For those who are curious, Charlie Baker is the 72nd Governor of Massachusetts. Generally speaking, he is considered to be a moderate Republican, which is based on his combination of social liberalism and fiscal conservatism. However, there have been some rumblings from people of both parties about his position, so it will be interesting to see whether there will be any changes in the times to come in Massachusetts.
1. Born in Elmira, NY
Baker was born in the city of Elmira in the state of New York. It can be considered the center of Chemung County, seeing as how it serves as its county seat as well as the principal city of the Elmira, NY metropolitan statistical area that encompasses the entire county. Having said that, Baker lived in a number of other places such as Needham, MA, and Washington, D.C.
2. The Fourth of His Name
Amusingly, Baker is the fourth person in four generations of his family to bear his name. His great-grandfather was named Charles Duane Baker; his grandfather was named Charles Duane Baker; and his father is named Charles Duane Baker. As such, Baker’s full name is Charles Duane Baker Jr.
3. His Parents Had Opposing Politics
Politics is one of those contentious issues that can cause a relationship between two people to fail. However, that wasn’t the case for Baker’s parents, which is rather remarkable considering that his mother was a liberal Democrat and his father was a conservative Republican. On top of that, Baker’s parents weren’t one of those couples that just agree to disagree on contentious issues. Instead, it was apparently common for them to debate those things as well as other topics out at the dinner table. Something that presumably had a fair amount of influence over Baker’s eventual politics, particularly since he and his siblings were expected to join in.
4. Studied At Harvard University
Eventually, Baker received his bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard University. He is less than enthusiastic about the experience, as shown by his explicit statement that he would prefer to forget most of the time that he spent there. Moreover, Baker has mentioned that he chose the school because of its brand rather than any other reason, which tends not to make for the strongest attachments. Later on, he received a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as well.
5. His Political Career Has Been On and Off
Baker hasn’t been involved in politics in a continuous manner. For example, he was a member of Governor Bill Weld’s administration before departing in order to become the CEO of a physicians’ group based in New England. Likewise, Baker resigned as the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so that he could run for the position of the Governor of Massachusetts in 2010, with the result that he returned to the health care industry when he lost.
6. Proved to Be Very Popular
It is no exaggeration to say that Baker has proven to be a very popular governor. After all, he went into his reelection campaign in 2018 as one of the most popular governors in the United States, which is particularly impressive because his popularity has been consistent over time. Thanks to this, Baker actually managed to win most of the votes from the registered Democrats in his state, though he was helped by the fact that his opponent Jay Gonzalez had low name recognition among the voters.
7. Social Liberal
As stated earlier, Baker can be considered a social liberal. For example, he is a pro-choice politician who has been known to support other women’s rights as well. Likewise, while he has opposed giving illegal immigrants either driver’s licenses or state aid for public colleges and universities, he does support the DACA program. Besides this, Baker has spoken out against racism directed at a number of ethnicities.
8. Fiscal Conservative
Meanwhile, Baker can be considered a fiscal conservative as well. Unsurprisingly, this means that he is very keen on a balanced budget while being less than enthusiastic about new taxes. Having said that, Baker isn’t one of those individuals who are against spending no matter how important the expenditures might be. For instance, he is definitely a believer in human-caused climate change, with the result that he has backed efforts to make clean energy available, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and prepare for the problems that will pop up because of climate change in the times to come.
9. Doesn’t Like Either the Star Wars Prequels or the Sequels
Baker has a lot of fondness for the pop culture that was most prominent when he was young. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that he is a Star Wars fan. However, it should be mentioned that Baker is one of the Stars Wars fans who like neither the prequels nor the sequels. This isn’t a particularly uncommon opinion in the fandom, seeing as how a lot of Star Wars fans see the prequels as having failed to follow through with their premise well and the sequels as having been too muddled in nature.
10. Interested in Reopening
Regarding the COVID-19 crisis, Baker is one of the governors who have expressed their interest in reopening their states. However, he isn’t rushing into it. Instead, his plan is conditional on the number of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals continuing to fall, which is important because a lot of those institutions are still reliant on temporary accommodations because of surge conditions. Assuming that everything goes well, Baker is looking to reopen some businesses in a limited manner on May 18. Something that should enable him to test the metaphorical waters without assuming too much risk of new infections in his state, thus enabling him to pull back should some kind of problem come up. Similar plans are being talked about in a wide range of other jurisdictions, which makes sense because of the very real potential for a second wave of COVID-19 cases.