Massachusetts: Success at Last?

My first political reporting for NR was on Massachusetts elections in 1978. I had some contacts in the state, and Boston is an easy trip from New York, so for years I minored in Bay State politics. The possibility that shimmered before me, and conservative activists locally, was to wrest the GOP from its liberal leadership, and tap latent conservatives in the Democratic party. Outside of a tax-cutting ballot initiative, Proposition 2 1/2, it never worked. Personal rivalries, ethnic politics, old habits always prevailed. Long after I lost interest, Mitt Romney came close to beating an old, tired Teddy, until his religion was basely held against him. He later won one term as governor, but what, apart from health care (!) did he accomplish?

Is the time foretold now at hand? All my expertise says no, but all the evidence says maybe. Good luck, Mr. Brown.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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