Tisei's sexuality: news or not?

Interesting, this: the Herald's story on GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker's new running mate, State Sen. Richard Tisei, doesn't mention Tisei's sexuality once. 

The Globe, however, takes a different tack. Last week, Frank Phillips cited Tisei's orientation in a piece on Baker's shortlist of possible running mates--albeit in casual terms, as my Phoenix colleague David Bernstein aptly noted. And today's Metro Desk write-up of the Tisei pick gives four (!) grafs to the subject--yet concludes that it probably doesn't matter all that much:

The disclosure about Tisei's sexual orientation is not expected to make much of a ripple in the race for governor.

"It's not significant enough to have an impact, and probably for good reason," said Jeffrey M. Berry, a political scientist at Tufts University. "The state is tolerant, and it is way past that. We've accepted gay married as a part of life here."

It's not that simple, however. Remember: our last Republican governor of Massachusetts suggested--in a noteworthy national speech in 2004--that when it comes to dire threats to the USA, gay marriage is right up there with terrorism. That kind of rhetoric helped boost Mitt Romney's national standing, but it sure didn't help Kerry Healey.  

In contrast, Baker has a reputation as a moderate. And the Tisei pick should help him maintain that--even as he stakes out a staunchly conservative position on illegal immigration--which will be a major boon if Baker gets to the general election. (The Tisei pick has interesting implications for the primary as well.)

If Tisei gets ID'd as gay in story after story, it'll start to seem gratuitous. But given the context of today's Herald story, the absence of that particular detail seems like an odd omission.

Cross-posted at Beat the Press.

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