Mitt Romney and the Curse of the Massachusetts Nominees
couldn’t do it. Neither could John Kerry.
Can Massachusetts’ latest party nominee for president of the United States finally win the big one? We’ll see. Technically, Mitt Romney hasn’t won the GOP nomination yet. But his win in Florida
yesterday makes his party coronation almost inevitable at this point.
If he does win the nomination, it would mean a Massachusetts pol has run in a general presidential race in three of the past seven election cycles. The Bay Staters have already lost two of them. Mitt could well be the third strike for Massachusetts. Then again, maybe not. A general-election victory by Mitt would be rich in irony. Here’s a Republican former governor from one of the bluest of blue states – and he’s poised to possibly break the Massachusetts curse in presidential elections. The Dem establishment in Massachusetts must be gnashing its collective teeth. The injustice of it!
But, wait, there’s another delicious irony: The Republican Party, which for the past three years has strutted around touting its conservative credentials, is about to nominate a moderate Republican from one of the bluest of blue states. So much for America being a conservative country. Not even the Republican Party can nominate a conservative!
P.S. - Massachusetts’ cloying involvement in presidential races actually runs deeper than just counting up the state’s party nominees over the years. Ted Kennedy was a major challenger for the Dem nomination in 1980. Paul Tsongas briefly gave Bill Clinton a run for his money in the ’92 Dem primary. So over the past three decades, state pols have been major players in five of the last nine U.S. presidential election cycles. … The count is six out of the past 14 presidential contests if you reach back to JFK in ’60.
P.S. II - One could go on and on about how Massachusetts has managed to nab such an oversized role for itself in U.S. presidential elections. Hub Blog’s short answer: Massachusetts has a big head. Despite hackerama and pessimistic streaks that run deep through the collective psyche, Massachusetts still retains a pompous, almost aristocratic, view of itself, fed partly by the perceived elegance of JFK, the Camelot era, Harvard, etc., etc. It’s extremely safe to say the rest of the nation doesn’t share Massachusetts’ high regard for itself. But the rest of the nation keeps nominating our dolts. So what can you say?
P.S. III - Hub Blog has found a shameless way to weave a Super Bowl analogy into this post, to wit: If Mitt wins the GOP nomination and goes on to lose the general election, it would make the Bay State the Buffalo Bills of presidential politics, i.e., it can scrap its way into the Big Game but can never quite win the Big Game. But if Mitt wins the GOP nomination and general election, it would make the Bay State the Denver Broncos of presidential elections, i.e., it took a few losses before it could finally win the Big One. … There’s no way Hub Blog would ever compare Mitt or any other Mass pol to the mighty Pats. The pattern doesn’t align.
P.S. IV - It should go without saying that no local political curse is more powerful than the Curse of the Massachusetts Attorneys General.
Martha Coakley found that out the hard way.Update
-- I previously hadn't seen this Howie column
that also notes all the Massachusetts players in past presidential elections.