Charlie Baker Is Staying Out Of Curt Schilling’s Senatorial Ambitions, For Now

The governor is not taking a stand on the pitcher’s latest escapades.



In a not-quite-unexpected move, Gov. Charlie Baker this week wasn’t exactly endorsing Red Sox star and current walking caricature Curt Schilling, who has said he wants to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her Senate seat.

But he wasn’t disavowing him, the way he has with Republican nominee Donald Trump, for whom Schilling has been an ardent supporter.

“Like a lot of people in Massachusetts and New England, I admire the guy as a baseball player big time and as a pitcher, but it’s pretty early to be talking about 2018,” he said at a clambake fundraiser in Springfield yesterday, according to MassLive. “And generally speaking, if Karyn Polito and I decide to run for re-election it’s going to be to focus of my time.”

For Baker, whom the National Review this week glowingly dubbed “the anti-Donald Trump,” one could argue this could have been a softball. After all, Schilling’s possible run at a Senate seat would have, as Jon Keller puts it, plenty of strikes against it.

The pair are friendly, and Schilling endorsed Baker when he ran for governor. “I’ll vote for him because he’s someone that has always appealed to me as being out for the greater good above all else,” Schilling wrote on his blog, 38 Pitches, at the time.

But they also diverge on the issues, particularly social ones. Baker was hands-off during the transgender bill debate; Schilling’s recklessness in his opposition to it lost him his job.

Baker didn’t take exactly a stand then, either.

“People in public life are generally held to a higher standard with respect to what they say and how they say it, and I think it’s usually important — in this day and age especially, given all the vitriol that’s out there — that people in public life demonstrate — and big public organizations demonstrate — respect and tolerance for everybody,” Baker said on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio in April, according to the State House News Service. He added that he “didn’t want to get into a discussion about what ESPN chooses to do or not do.”

So Baker again appears to be hedging, like the most popular governor in America is wont to do when it’s politically expedient to stay above the fray. Exceptions include the bid to legalize marijuana for recreational use, which will likely be contentious from now until November (he is helping lead an opposition campaign, which he’s linked to another of his policy agendas: tackling the opioid abuse epidemic).

Things could of course get more complicated if this whole Schilling for Senate escapade actually materializes, but, for Mr. 72 Percent, that’s a problem for another year.