There have been two ‘October surprises’ in Massachusetts this month vis-à-vis the governor’s race. First, Republican hopeful Charlie Baker ostensibly now boasts a nine-digit lead. A race that was once razor-tight seems already to be breaking his way. And second, the left-leaning Boston Globe -- perhaps the most influential newspaper in all of Massachusetts -- has now endorsed his candidacy.
The headline of their Sunday editorial? “Charlie Baker for governor” (emphasis theirs):
Effective activist government isn’t built on good intentions. To provide consistently good results, especially for the state’s most vulnerable and troubled residents, agencies need to focus on outcomes, learn from their errors, and preserve and replicate approaches that succeed. Baker, a former health care executive, has made a career of doing just that. During this campaign, he has focused principally on making state government work better. The emphasis is warranted. And in that spirit, the Globe endorses Charlie Baker for governor. …
One needn’t agree with every last one of Baker’s views to conclude that, at this time, the Republican nominee would provide the best counterpoint to the instincts of an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature. His candidacy opens up the possibility of creative tension. Facing veto-proof Democratic majorities in both houses, Baker would have no choice but to work constructively with the Legislature. Likewise, the Legislature would have to engage with Baker’s initiatives.
Baker ran for governor in 2010 and lost handily. But now that Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) isn’t on the ballot anymore, his electoral prospects have improved considerably. (It also doesn’t hurt that his opponent has proven once again to be a less-than-effective campaigner).
The Globe endorsed Baker’s opponent in 2010 -- although it seemed to do so somewhat reluctantly. “Baker is a very intelligent administrator who would be a forceful and capable governor,” the Globe conceded in their op-ed endorsing Gov. Patrick for re-election.
It seems, then, the editorial board has come full circle, and is finally ready to give the keys to the governor's office to a Republican.