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September 5, 2013

Baker enters governor race with 'upbeat' campaign

(Continued)

“Let’s aim high. Let’s be great, Massachusetts,” Baker said.

After losing to Patrick in 2010, when the governor hammered Baker for his role in financing the Big Dig and with escalating health care costs, Baker joined the Cambridge venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners and he’s for the most part been out of the public spotlight since his last campaign.

Baker served as health and human services secretary under former Republican Gov. William Weld and secretary of administration and finance under both Weld and the late Gov. Paul Cellucci. Yet despite being a fiscal conservative and social moderate in the mold of his former boss Weld, Baker’s campaign failed to generate the crossover appeal in 2010 with conservative Democrats and independents that he ultimately would have needed to defeat Patrick.

“I think he’s the most able person I’ve ever met in public life,” Weld told reporters after testifying at a Gaming Commission hearing in Boston. “I think he’s got tremendous empathy for how people actually live and a tremendous understanding of policy. I can’t think of a better person to be governor of any state. He’s also a born executive.”

Returning to its 2010 playbook, the Massachusetts Democratic Party on Tuesday night didn’t wait for Baker to formally announce his campaign when it released a video revisiting old clips and storylines from the last campaign saddling the Republican with the financial turmoil of the Big Dig. Baker was finance secretary under Weld when the Big Dig financing plan was crafted, but Baker in 2010 downplayed his influence by describing himself as one of many voices in the process.

Richard Tisei, a former state senator and Baker’s running-mate in 2010, said yesterday on Boston Herald internet radio that Baker may have received poor advice from consultants in 2010.

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