Catching Up On Mass. Politics

I've been on vacation for the past week, but I'm back and ready to offer my two cents on things swirling around the local political scene.

--Charlie Baker's campaign put out an optimistic top-page pollster memo, from a two-week-old poll showing the same thing other polls from that time showed: Deval Patrick ahead by about 7 points, with Tim Cahill's support refusing to die. As I interpret the pollster spin: "If we're only down 7 after a year of crappy campaigning, imagine what would happen if we run a good campaign for the last three months!"

--After taking whack at Patrick for allegedly abandoning MCAS, and for allegedly blowing the casino bill, Baker went back to whacking Patrick for allegedly loving tax increases. The Patrick campaign has made it easy on itself by using a single response to all these allegations: screaming "Big Dig! Big Dig!"

--In the midst of all the nonsense, Cahill said something smart on both the merits and the politics: he called for an independent redistricting commission. Nobody paid any attention.

--I've written before that a big thing to watch in that race is whether the Republican Governors Association remains interested. Well, as far as I can tell the last media buy they made here was in mid-July. And, perhaps tellingly, the RGA has not touched the "DevalReport" web site, Twitter account, or Facebook pages they launched on July 20. (That's also the last time they updated the "CahillReport" pages, which had previously been active.) [Update: Two hours after I posted this, the CahillReport Twitter status was updated!]

--The Markoff ("Craigs List Killer") suicide has prompted a DA investigation, which makes one wonder what the political fallout could have been if Sheriff Cabral and DA Conley were facing any serious re-election challengers this year.

--The Boston Globe Magazine ran a hagiographic cover profile of Vicki Kennedy, who says in it that she isn't planning to run for Senate. Wink wink.

--The guv candidates debate energy and environment issues this afternoon, at a MassInc forum. I'll be Tweeting from it, so be sure and follow me at to find out who wins the coveted "best tie" nod. (And, perhaps, other observations of interest.)

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