Massachusetts National Committee Woman Chanel Prunier writes an intriguing editorial for the New Boston Post arguing that the wildly popular Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker needs to leverage his sky-high popularity to push seemingly unpopular public policy positions.
Prunier writes in part:
I’m a Republican who agrees far more with Baker’s philosophy than Patrick’s. So why do I find myself wishing that Charlie would lead more like Deval?
Deval Patrick often appeared to care little about the workings of state government, or his relationships with legislative leaders. In that regard, Patrick was a poor manager, and a less effective political figure. But no one on either side of the political aisle would seriously argue that Patrick was not a strong leader.
To the contrary, Patrick knew how to move the people of Massachusetts. Again and again, he took to the bully pulpit and with eloquent speeches and masterful use of the press he urged policies too liberal for the Massachusetts mainstream. He hammered away, often without opposition from Republicans, in favor of very liberal policies. He argued for massive, unpopular taxes to finance a wasteful transportation system, and for previously-defeated ideas such as in-state tuition for illegal aliens. He used his personal popularity to encourage people to go along with ideas they initially opposed. They did not start off in his corner, but he led them to where he wanted them to be.
Governor Baker, by contrast, is the ultimate business executive. He has been in office for a year, and has yet to use his enormous popularity to advocate for or against a policy where the people of Massachusetts aren’t already in agreement.