What the Governor Thinks of the People


This clip from today’s Providence Journal “Political Scene” seems telling to me:

Asked by a TV reporter if she believed there was anything she “could learn from″ Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, with his 71 percent highest-in-the-nation approval rating, the 5-foot-3-inch Raimondo quipped:

“Maybe be taller? No.”

Doesn’t that response seem perfectly indicative of what she thinks of us, Rhode Island voters.  Her lack of introspection suggests that she really doesn’t feel the approval of the people whom she’s supposed to be representing is all that important.  After all, what do we know?  The impression is that she simultaneously holds the “smaht people know best” view of governance and has her eye on a different voter pool — national voters.

Even the nature of her quip is insulting, insinuating that, for Rhode Island voters, the difference between the most popular governor in the country and one of the least popular is physical height.  Yeah, “hey, guv,” you’re thwarted by the cruel fate of governing a shallow people.

Incidentally, just by way of a small correction, reporter Katherine Gregg writes that Raimondo has “43 percent approval and 47 disapproval, among those with an opinion.”  That is incorrect.  Those are the governor’s overall numbers, but 10% of survey respondents were unsure, so the percentages “among those with an opinion” are 48% approval and 52% disapproval.

  • oceanstater

    don’t take the quip so seriously, and height may well be a factor in political success.
    More to the point: in my opinion, that the public view of the Governor is relatively evenly divided reflects a mixed record. I think Raimondo does deserve criticism for a number of things including the computer roll-out screw-up, the stupid “cooler warmer” hire, pushing using RIC and URI Foundation funds for political purposes rather than helping students, supporting a giveaway to the Pawtucket Red Sox owners, ignoring the rapidly declining RIPTA ridership, signing a bill to expand grounds for public disability pensions, and lets not forget, for having shifted so much of the state’s pension fund in high-cost hedge funds that performed poorly. On the other hand, I think there are things she deserves some credit for including using political capital to finally get a serious road and bridge repair program underway, taking steps to make public higher education more affordable, supporting environmental protection, and effectively promoting RI to various businesses around the country.
    Beware those who only see positives or only see negatives!