The Glengarry Leads
People have begun asking about Kerry Healey. She's been our lieutenant governor since 2003 and she's been actively campaigning to become governor since February — but because she's unopposed in the Republican primary while three prominent Democrats are battling each other over the nomination, she is still basically flying below the radar.
On one hand, conventional wisdom suggests that this is smart: "When your opponents are battling each other, stand clear." Let Reilly and Patrick and Gabrieli hammer each other, and whichever one is left standing after September will be that much more vulnerable. There's no reason to get your hands dirty if somebody else is doing the work.
Moreover, it's economical. You've only got so much cash to spend; and right now, the airwaves are flooded with ads from candidates who actually have something to fight about. If you're sailing clear into the September primary, it makes good sense to hold your cash while your opponents spend theirs.
But there's another reason that Kerry Healey has been keeping a low profile, and it's a reason that nobody seems to be talking about. Mitt Romney is poised for a presidential bid in 2008, and the fact that he'll be running a Republican candidacy from a blue state means he'll need plenty of homegrown money — and the problem with shearing sheep is that you have to wait for the wool to grow back.
Republican fundraisers know that, in many cases, money collected today for Healey's campaign is money that won't be around in two years for Romney. Healey's numbers aren't ironclad, and most projections predict that she'll lose to a Democrat; and when you stack those odds against the obvious priority given to Romney's presidential bid, the reality is that Republican fundraisers aren't working their hardest for Kerry Healey. They're keeping the Glengarry leads on ice, so to speak, waiting patiently for 2008.