Wednesday, January 18, 2006

DiMasi's State of the State Prebuttal

House Speaker Sal DiMasi took the opportunity yesterday to blast Mitt Romney's job creation record in advance of tomorrow's State of the State address. DiMasi reminds us that Massachusetts has between 140,000 and 160,000 fewer jobs than it did in 2001, when Romney first took office. From the Globe:

"[Governor Romney] made us a promise when he first came in, that he wanted to create jobs here in Massachusetts," DiMasi told reporters after a news conference celebrating new tax incentives for the film industry. "We need to get the economy back. We want to hear from Romney to find out why we haven't created those jobs."

When asked if Romney, who won't seek reelection this fall, will be able to act effectively on the issue in his final year, DiMasi said, "Well, I'd like to hear what did he do when he was here and why didn't it work and what does he suggest now that he's leaving?"
Of course, the question on everybody's mind is whether Governor Romney will be addressing his speech tonight to an audience in Massachusetts or in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. My guess is that it will be a little of both. While the text of the speech has not been released, it promises to be a litany of supposed Romney accomplishments -- an advertising platform, if you will, for his 2008 presidential run. This is the Governor's first real opportunity to give a strictly "Hey look what I did" speech since he announced his retirement and I can't imagine that he'll pass it up. I wouldn't be surprised if he throws Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey a bone when he's talking about local aid or crime prevention, but I expect the focus to be squarely on him. After all, in his own words: "From now on, it's me, me, me."