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The Last Weekend
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/06/2016 12:56:24

Good Morning.

So New England finally has some snow. I don't think we actually have that much on the ground, looks like about 6 inches from my warm chair here. But it was the heavy, wet kind. Driving home from the store last night, I saw trees down on nearly every street, and there was also a lane blocked on I-90 eastbound in Framingham with an entire tree.

New Hampshire was mostly spared the heaviest of the storm, and today the candidates are back at it in full swing. It's interesting being in a neighboring state. We could ignore it all, but Boston's TV stations all have broadcast antennas pointing north, and Southern NH up to and including Manchester, is pretty much the northern bedroom community of Boston now. What used to be a mostly white, conservative state has seen a vastly changing demographic over the last few election cycles.

Last time around, this blue Commonwealth elected a red governor. I actually know him slightly from long ago when he was the CEO at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. He's not a republican playboy; he's actually got some healthcare chops. Our differently-winged friends derisively call it "Obamacare", but if you follow the history far enough back, you'll find two republican authors - Mitt Romney and Charlie Baker.

Mr. Baker has played his cards close to the vest, but with 4 days to go, he came out in favor of...Chris Christie???

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will endorse Chris Christie on Friday, according to people familiar with his plans, giving a boost to the New Jersey governor's presidential campaign just four days from the crucial New Hampshire primary.

After his endorsement, Baker will campaign with Christie in New Hampshire over the weekend, the people said. In Baker, Christie gains the support of a popular northeastern Republican governor the campaign hopes will punch momentum into a contest that he has referred to as the "last stand" of his presidential campaign.

Baker joins Maine Gov. Paul LePage as statewide office holders who have gotten behind Christie's bid.

Sam Smith, a Christie spokeswoman, declined to comment on the endorsement. Tim Buckley, a Baker spokesman, didn't respond to repeated calls requesting comment.

Christie has tried to lock down Baker's for months, according to people familiar with the matter. The two became close during Baker's 2014 run for the governor's office, when he flipped the state back into the Republican column with the help of $11.4 million from the Christie-run Republican Governor's Association.

Christie attended Baker's inauguration and aides say the two, as Republican governors in traditionally Democratic states, have remained closely aligned over the last year. They were at a Bruce Springsteen concert together in Boston on Thursday night.

Baker provides a window into what Christie is counting on if he can achieve a strong showing in New Hampshire: the support -- and access to -- the finance networks of the governors he helped win election or re-election during his time atop the RGA.

Baker has his own robust finance operation, raising $2.4 million in his first year in office, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

He is expected now to try and help steer those donors toward Christie.

"We have the organization of governors across this country," Christie told reporters Wednesday. "I believe that when I emerge as the top governor from New Hampshire, that those governors will come in line and begin to support the idea of having a governor" as GOP candidate.

For Christie, who has staked his campaign on his New Hampshire performance, Baker's endorsement adds a boost to an operation that is relying on a top tier performance in the state to vault Christie into the top tier of GOP candidates coming going into the South Carolina primary.

Christie sank to 4% in the latest CNN/WMUR New Hampshire tracking poll, falling behind Donald Trump, surging Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Which I think is actually pretty shrewd. Think about it - Governor Baker gets all the national exposure from a high-profile endorsement; he will now travel with the Christie team and see how a national political machine works, and as the story notes, the two of them will probably share some donors. But since Christie doesn't have a chance - there's no actual quid pro quo involved; Neither Christie nor Baker will have any baggage coming out of this one. Plus, it allows Governor Baker to keep his promise to us, in that he won't leave the state for higher office. Mitt Romney spent all his years as governor trashing the state and using it as a stepping-stone. Many rumours swirled around his successor (Deval Patrick, friend of Obama), but Governor Patrick stayed for his full term. This is significant for Massachusetts folk, but I digress.

Call me nuts, but you're aware that my opinion of Governor Christie softened somewhat in the years following Hurricane Sandy. I'll never be a supporter, but whatever humanity he had left was on full display on those days - it does help to show it sometimes, no matter what our big, manly candidates think. I find it amazing that somebody who could have had the potential to be a voice of some kind of reason is so far out of the game now.

In any case, the big news isn't actually the candidates - it's now the weather. There's another snowstorm in the offing for Tuesday, and despite the bigness of the election...the weather always dominates New Englanders. It's going to be an interesting Tuesday.

2 comments (Latest Comment: 02/08/2016 01:18:27 by livingonli)
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