Brian McGrory had an incredibly perceptive column in Friday’s Boston Globe – Sour Baker a harder sell. Watching last week’s debate, I had the same impression that McGrory had:
Why does Charlie Baker look so perpetually put upon?
When this campaign is over, he’ll have a good job regardless of the outcome – either leading the state or running something else. By any measure, his is not a particularly hard-scrabble, up-by-the-bootstraps kind of story. But there he is, scowling at everything going on around him, as if all of life is his rotten oyster.
He’s annoyed when anyone asks him a question, annoyed as he explains how the governor has never done anything right, annoyed that he has to submit himself to this unbecoming process known as a gubernatorial campaign.
One of the great things about Governor Patrick on the stump, is that he is unafraid to credit his opponents with good ideas, as he did with all his opponents in last week’s debate. Not so with Charlie Baker:
In Baker’s surprisingly ungracious and ungenerous world, Patrick has yet to do a single constructive thing in warding off the economic woes that have buffeted the entire nation.
Seriously, it’s like running against an ex-spouse. The governor, in Baker’s view, can’t even chew right.
McGrory’s advice for Baker is spot-on:
Baker might do well to consider that it is a privilege, not a burden, to be his party’s nominee for the governorship in a state as vibrant, as diverse, and as much a part of his bones as Massachusetts. The process, traveling from Boston to the Berkshires, shouldn’t wear him down but build him up.
There is absolutely nothing about the majesty of democracy that he should find annoying – at least publicly. Beyond that, there’s nothing personal here. It’s just how we elect people.
And don’t believe just me; look at Scott Brown, Baker’s fellow Republican. The guy was as unfailingly upbeat as he was relentlessly determined, and the electorate fell head over heels. It’s called establishing a connection, and Baker has yet to do it.
Now let me get a bit partisan. Briann McGrory got this about Baker, but no one else in the media seems to have picked it up. I remember the media dumping all over Shannon O’Brien for her alleged smirking (who wouldn’t smirk when debating Mitt Romney?) and Al Gore for rolling his eyes at George W. Bush (who didn’t?), but the Republicans (except for George H.W. Bush looking at his watch) always seems to get a pass when their petulant personalities come through. Kudos to Brian McGrory for recognizing this and pointing it out at least this one time.