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  • September 25, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Just a few thoughts about the Tim Cahill thing, while waiting for the Globe poll on the race expected in tomorrow's paper....

    From my understanding, what happened this week with the departure of top staff wasn't so much a change in the operation of the campaign, as a public airing of the change in the operation of the campaign that had already been happening -- which is the shifting of power from the outside, national people to the inside, long-time Cahill people.

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  • September 22, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    One thing became clear from last night's debate: Tim Cahill is ready to play the class card, and play it hard. This is exactly what I was suggesting for him in my pre-debate "empathy" post, so it got me thinking how, exactly, Cahill can (potentially, maybe, possibly) change the race with this theme -- how to open up an "empathy" gap by arguing that Patrick and Baker, by virtue of their wealth and status, don't understand what people are going through, and are thus unlikely to do anything to help.

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  • September 21, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    The new Suffolk/Ch.7 poll just out shows the Massachusetts governor's race pretty much where it was in May: Deval Patrick leads with 42%, Charlie Baker is behind at 34%, Tim Cahill is well behind but not irrelevant with 14%, and Jill Stein lags at 4%.

    Truthfully, as far as I can tell, not much has changed in this race since summer of 2009, with the lone exception of the big RGA ad blitz in the spring that flipped Baker and Cahill's positions in the polls.

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  • September 20, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I'll be on WGBH-TV's Greater Boston tonight, previewing tomorrow's WGBH gubernatorial debate -- and tomorrow I'll be on WGBH radio doing analysis immediately after the debate. Please tune in, just in case I come up with any pearls of wisdom. Here are a few thoughts for now:

    --On the issue of who gets to participate in debates, I tend to be a lot less worked up about it than some other folks.

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  • September 09, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Everybody loves to mock and deride the practice of post-debate rapid-response campaign spin -- and most of the time it really is the most inane charade you'll ever witness. But high-profile campaigns have to do it, and do it well, because sometimes it really does make a big difference.

    It seems that we've just seen an example of that -- in which the Charlie Baker team ate the Deval Patrick team's lunch.

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  • September 08, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    This morning, on Good Morning America, GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner outlined Congressional Republicans' prescription for the economy. It consisted of tax cuts and lowered spending, with heavy emphasis on the importance of cutting government spending to reduce the budget deficit. Boehner also said that the single biggest impediment to economic growth is "uncertainty facing small businesses" caused by the taxes and health care costs threatened by Democrats in Washington.

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  • September 08, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I thought Tim Cahill did very well in last night's debate -- partly for the very reason that the Globe and Herald gave as his detriment, which was that he laid low during the most heated exchanges between Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker. One of Cahill's strategies in this campaign is to take advantage of the classic political formula: Candidate A attacks Candidate B = advantage for Candidate C.

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  • September 07, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    OK, all of us Bay State pundits and analysts got to take it easy since Memorial Day, by responding to every question about the governor's race with the same answer: "Nobody pays attention until Labor Day." Trite, but essentially true -- and indeed the dynamic of the race seems essentially unchanged since Spring. But, now that Labor Day is behind us, and we have a televised debate tonight kicking off the 7-week race to election day, I should really do the obligatory 'where things stand' analysis.

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  • September 03, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I hope you're enjoying "Ask Me Anything Day" as much as I am!

    "CoCoBelle" asks:

    Do you think Deval Patrick will be re-elected in November? What are the chances of Cahill dropping out of the race?

    I think Patrick is a slight favorite to win -- maybe a 55% likelihood. The good news for Patrick is that he's still leading in the polls without yet spending any real money (or having any spent on his behalf).

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  • August 19, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I have a short take on Monday afternoon's gubernatorial debate. I suggest that Charlie Baker is showing improvement as a candidate, but still has a ways to go to catch up with Deval Patrick and his team.

    Read it here: Baker's Learning Curve

  • August 18, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Oh, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie....

    Scot Lehigh followed up with Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker the other day about his appearance at a Bill Hudak event, figuring that he's now had enough time, since I wrote about it, and since Scot first asked him about it, to have forged a serious response.

    I can't say that his response strikes me as very serious:

    Read More

  • August 16, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Way, way, back last November, I blogged that...

    ...there is a realistic, if slim, possibility that Democrats could hold all six New England governorships come January 2011. According to my extensive research -- OK, scrolling through Wikipedia, mostly -- I believe this would be the first time that has happened ever, in the 200+ years of the party (including when it was called the Democratic-Republican Party).

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  • August 16, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    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.

    Read More

  • August 05, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- online and in print now -- I write about the end of the Massachusetts legislative session last week, which of course was dominated by the ultimately failed attempt (at least, as of this writing) to pass an expanded gaming bill.

    I suggest that those with the most experience at working in these kinds of high-stakes Beacon Hill showdowns were the ones who fared best: senate president Therese Murray most notably, but to some degree Governor Deval Patrick and Treasurer/gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill as well.

    Read More

  • July 31, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Governor Deval Patrick has pushed for three casinos, but opposed slots at race tracks.

    His Republican challenger, Charlie Baker, supports one casino, to test the waters.

    Independent candidate Tim Cahill supports casinos and racinos.

    The legislature has crafted a bill with casinos and racinos. Let's assume it passes, and Patrick vetoes it.

    Read More

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