MA-GOV: Dems split, opportunity for Republicans?

Something amusing is happening in Massachusetts. Barack Obama-wannabe Democratic Governor Deval Patrick is looking to run for re-election. The Democratic State Treasurer Tim Cahill probably can’t win a Democratic primary against him, so what does he do? He becomes an independent.

State Treasurer Tim Cahill this week will change his political party designation from Democrat to unenrolled, the first step in mounting an independent challenge to Democratic governor Deval Patrick in the 2010 general election, two advisers said today.

The thing is, this might create an opportunity for Republicans. A 3-way race could be winnable, even in a state as blue as Massachusetts. This leaves an opening for someone like Charlie Baker, who has both political or business experience. Baker would have to step down as the CEO of a health care company, a subject that happens to be one of the state’s major problems:

The centerpiece of Massachusetts’ 2006 health reform bill is Commonwealth Care, a government program that provides free and subsidized insurance plans to low- and moderate-income patients. It’s spending has doubled in the last two years, jumping from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2009.

Last year, rising costs lead Commonwealth Care officials to approve a 12 percent rate increase, meaning that basic insurance costs will cut even deeper into the incomes of most participating patients.

Alternatively… Mitt Romney could run. He won once. He made the problem, but has complained that it wasn’t implemented as he would have.  He could run, win, and fix it… I’d even endorse him.

But probably not. Probably we will have to support Charlie Baker in his fight to save his state.