Monday, August 08, 2005

Healey Stealth Campaign Continues

I noted earlier that Kerry Healey was starting to collect support among Republican Party insiders. Now the Globe is reporting that Healey is doing the same with local officials. The Lieutenant Governor, as part of her fuzzily-defined duties, is on a listening tour of sorts, going from town to town "spending hours listening to local officials vent". From the article:

While her boss is away on vacation, planning foreign trade missions, and raising his national profile, Healey has been quietly and steadily building what many see as a nascent campaign for governor. Traveling with just a few aides, she ventured to Holyoke, Brockton, and Fall River last week. This week, she heads to Lowell and Worcester.
This is what makes Healey so dangerous in a Republican primary. She can go out now and get commitments from local Republicans while Charlie Baker's hands are tied out of loyalty to Romney. Of course, there's another dynamic here. Local officials, who depend partly on the Governor's office for state aid, can't afford to cross the administration over someting (the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary) that might never happen, so there is a built-in incentive for them to throw their support to Healey in case Mitt decides he's going to try his hand at Presidential politics.

In a general election, however, I think these connections to local officials are going to matter less. Many suburbanites could not even tell you whether their town has selectmen, aldermen, or what-have-you let alone name one of them. In addition, Healey can always be counted on for a gaffe or two which would be more damaging in a general election than a primary.