Today, Massachusetts inaugurates Deval Patrick as its new governor, the first Democratic governor since 1990. Back in November, Patrick handily beat his Republican opponent, outgoing Lieutenant-Governor Kerry Healey.
Looking backwards, I understand that Kerry Healey has never really had a chance. In the election year of such a strong anti-Republican sentiment, only titans like Arnold Schwarzenegger could win governorship in a Democratic state. And Kerry, unfortunately, isn’t Arnold.
Kerry’s stiff and sometimes even arrogant appearance in a series of TV debates with Patrick hurt her enormously. Such a disappointment for those of us, who worked for Kerry’s campaign, met her on a few occasions and were as charmed with her warm personality as we all were impressed with her competence and her love for Massachusetts.
Looking forward, however, I’m almost ready to concede that, perhaps, Kerry would not be a good fit for the job. For she seems to be too decent and intelligent to belong to the Ol’ Boys Club the Massachusetts politics has become over years. In this regard, almost as slick as his former boss, Bill Clinton, and always knowing exactly what to promise to this particular audience here and now, Patrick will be way better.
For 16 years in a row, Republican governors – Bill Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift, and Mitt Romney – have struggled to keep in check the “tax-and-spend” insanity of the corrupted Democratic Legislature.
The accession of Deval Patrick to the governorship may change that. It will also make official what we people of Massachusetts have long known: Massachusetts is a one-party state.
A good reason not to feel nostalgic for Russia I left 16 years ago.