Charlie Baker’s Campaign Headquarters Is Located In Former Sleep Lab
Candidates for public office with a reputation for putting people to sleep on the stump should think hard before putting their campaign headquarters at the site of an abandoned sleep lab.
That’s what Charlie Baker did.
“People think Charlie is boring,” said Democratic strategist Dan Payne. “So, having your headquarters in a sleep center gives people a chance to see just how good he is at putting people to sleep, individually or collectively.”
Charlie Baker for Governor is located at 1505 Commonwealth Ave. in Brighton on the 5th floor—a shuttered Sleep HealthCenters location, according to the company website, closed after financial strains forced the company into receivership in June. Commex LLC owns the property, according to state records. The property manager refused to disclose who the property was leased to. The Herald first reported the street address, but not its former use.
A reporter who visited the location on Wednesday saw through the front door a sealed Quest Diagnostics medical waste bin addressed to Sleep HealthCenters. Baker spokesman Tim Buckley did not return a call for comment.
A successful businessman and bureaucrat, Baker showed an immense talent for messing up even the humble stump speech:
No one seems to be sure if they’re supposed to holler Yes! or No! So no one says anything at all. Turning his head to the group behind him, Baker snaps, “That’s a question!” Half of his supporters then roar Yes! before realizing they’ve got it backward. Anxious to give him what he needs, they quickly correct themselves, but by now the whole thing has dissolved into a half-hearted no. Charlie Baker is somehow losing an audience the campaign bused to the event specifically to cheer for him.
Payne warned there’s a danger for the Baker camp for not successfully scouting a location that can’t be lampooned. He warned a site that plays to Baker’s ability to make folks snooze could become like Mitt Romney’s Seamus—the legendarily ill-treated family dog that voters believed spoke volumes about its master. In the end, for Baker, it may make people more likely to perceive him as dull.
“These things have a way of coming back to haunt you and reflect something the public believes about a candidate,” Payne said.
But dull may be what voters want this time around. Baker is as uncharismatic as Deval Patrick is charming, and voters may be looking for a Costanza candidate in 2014—someone who does the exact opposite of the current governor.
“Patrick is smooth, smooth, smooth,” said Boston University political historian Thomas Whalen. “Charlie Baker is wonkish—he could make that argument, and it could play. He’s the Mike Dukakis technocrat, and people might appreciate that.”