The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Baker's Folly


Massachusetts was once one of the most influential political states. In fact, it still is if you count the fact that Massachusetts has consistantly offered presidential contenders to the nation. There were two Massachusetts residents running in 2016 - Bill Weld and Jill Stein. Weld and Stein were minor party candidates, Libertarian and Green respectfully, but the 2012 Republican nominee was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. And of course there are the Mass contenders from yesteryear, like John Kerry and Mike Dukakis. However, it now appears that on the presidential level at least, Massachusetts will have very little pull.

President-elect Trump can't stand our senior U.S. Senator Liz Warren, so he is likely to reject anything Warren wants just because she's the one who wants it. Although not as disliked by Trump, junior Senator Ed Markey has no political pull with Trump either. Other high ranking Massachusetts figures like state Attorney General Maura Healey are also Trump critics who are highly unlikely to have Trump's ear. The very top office, the governorship, is held by someone of the same party as Trump, Charlie Baker, but Trump has little reason to feel helpful toward Baker either.

That's because Baker foolishly spent most of Campaign 2016 bashing Trump, saying he lacked the experience and temperament to be Chief Executive. In fact, Baker refused to support anyone for president, including Bill Weld, someone he once claimed was his political mentor. Couldn't he have given his old friend the gesture of a protest vote? The whole dance around who deserved his support was all so unnecessary, creating hard feelings where none need be, and now there's a price to pay. If Baker had just sat on the sidelines with his mouth shut, he would be in a fine position now to become Trump's point man on all things regarding Massachusetts, perhaps able to get money, favors and policy waivers that would not be seriously considered if coming from one of the state's leading Dems.

Instead, Baker has thrown it all away, and done so simply to score some cheap points with Massachusetts Democratic voters who might not like him if he associated himself positively with Trump. Now the man he refused to support is headed to the White House, with no reason for Trump to take a phone call from anyone in Massachusetts government. The Trump presidency could have been a great political boon to Baker, but he threw it all away with his poor judgement and big mouth.

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