There has been a lot of speculation by the pundits as to the reasons behind Governor Charlie Baker’s decision not to run for re-election in 2022, but we think it comes down simply to this: Gov. Baker is burned-out, similar to so many of his fellow Baby Boomers (including the older members of Generation X) who are retiring from both the public and private sectors amidst what is being called the Great Resignation.
In our mind’s eye, we still think of Gov. Baker as the youthful man from the campaign trail in 2013, but the reality is that Gov. Baker just turned 65 years old.
He ain’t a kid anymore.
And as so many other Baby Boomers are coming to realize, there is a lot more to life than work, especially when work no longer is fun.
We think it is telling that Lieut. Governor Karyn Polito — who at 55 is a Gen Xer — also announced that she has no plans to run for governor, which was actually more surprising than Gov. Baker’s announcement. The Lieut. Gov., who is part of the Baker team that consistently has been among the most-popular governorships in the country, would have been a strong candidate to make history as the first female governor in state history.
But after eight years as an highly-active Lieut. Gov., it is clear that Polito has no desire to occupy the corner office at the State House.
But regardless of Gov. Baker’s reasons for not seeking re-election, there is no disputing that Charlie Baker has been a great governor who has accomplished great things for our state, even amidst an unprecedented pandemic.
His ability to work with Democrats in the Mass. legislature, amidst an era of unprecedented political rancor at the national level, will be regarded as a shining example for future governors, regardless of party, to follow.