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The Mass Media

Former MA governor pitches presidential bid to UMass Boston community

Feb. 23, 2020—UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate school hosted former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate Bill Weld. This is not Weld’s first attempt at a move for the presidency. In the 2016 Presidential election, Weld was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party on Gary Johnson’s presidential bid. His arrival on campus marked discussions about this second attempt at a bid for president. 

Throughout the event, Weld discussed several issues important to him as a presidential candidate. He condemned the trillion-dollar deficits perpetuated by big government politicians on both sides of the aisle. He also called himself a “life-long environmentalist” on several occasions to separate himself from the policies of the current administration. While he discussed many topics, he made his bipartisan nature quite clear throughout his entire talk. He stated that during his two terms as Governor of Massachusetts, he selected a bipartisan cabinet, and if elected as president, would do the same thing. 

While the moderator, Professor Erin O’Brien from the Political Science Department, grilled Governor Weld on issues concerning our Commonwealth, as well as issues concerning the larger nation, Weld often gave anti-establishment responses, separating himself from both Republicans and Democrats. On several occasions, he condemned the harsh partisanship in federal politics and said the Democrats and Republicans are in a “death spiral embrace,” continuing to get worse and worse, but are in an embrace because they need each other to gain support for their own party.

Going into Super Tuesday in March, most of the delegates are being contested, and it seems as though Weld has little to no momentum. Gov. Weld did make it clear that even if he only got 15 to 20 percent of the delegates on Super Tuesday, that would be enough to tip the scales and force people and the media to pay attention to him and take him seriously. 

Stated plainly, Gov. Weld does not have enough electorate support to carry him to the White House. His government experience, while extensive (having served in the judicial system under President Nixon), does not relate to the modern-day average voter who feels abandoned by both Republicans and Democrats. While it is admirable that Gov. Weld felt convicted to primary an incumbent Republican president, President Donald Trump’s extensive and strong electorate support has dominated Weld in polls and in early primary and caucus voting. 

In the first three states, Nevada, Iowa, and New Hampshire, Weld performed particularly poorly, getting less than ten percent in each of the states. Although he claims a strong showing on Super Tuesday could turn the tides, Gov. Weld’s lack of charisma speaks for itself. He presents himself as anti-establishment given his history as running as a Libertarian vice president. However, he is a career politician, who presents himself as anti-Trump while also associating himself with the party that Trump is a member of. Simply put, Gov. Bill Weld’s policies, including a Coal Tax which he mentioned, are more in line with the Democratic Party. And that is the party that he most aligns with. Although, he made some good points that separates himself from both Republicans and Democrats, his pure lack of name recognition, lack of grassroots support or support from notable people, makes his run for the presidency at best an honest attempt, and at worst, a weak and desperate attempt to challenge a president, who at the time of writing, has a whopping 90 percent approval rating from self-described Republicans (1). Just like his run for the Libertarian Vice President, his second attempt for the White House will end in failure for Gov. Weld and his support staff.
 

  1. https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/476978-trump-support-among-republicans-reaches-all-time-high-in-poll

About the Contributor
Matthew Reiad, Opinions Editor