The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, a Republican, delivered his state of the commonwealth speech last night taking stock of his first year in office and looking ahead. The text is here and worth a look. I was watching on television here in Boston, and one striking thing is that, unlike President Obama's state of the union address, where Democrats stood and cheered while Republicans sat stonefaced in silence, Mr. Baker's speech had both Republicans and Democrats — including even Democratic U.S. Senators Markey and Warren — standing and clapping at the applause lines. One highlight:
As the administration ends its first year in office, some have lamented how boring we are. I'll admit: that makes me smile.
No fights. No yelling. No partisan scrums.
I had a basketball coach in high school who was fond of saying: Don't confuse effort with results. Work hard, but work smart.
Too often in government, we confuse how much money we spend on something, or how much we talk about it, with whether or not we're achieving any positive results.
It's one more data point to buttress the argument that while everyone's attention is focused on the presidential race, some really interesting and positive political action is happening at the state level.