Keller @ Large: Jim O’Sullivan On Gov. Baker’s ‘Vulnerabilities’

BOSTON (CBS) — With the start of the new year comes the start of new legislative sessions on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill–and, of course, in two weeks, the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Boston Globe political reporter and analyst Jim O’Sullivan sat down with WBZ political analyst Jon Keller to talk about what to expect in politics both local and national in 2017.

On the local front, O’Sullivan talked about Gov. Charlie Baker’s popularity. In a year that saw Baker, who is up for reelection in 2018, get some of the highest approval ratings in the country, O’Sullivan pointed out that not everything has gone the Governor’s way.

“When you look at the polls, they don’t show his vulnerability,” said O’Sullivan. “You talk to Democrats and they say, hey look, he went 0 for 2 in November on the ballot questions–he lost on charter schools, he lost on marijuana–and people tend to forget this, he won by 40,000 votes over a weak candidate, 40,000 votes is the slimmest margin by which a governor has won since 1964.”

Keller wondered if poor performance by the MBTA would eat away at Baker’s popularity.

“He would wear that,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s been in office for two years now, he’s no longer able to blame things on Deval Patrick and the Patrick administration.”

On the national level, Keller asked how the politics of Trump were affecting the Commonwealth.

“If you’re a Massachusetts Democrat, you run very little risk in going after Donald Trump,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s a little bit dicier for Gov. Baker … A governor is more responsible for bringing federal assistance to the state, and Trump has shown that he can be vindictive.”

O’Sullivan and Keller also discussed the chances that the state legislature would raise taxes in 2017, and whether Massachusetts has anyone in the Trump administration looking out for the Bay State.

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

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