Thursday, August 18, 2005

No Hand

Joan Vennochi wishes we could recall Governor Mitt Romney in her latest column. After getting the "it's not you, it's me" speech from a long string of governors, she imagines Massachusetts voters having the power to dump before they're jilted. Why not recall Romney, she asks, and elect a candidate who wants to be governor? I know that others have their problems with Joan, but when she's unleashing her bile on deserving targets for once, it can be a thing of beauty. From the column:

At least previous governors kept their focus on Beacon Hill long enough to achieve some of their stated goals.

Since winning election in 2002, what did Romney accomplish, besides forcing the resignation of William M. Bulger as president of the University of Massachusetts?

Romney ran for governor under false pretenses, as a social moderate who would use his business savvy as a check against the Democrats who control the state Legislature. Now, as a potential GOP presidential candidate, he renounces moderation in the interests of wooing the political right.
Now, it's silly to talk of recall fourteen months before the general election -- not to mention that there is no power of recall in the Commonwealth -- but Vennochi has got Romney's number on this. Slick election brochure aside, Romney has accomplished very little of substance, so he's hesitant to become a lame duck by announcing his retirement at the end of his term. The Governor knows that he'll need one big policy victory if he hopes to have a shot at the Presidency in 2008, and if Democrats in the Legislature know they don't have to deal with him in 2006, they can lock him out of the process. The thing is, Romney's already announced his intentions in dozens of small ways without actual words, and we've seen him become more and more irrelevant to state government.

UPDATE: Chimes at Midnight and Cape Cod Works also noticed the column.