Time for Mass. Republicans to Ask, Brad Bailey Won't You Please Come Home?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Woe is the Republican Party of Massachusetts, seemingly sidelined forever to a zone of electoral irrelevance.
Slightly more than 11% of the registered voters in our state are members of the party of Lincoln.
In the upcoming legislative session (2013-14), only four of the 40 members of the Senate and 29 of the 160 representatives in the House will be from the Grand Old Party.  Republicans actually lost four House seats on November 6. 
The biggest blows Republicans suffered this year were the dual defeats of U.S. Senator Scott Brown in a high-profile battle with political newcomer Elizabeth Warren and of Richard Tisei, the former Senate minority leader and former lieutenant governor candidate.  Tisei failed in the Sixth Congressional District to beat an incumbent considered by many people to be eminently beatable, John Tierney. 
“People” were shown once again not to know much.
As Republicans struggle to rebuild, they’re going to have to come up with more candidates in the mold of Tisei and Brown, who, even though they lost this year, are widely regarded as persons of high quality -- good guys and good candidates who simply could not withstand an Obama tide that drove turnout in this state to 73%.
One old party hand they should be giving a look to is a gentleman who last held office 16 years ago and has lately been in the news because of his work as a defense attorney, Brad Bailey of Winchester, who’s from a long line of distinguished Yankee Republicans. 
Bailey is now serving as the lead defense counsel in the ongoing trial of former State Treasurer Tim Cahill, who’s accused of improperly using his authority to order advertising promoting the Massachusetts Lottery, which he was in charge of, while running as an independent for governor in 2010.
Bailey got his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Harvard and his juris doctor from one of the best law schools in the nation, the University of Virginia.  He passed the bar not only in Massachusetts but also New York, which has perhaps the toughest exam of all the states.  His work in the public sector includes illustrious stints as: assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, felony prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and head of the Massachusetts Governor’s Alliance Against Drugs.
In 1994, then Governor William Weld appointed Bailey to serve the unexpired part of the term of Middlesex Sheriff John McGonigle, who had been convicted of corruption charges.  When running for a full term as sheriff in 1996, Bailey was defeated by then Malden State Rep. Jim DiPaola. 
In 1998, Bailey took on his former boss, Middlesex District Attorney Tom Reilly, in a spirited race for Attorney General, and lost badly.
My guess is Bailey is not at all interested in running for office again.  He’s been away from politics for 14 years and has made a good life for himself and his family (he and his wife have four kids) without politics.
Republican strategists, looking at Bailey’s losses in the sheriff and attorney general elections, may well entertain a new Bailey candidacy for some prominent office – say in the Congress, the state senate, or the executive branch – with some reluctance.
But entertain it they should for the simple reason that Bailey is a man of high intelligence, impeccable character, good judgment and untarnished reputation.  They don’t grow Brad Baileys on every tree in the tiny Republican vineyard. 
Bearing is fate, the Romans believed. 
Bailey has the bearing of a leader. He deserves another shot at office.

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