Hiller Instinct: Gov. Baker’s first 100 days

Like election night speeches, and photo ops, the 100 day interview is a predictable political tradition, unless it isn’t:

  • Andy Hiller: “Complete this sentence…”
  • Gov. Charlie Baker: “You’re right this is going to be a completely different set of questions than the others.”
  • Hiller: “The first 100 days, actually seemed like ____ days. “
  • Gov. Baker:  “Less than ten.”
  • Hiller: “Did it snow every one of those days?”
  • Gov. Baker:  “Felt that way, yeah.”

Charlie Baker’s first months in office turned out to be the snowiest winter in the state’s history, capped by the collapse of the MBTA.  Baker set up a special commission, which recommended the T should be under his control.

  • Hiller: “Do you realize that the “t” in your future is the T?”
  • Gov. Baker: “You know the, um, if you had put sort of a list of top 10 things- or top 5 things you’d think I’d be worrying about in my first 100 days, I don’t think I would have picked the T. But obviously at this point, it’s very much on my radar.”    

And so was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, whose trial began shortly after Baker took office. When the marathon bomber was convicted, Baker called for the death penalty.

  • Gov. Baker: “Because I found what he did–knowing full well what the consequences of it are going to be–despicable.”
  • Hiller: “Now I’m not kidding when I ask this- but why give him martyrdom?  Why do that?”
  • Gov. Baker:  “I don’t care about what he thinks, OK, what I care about is what I think. And what I think is he is a very bad man.”

On the same day Gov. Baker was sworn in,  Boston was picked as America’s choice to compete for the 2024 Olympics.

Since then, the local effort led by businessman John Fish has struggled.

  • Gov. Baker: “When people aspire to do significant and unusual things, I think they deserve respect instead of scorn. Spoken like a guy who ran for office, don’t you think?”
  • Hiller: “I was going to say to you does what’s happened with Boston 2024 remind you at all of your first campaign?”
  • Gov. Baker:  (laughs)

Baker can laugh about the past because of how well the present is going.

The winter weather created an opportunity: To prove–immediately–that he could be an effective leader.

Looking far ahead, if Boston does get the Olympics in 2024, he might be in his third term.