BOSTON — Like the sketch made famous by Abbot and Costello; “Who’s on First?” aptly applies to the Massachusetts 2010 midterm elections. With five weeks to go before voters, decide the fate of the harried candidates, determining who is on first is complicated.
Consider the unpredictability of any voter’s mood concerning the condition of the Commonwealth and how officials are running the state — and it is easy to assume it will be anyone’s ball game.
Massachusetts Voters Eerily Quiet
Despite the volumes of opinion-based articles I read about Massachusetts politics, in newspapers and political blogs across the country; voters, at least in my corner of the state, are rather hushed and reserved. Perhaps that means nothing. On the other hand, does this alarming stillness suggest that voters have made up their minds?
Another observation that is puzzling me is the lack of signage supporting the candidates in the heated governor’s race. I realize there is still time, and campaign signs will magically appear.
I find it rather odd, though, that at this time, signs are not out in force. I am simply not hearing or seeing the usual verbal banter and symbolic demonstration that takes place prior to elections.
It is interesting that so many people in my area of the state are remaining tight-lipped about who they would like to see stay on Beacon Hill, who would be great to have on board or who needs to go immediately.
If I were a candidate right now, especially in the run for governor, I would not be worried about the nonsensical political chatter; it would definitely be the restrained behavior of the voter on the sidelines. What I was not hearing would be most disturbing.
Charles Baker (R) Gains Momentum in Governor’s Race
Democrat incumbent Deval Patrick and Republican Charles Baker are about neck and neck right now. Baker hopes to oust Patrick, who has served one term in Massachusetts. The two agree on very little and are in fact, worlds apart on most issues — including how and at what level of state or federal government, illegal immigration should be handled.
Baker is wooing voters with a promise to register Massachusetts in the Secure Communities program, which will allow state troopers to check immigration status when they encounter someone in question while on duty.
Governor Patrick has said in the past that he believes illegal immigration needs attention, but in 2007 reversed an order signed by then governor Mitt Romney, allowing Massachusetts troopers to verify immigration standing. Illegal immigration reform is a hot issue right now, but one Deval Patrick appears to side step every chance he gets.
However, Deval Patrick did surprise me and stunned many people, when he spoke out about the recent controversial Boston WBZ-TV interview with President Obama’s Aunt Zeituni. In the interview, the aunt said she was “entitled” to become a U.S. citizen. The governor said she was not “entitled” to anything except to be treated with human decency. For sure, it is an interesting comment coming from Patrick.
With five weeks to go, if voters appear a bit resigned and on the quiet side, it may be because the voters of the Commonwealth are doing some serious thinking. If truly there is calm before a storm, though, I feel like I am experiencing just that.
The Boston Herald