Against nativism

Aaron at Mass Democracy raises an interesting question: is it better to have a governor who was born in Massachusetts? His answer is a resounding yes--but he doesn't back up his argument.

Not to be harsh, but maybe that's because it doesn't make much sense.

Don't get me wrong. If a candidate whose attachment to Massachusetts is questionable picks our state for expediency's sake (see: Mitt Romney, 2002), it's valid to point that out. But that doesn't seem to be the case with Deval Patrick or Chris Gabrieli or Kerry Healey. They all have deep ties to Massachusetts, and decided to make their lives here long before opting to run for governor. Does the fact they were born in IL and NY and FL, respectively, mean they're less emotionally attached to MA than someone who's lived here their entire life? Or that they're somehow less capable of understanding the state's problems than a native?

I just don't get it. But maybe that's because (gasp!) I was born in NH and grew up in MN.

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