In the Massachusetts Republican landslide of 1990, William Weld (R) defeated John Silber (D) with 50.19% of the vote. In a curious turn of events, voters were faced with a decision between a socially Liberal Weld, and a socially conservative, and personally unlikable, Silber. That same year, Joe Malone (R) was elected as Treasurer with 57.24%,John Kerry (D) was re-elected to the Senate with just 54.51% of the vote, and Republicans made significant gains in both the State House and Senate.
Republican nominee Charlie Baker, who worked in the Weld administration, appears to be trying the “Weld model” for election in this year’s race. I have heard from Charlie Baker supporters “He’s going to be the next Bill Weld!” with smiles on their faces and hope in their eyes. I have also heard from Baker detractors “He’s the next Bill Weld” while rolling their eyes and shaking their heads. Both sides appear to be in agreement on the type of Republican Charlie Baker is, but in profound disagreement over their support for such an idea.
An obvious question remains “Who is Bill Weld?” As Governor, Bill Weld did a number of very good things. He was a principled tax cutter who privatized a number of government services and reformed medicaid. He reduced government payroll by 15,000 employees and had unemployment drop during his tenure. In 1994 he was re-elected with an impressive 71% of the vote, a statewide margin not reached by any Republican since. Not Bad!
However, there is another side of Bill Weld that is less liked by some Republicans. He was very liberal on social policy, even opposing the ban on partial birth abortion. He appointed a number of liberal activist judges to the courts that we are still dealing with today, and even openly attacked John Kerry for voting to confirm Clarence Thomas! This New York lawyer has also attacked many national Republicans and on October 24, 2008 endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. Ouch!
MORE AND POLL BELOW THE FOLD….
You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all, and there you have, Bill Weld.
What say you all?[poll id=”