I write this diary in support of the only candidate that has the qualities that can win this year’s gubernatorial election. This is a candidate that can appear on the ballot in reality this November, in this election cycle. I am not speaking of some idealized “perfect” candidate. None exists, because no trustworthy person can be all things to all people.
Rather, I will explain the qualities of this candidate, and why they are important.
1. This candidate understands how the media operates.
This candidate understands that as a Republican, they have no hope of defining themselves in the media. They understand the media lies, deliberately and pathologically, about Republican candidates.
They understand that this is how they will allow our candidates to be framed by our opposition:
2. Using the above knowledge, this candidate embraces and includes all of his potential supporters.
This candidate does not allow himself or his running mate to drive a wedge between people that will support him because he fears association with those supporters will be damaging to him. Instead, this candidate will, should he still believe those fears to be justified, use his running mate as a bridge toward those supporters instead of a weapon against them.
In short, this candidate understands that they will be tied inexorably to the Tea Party, to pro-family conservatives, and to religious voters regardless of their attempts to frame themselves otherwise. The opposition lies as a matter of course, the media enables those lies, and the candidate wastes resources fighting those accusations. So this candidate understands that they should embrace, include, and incorporate these voters and their values into his messaging.
3. This candidate has experience in government and in running campaigns.
This candidate has a conception of how internal government affairs works, and knows the rigors of an actual campaign. Ideally this experience is first-hand, so that previous tactical errors can be avoided. This candidate will also have assisted campaigns in the past and been active in local or state initiatives.
4. This candidate has a bold message that demands the will of the voters be implemented.
The one party rule in Massachusetts is not a nuisance, it is an atrocity. This candidate understands that the voters have been wronged by one party rule, and articulates plainly the problems of a government that does not listen. This candidate promises as governor that the ballot initiatives passed by the people in previous years will be honored and enforced by his Governorship, as they should have been for years. This candidate is not afraid to go directly at the source of this injustice: The Democratic Party in Massachusetts, the people it elects and supports, and “independent” candidates that support it with their political giving who are thus indistinguishable from it.
5. This candidate rejects the premises of the left, and argues their beliefs using the language of conviction and Republican philosophy.
This candidate understands that his voters are motivated by conviction and forthrightness. Even if they disagree with his conclusions, as long as he shows that he respects and values their position, he will earn their votes in a general election. This candidate knows people are tired of “different kinds of Republican” that are only different in the sense they can’t articulate the Republican philosophy of Respecting the Constitution, Respecting Life, Support for Limited Government, and Championing Personal Responsibility.
This candidate will use this ability to articulate Republican philosophy to offer voters a real choice in November, and in this articulation and inclusiveness he will provide his supporters the motivation they need to win him the governorship.
6. This candidate is not afraid to bring this message to every corner, specifically the cities and minority communities.
The appeal of the Republican message is universal, life affirming, and life empowering. No one needs to hear this message more than the cities and the minority communities. This is not “diversity outreach,” it is community engagement. We need to engage the people in these communities who believe that we need to Defend the Constitution, Respect Life, Support Limited Government, and Incentivize Personal Responsibility.
At issue is the fact this has been neglected for so long and will take campaign resources. Many of these places do not even have organized Republican committees. But some do, and every effort must be made to meet with the minority business owners and the food trucks that feed the construction workers at inner city construction projects. GOP Chair Kirsten Hughes stated one of her priorities as chair would be engagement in the cities. It is time to make that a reality. We face electoral disaster if we do not make an effort in the Commonwealth’s largest cities. We do have viable State Rep candidates running in both Fall River and Worcester at least – this candidate for Governor will leverage those opportunities.
The perfect candidate for Governor can exist, but does not exist currently. This is because the perfect candidate for Governor presently only achieves, at best, four of the six qualities outlined above.
Mark Fisher lacks the quality of having government experience and having run before. This is a significant disadvantage, and one that cannot physically be made up. Advisors and Supporters can only address this problem so much. This quality is, unique among the others, a function of time and involvement.
Charlie Baker has that important quality that Fisher lacks, but is presently undermining himself, on the fourth, and fifth, and especially the second qualities. He is fortunate that these qualities can be addressed – but it must be turned around quickly, and before the convention.
Either Mark Fisher or Charlie Baker as they could be is the perfect candidate for Governor. Baker has a smaller hill to climb, but it requires more immediate action. Immediate as in before the convention immediate.
Provided here is an action plan for each candidate:
1. Apologize to the Tea Party immediately, and charge your running mate Karyn Polito with reaching out to them as physical proof of the apology. The Statement “anyone associating us with the Tea Party is engaging in negative campaigning” is a death knell to your gubernatorial prospects. You are excluding people who would otherwise support you because it seems you fear the media will define you as Tea Party. That is why I posted the anti-Tisei attack ad above. You ARE going to be tarred with the Tea Party label – you might as well get door knockers, phone bankers, and volunteers out of it instead of assuming the media will let you define yourself otherwise.
2. Re-Adopt your strongest fiscal positions from 2010, and explicitly campaign on the implementation of previous passed ballot initiatives. The very fact these initiatives passed in Massachusetts is indication they are political winners. “Make Massachusetts Great” needs to have some teeth behind it.
3. Articulate your social values using the language of conviction and Republican Principles. It is understood that a significant portion of the Republican base will disagree with you on your conclusions. By using the language of conviction and tying it to Republican philosophy, you will at least present your values in terms these voters respect. Your presentation should include how your values represent Respect for the Constitution, Respect for Life, Support for Limited Government, and Championing Personal Responsibility.
1. Surround yourself with politically knowledgeable people that have been in office and / or run state-wide campaigns before. Your biggest liability is the gulf in time you have had to make connections and make yourself known.
2. Focus your campaign on an inclusive Republicanism. Republican moderates need to understand that you are running against Democrats, not against Baker personally for being too socially liberal. Use your own personal experiences as a contrast to emphasize your strong points as a person and candidate. The same language of conviction and Republican philosophy must remain your cornerstone as well.
3. Prepare for a hostile media onslaught. As a newcomer you are more undefined than most other candidates in the race, and as a newcomer Republican you have the smallest immediate base of voters that can counter-message media narratives on your behalf. Knowing the media is an enemy is not enough, you need to have a battle plan for any statement they might use against you, real or fabricated. Have people do opposition research on yourself.
The perfect candidate for Governor does exist, in reality, and that is who I support. It’s up to Baker and Fisher to prove to me and the Republican voters which of them that candidate is going to be for us this November, if any.
~Brian Kennedy, Republican Activist