This excellent opinion piece by Somerville mayor Joe Curtatone reminded me that there had been some discussion on this site of Curtatone as a possible Democratic candidate for governor.
Until this week, I’d been thinking that Charlie Baker would likely weather the vaccine rollout crisis with his usual high approval rating intact, but now I’m not so sure. I think there’s an opening for a Democrat—but it will have to be the right Democrat for the current moment.
Massachusetts is certainly “bluer” than most of the country, but (as folks who frequent BMG certainly know) it’s not as progressive as it can seem when we’re snugly inside our own social media bubbles. Essex County, where NorthShoreGrandpa and I have lived for more than 15 years, has shifted a bit to the left—as is evident from changes in our own Beverly City Council, among other places—but overall it’s still pretty “moderate,” politically. And in my own social circles I know several thoughtful people who, in 2018, had no problem voting for Elizabeth Warren for Senate and Charlie Baker for governor.
In 2018, though I and all the Democrats I knew supported Jay Gonzalez for governor, I really didn’t run into anyone who was excited about his race, beyond the handful of people who are involved with party politics as such. In ’22, we need a Democratic candidate for governor who will spark excitement far beyond the party activists and will attract the broadest possible coalition of potential Democratic voters.
Could Joe Curtatone be that candidate? I genuinely don’t know—I’m asking. I would love to hear more of the pros and cons of this idea from those (SomervilleTom, I’m thinking of you, and I know there are others here) who have first-hand experience with his policies and governing style.