By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

What does Andy Card want?

Andy Card

Andy Card

The Massachusetts Republican Party may be at a disastrously low ebb. But, contrary to expectations, it looks as though it’s going to field the equivalent of its A-team in both the special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and in next year’s governor’s race.

Former state representative Andy Card, who was chief of staff to George W. Bush and a top aide in George H.W. Bush’s administration, has all but announced for the Senate seat, according to the Boston Herald.

Granted, Card was far better known several decades ago, when the Republicans regularly hoped he would toss his hat into the ring, and were invariably disappointed. Then, too, Card will have to answer for his tenure in the second Bush White House — especially his oft-cited 2002 pronouncement that the administration would not start pushing for war in Iraq until September because “from a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.”

But the chances of a Republican succeeding Kennedy would appear to be non-existent in any case. Card’s presence on the ballot will help with party-building simply because he’s serious and credible.

Since Card knows he’s unlikely to win, the interesting question is: What does he want? And that’s where the Republicans’ other credible candidate, Charlie Baker, comes in. Baker, who was then-governor Bill Weld’s top aide in the early ’90s, is now running for governor himself.

Unlike the Senate, the governor’s office is a position that a Republican can reasonably hope to win, as Weld, Paul Cellucci and Mitt Romney proved. With Gov. Deval Patrick’s poll numbers down, Baker would appear to have a decent shot, assuming he can get by his primary opponent, Christy Mihos.

But is it possible that Card is looking past the Senate race in hopes of running for governor himself?

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  1. Newshound

    Mr. Card is over 60 and already retired from Washington. I wonder why he want to go back, or would voters want to send him back if he didn’t have the passion, drive and ambition to continue a few years ago.

    Senator Brown may be a better candidate. More ambition, passion, drive, spirit of adventure and he does have legislative experience.

    Any Republican is going to need to have a lot of campaign skill – which Mr. Card has – and a lot of energy which Senator Brown can provide to challenge a most powerful Democrat contender. Either way, he’d still be Senator Brown.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Newshound: As you know, Brown has already said he won’t challenge Card. To run a credible race, the Republican candidate is going to have to attract a lot of free media — i.e., news coverage. Card is far more likely to attract coverage than any other Republican candidate.

  2. Newshound

    Dan – Good point. I can’t visualize a Republican winning who hasn’t overwhelmed the opponent with good media coverage.

  3. Andrew Card–this is the “fresh face” of the GOP? He’s savvy and likable enough to disarm some of the news media. However, he wouldn’t fare well in a street fight with Coakley and politically isn’t all that different from Lynch.

  4. paul

    Here’s a thought: Is Card in this to keep Mihos from getting the Senate nomination (assuming Mihos runs)? I’m assuming a Mihos’ run for Governor would be enhanced by even a failed run as the GOP nominee for the Senate. If the GOP goal is to get Baker elected Governor, then a fight against Mihos in the primary would be tougher if Mihos has a failed run for the Senate to build on. Is this all simply about helping Baker have a cleaner shot at being elected Governor? Surely Card is smart enough to realize that his ties to GW Bush make him totally unelectable in MA.

  5. Al

    I remember Andy Card when he was in state politics. I also remember his part in the organization of George W Bush and the selling of the Iraq war (introducing a new product). That alone, is enough reason that I would never vote for him. The state Republican party has to do something to start running credible candidates for seats up and down the line, not just the high profile seats.

  6. Neil

    Regarding your third paragraph. Do you ever credit other bloggers when you cite their comments and posts? You should, every time. The convention is as follows: h/t DanKennedy

  7. Neil

    If Card runs, you have identified 1 A-lister not an A-team while claiming an A-team for both races. Name another A-lister for Seante and two for Gov.

  8. Neil

    What’s the difference between “at a low ebb” and “at a disastrously low ebb?” Disaster implies an event and I don’t know an event that precipitated the decline.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Regarding your third paragraph. Do you ever credit other bloggers when you cite their comments and posts?

    Neil, I am often tempted to ask this of you, but this time I’ve just got to. What the hell are you talking about?

  10. Neil

    I think you know what I am talking about but I’ll spell it.

    You blog, you read blogs, you tweet to solicit links to blog posts and TradMed articles but you rarely if ever cite them as sources.

    Both your articles at the Guardian and your posts here reference often cited but not specific references.

    What’s the last article or blog post you’ve written where you credited another person’s material with the reference, indicated by convention (h/t JohnDoe) ?

    • Dan Kennedy

      Neil: I am very close to running out of patience with you. I cite all my sources. When I learn about something from another blog or from a Twitter feed, I say so, always by linking to it, sometimes by giving a shoutout as well. I don’t use “h/t” because I think it’s obnoxious; I use “via.” If you have any evidence of someone I should have credited but didn’t, let’s have it. Otherwise, you will find that people who make accusations of plagiarism without being able to back them up are no longer welcome here.

      If I weren’t so pissed off I’d be laughing at your juxtaposition of “I think you know what I am talking about” and “TradMed.” WTF?

  11. Neil

    TradMed, traditional media. Time, Newsweek, Boston Globe.

  12. Peter Porcupine

    DK – Christy is running for Governor. Not Senate, not Treasurer, not Auditor, not Congress, not Legilature, not dogcatcher. Governor. Really.

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