income tax obligations for a matter of years didn’t exactly endear him to Joe and Mary voter. But I think it was more than that. If there’s anything rank and file primary voters can’t stand, it’s being told who to vote for.
Proof of this? Just drive down to Pennsylvania where newly created Democrat Arlen Specter is loosing ground quickly to the likely G.O.P. nominee, Pat Toomey. The party bosses have annointed Specter as ‘their guy’ since he defected from the G.O.P. But the endorsements from Governor Rendell and President Obama don’t seem to be paying off in good polling data.
‘Their guy’ candidates tend to be losing candidates. Charlie Baker is the epitomy of a ‘Their guy’ candidate.
For my money Baker’s got problems. Questions regarding his big dig financing decision are legitimate, regardless of how much he dodges these silver bullets. Further, the G.O.P. primary will be flooded with independents, given the fact that the Democratic Primary will be a yawner, as Gov. Patrick will likely not be opposed.
Independent voters like an independent candidate, and G.O.P. hopeful Christy Mihos embodies that spirit more than Baker ever could.
Simply put, it’s the clash of the establishment candidate, Charles Baker, versus the populist candidate, Christy Mihos. In an era when independent voters are telling pollsters they see Beacon Hill insiders as poison fruit, who will they support……Baker, the Beacon Hill Secretary of this and that, or Christy Mihos, a self made man from the private sector who blew the whistle on Big Dig corruption when everyone else had their whistles in a lock box?
In any event I’m glad Charlie’s finally running. After years of teasing us with a bid for office that never came, he’s finally in the waters – and likely to find the undertow can be overwhelming.