Keller @ Large: Political Talent Scouts Like Our Politicians

BOSTON (CBS) – What is it about Massachusetts that produces so many politicians who seem in tune with what their party wants?

No, I’m not kidding.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Consider John F. Kennedy in 1960, the fresh young face a new generation of Democrats was looking for; Michael Dukakis in 1988, a technocrat when technocrats were just coming into vogue; John Kerry in 2004, the war hero Democrats thought they needed to compete after 9-11; and now, Mitt Romney, the uber-manager Republicans think recession-weary voters will respond to.

Our humble little state seems to be the corner drugstore political talent scouts flock to in search of leading men, and last night, Republicans in the most important swing state of all made it very clear Romney fits the bill a whole lot better than the libertarian, the social reactionary, and the egomaniac running against him.

Political campaigns are always about contrasts, so consider how Romney stacked up against the other three.

Unlike Ron Paul, he believes in a strong role for government in certain areas, a comfort to seniors and military families.

Unlike Rick Santorum, Romney is not an obsessive absolutist on social issues, one way in which his past flip-flopping may have actually helped him among equally ambivalent voters.

And next to Newt Gingrich, Romney’s Mt. Rushmore-sized ego seemed relatively modest.

The last gasp of right-wing criticism of Romney as nominee was that he couldn’t win as many votes as the two conservatives, Gingrich and Santorum, combined.

Last night, he did that.

They said he couldn’t beat the president next fall.

Florida voters overwhelmingly disagreed.

Folks across America don’t much like our driving or our growing stockpile of sports championships.

But they sure do seem to like our politicians.

Hey, we need spending money — is that an export we can figure out a way to tax?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • Stephen Stein

    “They said he couldn’t beat the president next fall. Florida voters overwhelmingly disagreed.”

    I would offer a correction here – “Florida REPUBLICAN voters disagreed”

    I think this result shows that the application of lots and lots of money on one side of an election can buy a victory.

    It is yet to be demonstrated that this result will affect the national poll numbers, in which Newt remains the leader.

  • gramps

    Massachusetts, a political ‘incubator’ for poor choices….

    Deval is it’s latest ‘goose egg’….Patrick, is like a farmer sewing seeds….He’s either ‘for’ or ‘against’ any law, program, idea or opinion that will enhance or can’t be used against him in his quest to be called ‘Mr. President’!….By 2016 the country’s ‘demographic pendulum’ will be ‘for ever’ swinging to his liking. In the mean time he’ll do nothing to alienate ‘ANY’ ethnic or down-trodden group.

    He’s ‘good buddies’ with Obama, yet refuses to take a position/post in DC…WHY?

    Cause he didn’t & doesn’t want to be associated with any miss steps of an Obama administration…..They could & will be used against him in his 2016 campaign.

    So until then, he’ll stay in the ‘shadows’, & take notes on Obamas’, style, mishaps & moves, compile a ‘Do’s & Dont’s’ list for his run for the ‘Oval’ diggs…..

    He’ll continue push for ‘Free or reduced Tuition’ for illegal’s…..No ‘ID’s at the voting booth…..Look the other way when ‘EBT cards are used for ‘vacations to Vegas & Hawaii’….&….Be against programs like ‘Secure Communities’, 3 Strikes & protect those ‘ID’less voters for his 2016 run…

    Let there be ‘no’ mistake, his appearance’s across the nation under the guise of pushing Obama, is really to ‘build & enhance’ his own ‘face & name recognition’ across the USA!


    • Stephen Stein

      “He’s ‘good buddies’ with Obama, yet refuses to take a position/post in DC…WHY?”

      Perhaps because he already has a job that he likes?

      • BostonIrish

        Stephen, I agree with Gramps. I have no doubt that Deval has his ambitions on the White House. No need to come out of the shadows right now. Still an election to be won by Obama. Deval and Obama need to go away. Give me a more centrist democrat. Newt will not make the nomination. Romney will defeat Obama, I hope.

      • Tsalnew

        BI not sure Romney is that centrist. Although certainly more than gingrich. He first sees 90% as envious and now isn’t worried about the poor. He’d be my choice from the pack but I still fear for the plight of the average joe. At least he doesn’t terrify me. As far as our gov, as Steven said shouldn’t he be focusing on his job at hand. If he has his sights on the white house that is fine as long as his focus is on MA now. Unlike Romney

      • gramps

        tsal, as soon as the GOP stops it’s current ‘tomfoolery’ & names it’s nominee…..

        Your Governor from ‘Chicago’, will be on ‘Obama’s’ dime…..

        & ‘THE SEE AMERICA’ plan!

        Do you play poker?


      • Tsalnew

        Good grief. That was NOT what I intended. Apparently mynipad has a sense of humor. But not one I like. GOOD things to say

      • Tsalnew

        It irritates on all levels me that he is judged on size. He’s got food things to say and that’s all that matters

      • Tsalnew

        I hear you gramps and also BI However, Where will the gov from NJ be? He may have decided not to run for pres this time He also hasnt said no to a possible VP position The majority of governors have their sight set on the white house. Why are we singling out ours? Let’s play the odds on how many governors would like to be pres – either outright or behind the scenes.

