The four candidates for governor of Massachusetts tangled on Tuesday night in a televised debate. Independent Tim Cahill looked the best in this quartet.
Cahill distanced himself from both Democrat incumbent Deval Patrick and Republican challenger Charlie Baker. "Charlie blames the governor, and the governor blames Charlie," Cahill noted at one point. Later, he said, "Ten years (from now), in another subsequent debate, someone will be blaming (someone) for something else." Comments like these, plus his Boston accent, helped Cahill portray himself as a sort of Andrew Jackson from Quincy, the plain-spoken common man telling it like it is.
And he did tell it like it is. Cahill came out against public binge spending -- "No more $200 million high schools" -- in the wake of the extravaganza in Newton. When Baker brought up patronage, Cahill provided historical perspective. "The GOP loaded up Massport on the eve of 9-11," he said. "They stuck up for patronage."
All of this would come off better if Cahill hadn't dumped his own party after serving as treasurer to run against his former boss Patrick as well as Baker and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein. Still, Cahill scored some successes in the debate. Even if he doesn't win, the Andrew Jackson from Quincy has made a good impression in this race.