Friday, June 10, 2005

That and $1.25 Will Get You a T Token

So says the Boston Globe:

Governor Mitt Romney has promised to endorse Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey in the 2006 gubernatorial race if he decides to run for president, a top Republican Party official and a Healey adviser said.
Ask James Rappaport how much a promise from Romney means. He could have had Healey's job if Romney had kept his pledge to remain neutral in 2002's GOP Lieutenant Governor primary. Instead, Romney got all in a snit when Rappaport mentioned his name in a TV ad, and immediately endorsed Healey, breaking his promise. Keep in mind, that this happened even before he was elected governor. Since then, he's broken his promise to support stem cell research, failed to deliver on his promise to attract business to Massachusetts, hidden tax increases by calling them 'fees', 'faked' his position on reproductive rights, and broken countless campaign pledges.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Romney doesn't turnaround on his promise to Healey. This is good news for state Democrats, for many reasons. For one, Healey is a much weaker candidate than Charlie Baker. Though Baker has no electoral experience, he at least has some executive experience, and Healey has been a complete non-entity these past few years. Sure, if Romney bails (which is looking more and more likely) he could give her a bit more to do, but remember that she'll be campaigning at the same time. The other thing is that Romney's support for Healey pratically guarantees a Republican primary for governor. If Romney had tapped Baker instead, I think that would have been too big of a blow for Healey to recover from, and she might have just tried to keep her job as gubernatorial sidekick. Though both Healey and Baker have gobs of money to spend, it's better for Democrats to have them focused on each other while we're sorting things out in our own primary.

[Update] Chimes at Midnight reminds me that Romney also pledged not to run against 'a sitting governor,' all the while elbowing Jane Swift out of the GOP nomination. The same could be said about Patrick Guerriero, Swift's choice for Lt. Governor. The moral of ths story: Mitt's only reliable promise is that he will do what's best for Mitt. If it becomes politically expedient for him to drop Healey, he'll do it in a heartbeat.