The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
News Features  |  Talking Politics  |  This Just In


The Phoenix's David S. Bernstein interviewed the Republican nominee for governor, Charlie Baker, on Saturday, October 2, outside Needham High School after a campaign rally. Bernstein's profile of Baker's campaign appears online and in print this week. Below is the full transcript of their interview.

Charles in charge? Republican Charlie Baker has been ready to be governor for years. But was he ready to be a candidate? By David S. Bernstein.

BOSTON PHOENIX: You've been thinking about running for Governor for a long time. Is there anything about being a candidate, about selling yourself to voters, that has been more difficult than you expected?
CHARLIE BAKER: Everything. Everything. This is not easy, and I spend a lot of my time learning as I go. I wasn't kidding when I said that I have loved the opportunity to learn so much more about Massachusetts than I ever would have known otherwise, about the people who live here and what they do, and how they make a life. It's a far more varied and diverse state than I ever realized. But I think being a candidate has, yeah, I've been learning all the time.

On that note – about learning about Massachusetts – I've heard your wife joke that you have this habit of staying within your comfortable set of friends. Some people look at you as a little out of touch with ordinary, average people. Was that to some degree true of you up until the campaign?
No. Most of my friends are ordinary, average people. Most of the people I work with are normal, ordinary, average people. I think one of the hard things about running for office, if you've never done it before, is walking up to a room full of people you don't know, and just walking up to people and throwing your hand out and saying, "Hey, I'm Charlie Baker and I'm running for governor." I guess the way I would describe it is it took me some at-bats to get me to the point where I could just do that, [to] walk into a fair or festival and literally start going from table to table to table.

I don't want to belabor the point, but you're not an average guy. You are a sort of privileged, upper-class individual. Aren't you a little bit separated from –
I am a middle-class-values kid. I've been very lucky in life, but I'm a pretty regular guy.

You think that you can relate to people in the state, what's going on in their lives?
Oh yeah, once you have several thousand conversations with people about – I mean, the most interesting question I ask is the one I ask people all the time every day, which is, how's it going? And when they say, "Fine," I say, "No, I really want to know." And then they start talking. And for a lot of people in Massachusetts, it's not going fine. And there's tremendous anxiety and frustration out there, about all kinds of things and you heard some of it today. One of the things I hear about all the time is this notion that "State government doesn't play by the same rules I play by. I had to make all kinds of changes to my life, and to the way I live, and I don't see Beacon Hill doing that to anywhere near the same degree that I have been." I hear that all the time.

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |   next >
Related: Can Patrick Hang On?, Why Deval Patrick deserves your vote, Charles in charge?, More more >
  Topics: Talking Politics , Deval Patrick, Massachusetts, Tim Cahill,  More more >
| More
Add Comment
HTML Prohibited

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 05/30 ]   Big Freedia + Javelin + What Cheer? Brigade  @ Brighton Music Hall
[ 05/30 ]   The Wombats  @ Hurricane O'Reilly's
[ 05/30 ]   "Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey"  @ Boston Athenæum
Share this entry with Delicious
    Hey, thanks for having me back for the Third Annual Boston Phoenix Memorial Day Political Roast! Good to see so many of you here — the last time I saw this many Beacon Hill insiders in one place was on the prospective witness list for the Sal DiMasi trial!
  •   ANYONE BUT MITT  |  May 25, 2011
    Political leaders don't always rally around the front-runner for their party's presidential nomination, but they normally at least offer deference and respect. That doesn't, however, seem to be the case with Mitt Romney.
  •   GOD HATES FAQS  |  May 19, 2011
    Editors' note: We selected David S. Bernstein to serve as our resident Rapture expert, on account of his having seen all three Kirk Cameron Left Behind series film adaptations.
  •   BLISS OF RAPTURE  |  May 19, 2011
    Okay, I'm not happy , exactly, that, as a Jew, I am excluded from Saturday's date with Heaven's eternal rewards, and will instead be left to suffer through great tribulations before perishing, with the rest of the Army of the Antichrist, as a dismembered corpse beneath a waste-deep river of blood.
  •   NO MORE MR. NICE COUNCIL  |  May 11, 2011
    By announcing his campaign for city council, Michael Flaherty immediately unleashed the bitter side of Boston politics.

 See all articles by: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2011 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group