Monday, August 29, 2005

Baker's Out

So much for a contested Republican gubernatorial primary. The AP is reporting that Charlie Baker has decided not to run for governor. This is good and bad news for Massachusetts Democrats. Some people believed that Baker would have been a more difficult candidate for a Democrat to beat. The best part of a Baker candidacy, however, would have been that Republicans would finally have to spend some money beating each other up. I suspect the prospect of having to raise enough money to compete with Healey's massive warchest was too much for Baker. I have to imagine, though, that there are more than a few Republicans who are not going to be happy if Kerry Healey is given a free pass to the nomination, just as there were Republicans in 2002 who wanted then-Governor Jane Swift off the ballot. Will they be able to find another good-looking, wealthy CEO type to challenge Healey before next September?

This news comes shortly after Wayne Woodlief's Friday column in the Herald where he suggested that Baker should challenge Ted Kennedy for the Senate instead. That would help ease Baker's fundraising problems -- the campaign finance limits for federal elections are much greater than the limits for state elections -- but he would still have to quit his job to compete in an election he has an even smaller chance of winning. While it's true that Baker could set himself up to follow the Mitt Romney path of losing to Kennedy and going on to bigger things, he could just as easily end up like Kennedy's 2000 challenger Jack E. Robinson, who was last seen getting trounced by Bill Galvin in the 2002 Secretary of State race.