If you asked the 100 or so East Bostonians that packed Ecco Restaurant on Monday night to catch a glimpse of Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Baker who was going to win the Massachusetts Governorship, the answer unequivocally would be Baker.
It’s hard to imagine, with the local political backing from some and the support of Eastie’s large politically active families that Baker will lose East Boston in November. Whether he’ll be able to carry the entire state still remains a topic of debate here and the rest of the state.
However, one thing is for certain, Baker is energizing crowds here and has seemed to come into his own while out on the campaign trail.
Once pegged as a bore or ‘stiff’ by some pundits on both the democratic and republican side, Baker has relaxed and Monday at Ecco was giving high fives to supporters, laughing with residents and gave a rousing speech about what he will fight for if elected governor.
“I want to make sure East Boston residents and residents across the state get more bang for their buck,” said Baker. “For too long now the people who do the right thing, pay their bills, send their kids off to college and struggle every day with their financial future are not be rewarded and that needs to change.”
The tone of Baker’s speech was directed at some state and federal social programs that have seemed to help people who don’t play by the rules.
A lot of people in the room have become annoyed at the fact they can’t get loans to fix their priorities or to send their kids to college when all along they have scrimped and saved for the future but others are being bailed out because they bit off a little too much of the American Pie.
This Baker supporters explained, has driven down property values in the neighborhood and caused banks to become more reluctant to loan money to working class families looking to better themselves and their families.
“Five years ago I could have gotten a home equity loan to send my kid to college and now I can’t,” one Baker supporter told me Monday night. “But people who got in over their heads and take advantage of the system are getting loans galore to save their homes. I paid my bills, I paid my mortgage but the middle class always gets the shaft. Everything is for the super rich or the really poor.”
Baker told the crowd that if elected that would all change.
“The people I will fight for are the working class people like here in East Boston.” said Baker.
Dave Arinella, who introduced Baker and is a lifelong Eastie resident said the Deval Patrick experiment has failed.
“It is time for a man like Charlie Baker,” said Arinella. “For too long now our struggles and problems here in East Boston have fallen on deaf ears. We need someone in that office that understands the struggles of the people who work hard, pay their bills and do the right thing in life.”
Dave Modica, co-owner of Ecco, who hosted the event for Baker said it’s time for a businessman to be in the governor’s seat because only a businessman would understand the struggles of small businesses like Ecco.
Baker ended by saying he would stay as governor for as long as the people would have him.
“I am not going anywhere, I’m not positioning myself for higher office and if elected I will serve for as long as the people want me and then I will go find a job and grow old in Massachusetts,” said Baker. “And I hope when that time comes I will have children who stay here because we made it a great state and I will not have to get on a plane but only into a car to visit my grandchildren.”