In a speech tailor-made for centrists, Governor Charles D. Baker delivered his first State of the State address with modesty and zeal on the issues marking his year in office: MBTA, DCF, opiod abuse, and charter schools.
Make no mistake, the gravity of this agenda has shifted away from the majority party; one need not look any further than the Governor’s riff on charter schools and their importance to the minority community.
Through charm, good faith and the elan of a corporate executive, Baker has survived his post-honeymoon with both the legislature and the voters. The approach has earned him the title of “most popular Governor in the U.S. ” in an ecosphere of “No fights. No yelling. No partisan scrums.”
This is clearly a man who enjoys the job. And he’s willing to share the credit noting that the campaign to bring General Electric to Boston was due also the popular mayor of Boston.
Baker sounded the right notes on the limits of taxation and reminded the audience that taxes are the fruits of hard earned labor of citizens who expect a state government that works and works well. He also staked ground on limiting film tax credit program, a dubious form of corporate welfare and made no apologies for cutting the budget rattled by overspending.
The vanquished candidate former AG Martha Coakley would not have had this much goodwill entering her second year. Apparently it takes a GOP governor to have a good relationship with the legislative leadership.
Those independents who propelled him over the top by the slimmest of margins (and who Governor jokingly said were probably voting for his wife Lauren) have reason to be assured of the quality of their choice.
Herald coverage here.