On Tuesday, Republican candidate for Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, called a Boston-area female reporter ‘sweetheart’ and patted her on her shoulder after she asked him a question. The reporter, Sharman Sacchetti, was attempting to ask Baker a question related to his recent about-face on his stance on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Last week, while Baker was ironically at an even called ‘Women for Charlie,’ Sacchetti asked Baker whether he feels Goodell should be fired or resign over his missteps regarding the Ray Rice domestic abuse situation. The Republican wouldn’t give an answer at that time, stating that he needed more data.
Baker’s Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, jumped on Baker’s equivocation, stating that she had all the data she needed for her opinion and that she believed Goodell needs to be out as commissioner. With Baker trailing badly in the polls with women voters, he decided to make an about face and call for Goodell’s resignation. When Sacchetti asked him Tuesday if he was just saying this because it was politically convenient, Baker said the following:
“No, I think my standard operating procedure on almost anything is to try to collect as much information as I can to be comfortable that I have enough facts to make a decision. And in this particular case, after I had a chance to review the footage of a news conference and to follow some of the stories that were written that laid out the timeline, it was pretty clear that to me anyway, that the NFL had misrepresented a number of key issues and therefore it was time for the commissioner to resign.”
When Sacchetti tried to follow-up with another question, Baker touched her on the shoulder and told her, “Okay, this is going to be the last one, sweetheart.” Sacchetti seemed taken aback and exclaimed, “Sweetheart!”
Below is video of the interaction, courtesy of MyFoxBoston:
The news station did point out that Baker called Sacchetti personally to apologize, and she accepted the apology. However, this obviously chauvinistic display by the candidate isn’t likely to help him with women voters. Baker ran for Governor against incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick in 2010. He lost by six points, 48% to 42%, thanks largely to a huge gender gap that year. Baker lost women voters by 24 points that election. He appears to have the exact same problem this year against Coakley.
While the conservative-leaning pollster Rasmussen has the race deadlocked, other polls show Coakley with a clear lead. The most recent poll, by WBUR, has Coakley up by ten points, 46% to 36%. It also shows Coakley with essentially an insurmountable lead with female voters, 50% to 26%. It seems highly doubtful that Baker’s ‘sweetheart’ comment will bring any undecided women over to his fold.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).