      • Stephen Stein

        @gramps – Keeping and doing the job he was elected to do is doing the right thing. Of course, you might also see it as cynical political judgment as well.

        Romney took a hit by starting his presidential campaign in the middle of his term, virtually the day after Bush’s 2004 inauguration. Patrick’s not dumb, and he can avoid that kind of unforced error.

      • gramps

        Are you interested in purchasing a ‘BRIDGE’?


      • gramps

        When you see the NJ Gov. slide into a ’46 regular’…..

        He’s running.


        The Dem’s will use pictures of ‘Taft’ against him. @ his current size, he might be larger than ole’ William Howard!

      • tsalnew

        was going to say the same thing Stephen so will just agree

        and is it too early to discuss what’s on tap for Sunday :)

  • Stephen Stein

    Just a couple of data points from Florida:
    92% of all ads were negative
    Romney ran exactly ONE positive ad

  • tsalnew

    I don’t know what is generating the vote. It’s more anti than it is positive because I believe the republican voters see they have poor and limited choices. I also believe the tea party is doing irreparable harm to the republican party.

    Do I think it has to do with MA? Well John Adams came from MA and I consider him – as you know – one of the greatest. Dukakis?????? Kerry???? Ugh. I liked Weld but was younger and between political interest years so may have missed something. Seems we have had better republican politicians than democrat – except maybe Romney – so go figure

    What scares me most of all is that Gingrich remains leader in the national polls. I’d put him on my list of people to be terrified of right behind Trump.

    • petem

      Gingrinch and Trump TOP my list of terribles…

      • tsalnew

        I think Trump has a plan endorsing Romney. He originally was supporting Gingrich. I figure whomever Trump supports will be hurt by that endorsement – maybe that’s his plan.

  • Stephen Stein

    Another data point from Florida –
    In this era of “enthusiasm gap”, the Republican turnout was DOWN from 2008. Not a good sign for them.

    • tsalnew

      If I’m not mistaken, it was lower in NH than in 2008 and higher in SC. Interesting that Romney carried the two states with lower turnout.

      • petem

        I believe he also received fewer votes in Iowa this time, by about 6 votes…

  • Ashley

    Oh, that’s an easy one Jon! Mass is one of the most balanced states. and by balanced I mean open minded people compared to the rest of the nation. Our trailblazing laws like allowing same sex marriage (first state ever, now there are six others), electing deval patrick only the second african american govenor ever ( now there is an african american president, coincidence? possibly.), and allowing illegal immigrants to be covered by healthcare plans (like it or not), allows us a competitive advantage when it comes to debates and campaigns. Basically, if you were a politician in massachusetts, chances are, you’ve seen or dealt with just about every policy and problem imaginable. (living with many different social preferences forces a politician to open their eyes wider than say any bible belt state)

    A policitical candidate from Mass has larger knowledge of what works and what doesnt, what needs aid, and what needs regulation for a wide variety of citizens. This knowledge usually surpasses any candidate.( admittedly not always, but usually.)

    So, lets face it, mass is awesome compared to all the other 49 states. I love living here. taxes may be high, but you get what you pay for: amazing hospitals(people are flown cross country to boston since their home states hospitals are unable to give the care needed to their patients), some of the most elite colleges (MIT, or Harvard anyone?), great mix of people co-exhisting, and freaking awesome sports teams!! Be proud of where you come from, for real! it could be WAAY worse!

    • tsalnew

      Well now that was a refreshing read. I have always been proud to be from Massachusetts . Very nice!

      One of the reasons I enjoy it is because of the winters ;) Hi Massman!!

      • gramps

        I can only hope that like you……..

        She’s too old to reproduce.


      • tsalnew

        so sad gramps………….but you are beginning to learn so I haven’t lost hope yet!

    • massman

      Right on Ashley. I am also proud to be from this state. Great ideology, well – educated, and a leader in many progressive social areas. I’m not a fan of the cold, but no thanks living elsewhere.

      • BostonIrish

        massman, is progressive supposed to mean moving away from being neanderthal, or moving into government-financed living for the masses? I don’t like the reference of “progressive”. It sounds like we’re all backwards unless we agree to let the government steer our lives because they know better and are better equipped than the regular citizen.

    • gramps

      Where do I start…..

      1ST I need a few ‘asprins’ & a Dewars….


      • tsalnew

        careful, gramps, I am beginning to really enjoy reading your posts……………that was just plain laugh out loud funny.

    • JohnC

      FWIW: The Massachusetts state supreme court held that there was nothing in existing law that would prohibit same-sex marriage. No new law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed.

  • Ashley

    lol oh gramps..

    • gramps

      I re-read your ‘State of the State’ message….&….

      Can’t help be feel you’ve already started your ‘Letter to Santa’ for next year.


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