What the hell is an “Independent Republican?”

Michael Sullivan is showing us a thing or two about “positioning” in politics. As the most conservative and partisan Republican in the race, it’s not easy to lay the ground work for a plausible general election campaign in bright blue Massachusetts. What’s a hard line right winger to do?

If he’s Michael Sullivan, he calls the least partisan Republican in the Race an “Obama Republican” in the hope of making him appear too liberal, not because he’s worried about Gabe Gomez’s already floundering campaign, but rather to help him create his own more viable general election image. In the same ad in which he slimes Gomez with transparently out of context accusations of having claimed to be an “Obama supporter,” Sullivan unveils his new “brand.” He is the “independent Republican” in the race. Who knew!?!

You see, Gomez’s letter to the Guv was his confession to being a secret agent for the other side and Dan Winslow’s more “independent” minded policy positions are actually evidence of him being a liberal toady as well. Sullivan is trying to redefine the meaning of the term “independent.” It’s not going to work, but you have to give him credit for giving it the old college try.

About Jerold Duquette

Jerold Duquette is an associate professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University. He is the author of Regulating the National Pastime: Baseball and Antitrust and has published articles and book chapters on campaign finance reform, political parties, Massachusetts politics and political culture, public opinion, and political socialization. Professor Duquette lives in Longmeadow, MA with his wife and four children.
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