Background Noise

( – promoted by Cool Cal)

Is fear an artificial barrier preventing potential Republican candidates from running for major offices in Massachusetts?

Despite the relatively small number of Republicans in this state, there’s no real reason why there shouldn’t be a sizable group of potential challengers for John Kerry’s seat in 2008 (not to mention Deval Patrick’s seat in 2010). It’s strange that such a list does not exist. Why?

One senses that there are, in fact, many potential contenders who refuse to run, not because they wouldn’t be able to raise money and pose a viable threat, but because they’re concerned about the mainstream press burying them before they’ve had a chance to make their case. Their concerns are not invalid: look at what happened to GOP gubernatorial contender Greg Hyatt in 1986 and Senate contender Jack E. Robinson in 2000. Concerns about the press going through one’s past can be rather intimidating.

Fear of the media thus plays a significant role in damaging efforts to bring about a Republican resurgence in this state. In order to revitalize the state GOP, it will be necessary to find major-office candidates who are completely above reproach–no questionable business deals, no “baby mamas” on the side, no embarrassing stories about college frat-party behavior, etc. In short, for the Republicans to have big-time success again, we need to find a lot of Mitt Romneys.

Is this even possible? It’s sad that Republicans who’d like to contend for high office must assume that every aspect of their past will be put under multiple microscopes (while Democrats can get away with all manner and manifestation of malfeasance), but that’s the way it is, as Hyatt and Robinson can confirm. If we can find some Republicans who are (to quote Joe Biden) “articulate, bright and clean,” we can set the stage for a major comeback. However, if our candidates have more skeletons in their closet than can be found in the local cemetery, we’ll just fall further and further behind.

About D. R. Tucker