The “Redemption” Narrative Isn’t Bipartisan

While the Boston Globe has taken the lead in setting up the media narrative for the 2014 gubernatorial election as one of “redemption”, columnist Yvonne Abraham takes the meme one step further by making it a bipartisan one.

The title of her article? “A Second Act For Charlie Coakley.” In other words, Republican Charlie Baker & Democrat Martha Coakley – each seeking redemption from past failures – are essentially two pod people sharing the same pod:

This week’s candidates are more like the Martha and Charlie I thought I knew. Which brings me to the other big thing these two have in common. By the standards we’ve grown accustomed to, they’re dead boring.

They’re enthralled by the arcana of public policy. They have little appetite for cheap shots and gimmickry. There is little daylight between them on sexy, polarizing social issues like abortion rights and gay marriage. What we’ll get if each becomes a nominee – and if they can leave 2010 behind – is a substantive campaign centered on actual issues: education, jobs, transportation, and taxes.

It’s too early to tell if indeed Baker & Coakley will be the standard-bearers for their respective parties a year from this month. But reality be damned. The mainstream media – led by the Globe – is already in storytelling mode. They expect (& will work hard) to confer upon Coakley a “redemptive” happy ending that will thrill the hearts of their captive audiences. Baker would be a fool to expect a fair hearing from these partisan ideologues & he should resist their siren call to play along with their narrative version of his “redemptive” candidacy. Should Baker win the Corner Office in 2014, his victory will be redemptive enough not only for himself & his party but for the voters of Massachusetts.  

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