The 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial race has not proved dull. At different points, it has provoked enthusiasm as well as ire. One constant, however, has been a feeling of frustration. For many, this is an unwelcome surprise because four years ago, Deval Patrick was elected on his promise of delivering hope and change. Although the Governor never elaborated on this vague sound bite-cum-platform, residents of the Bay State, nonetheless, were intoxicated by the then political hopeful. But, today, troubling economic times and broken promises have caused many to look at Patrick through a less romantic, more critical lens. This has led to opportunities for Jill Stein (G-R), Charlie Baker (R), and Tim Cahill (I) to challenge the Governor, though it is Cahill's candidacy that has generated the most attention throughout this race.
Jill Stein has consistently presented herself as a proponent of the common man, eschewing big corporation interests. While her genuine concern for the common man is appreciated, her very liberal fiscal and social views are considerably less welcome. As for Charlie Baker, he claims to offer the perfect blend of empathy for the everyman and fiscal conservatism, yet his inability to connect with the people, coupled with his big government record, effectively prevents him from running away with the election. That leaves Tim Cahill. Focused on a message that includes creating jobs and bringing an end to suffocating partisanship, he has proved to be the energizer bunny of Bay State politics.
Indeed, despite blistering attacks from both Democrats and Republicans and defections from his camp, he has persisted in his fight and has remained viable throughout this race. Some might try to debate his viability, but those individuals are not part of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). This group intervened early in this race and has since spent over two million dollars in an obsessive attempt to cast him as a non-contender. Flummoxed by his tenacity, the RGA and those who share its view might speculate that ego keeps Cahill in the race. If that, however, were true, the blitzkrieg of negativity that has been directed against him would have already led Cahill to abandon his bid. Those that know him agree and say that Tim Cahill continues to fight because of his principles and conviction; many Massachusetts residents have been reciprocating by offering steady support. Impressed by the turnout at one event, I turned to Tina Cahill, Tim's wife, and said, "Tim is the Independent who could." Looking me in the eye, she responded, "Tim is the Independent who can."