Baker, Walsh rumored as Mass. politicians considered for Biden cabinet


Walsh and Baker courtesy of Kristina McComb photographer for Office of the Governor via Flickr

Politico reported recently that Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden’s transition team was considering multiple republicans for top cabinet positions, including Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Biden has messaged himself as the unity candidate, and picking politicians from across the aisle for top positions could help prove this. 

Officially, a campaign spokesperson said that the transition team will not be making decisions on personnel until after the election. However, according to Politico, the spokesperson emphasized that “diversity of ideology and background is a core value of the transition.”

It is not uncommon for a president to appoint members of the opposing party to their cabinet. Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all did this in the past. 

Baker has indicated he may not accept the position if offered. 

“I’m flattered to be considered, but I like the job I have,” Baker said at a press conference when asked about the Politico story. “Both the lieutenant governor and I said when we ran for re-election two years ago, seems like 100 years ago, that we were going to serve our terms, and I intend to do that.”

While Baker has publicly criticized President Donald Trump in the past, he has not officially endorsed Biden for president. Baker also has not announced if he is considering running for reelection when his gubernatorial term ends in 2022.

Baker is not the only republican that has been considered for a cabinet position if Biden wins on Nov 3. According to Politico, former CEO of eBay and CEO of Quibi Meg Whitman and former Ohio Governor John Kasich are being considered for roles in the administration, as well as former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and former Pennsylvania U.S. Representative Charlie Dent have also been considered for possible positions. 

All of these GOP members have split with Trump, and both Whitman and Kasich spoke at the Democratic National Convention this past summer.

There are concerns that potentially nominating a republican to a cabinet position could cause division within the democratic party. 

“What we’ve seen over the past four years in the Trump administration is republicans stopping democratic policy at every single opportunity they can,” said Democratic State Committee member and Tufts University student Mark Lannigan.  “I think with the Biden administration and a democratic house and senate there’s real opportunity to pass the policy that’s been held up over the past four years. I don’t want a republican cabinet member to get in the way of that.”

When asked about the potential of Baker being offered a cabinet position, Lannigan was doubtful of the governor’s qualifications.

“Cabinet positions are tailored to specific areas of policy,” Lannigan said. “My first question no matter the party is always if they are qualified for the position they are nominated to, and I don’t think Baker has any expertise in a specific policy area.”

Baker is not the only Massachusetts politician that may have a seat in Biden’s cabinet. Over the past few months, rumors have circulated that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh may be considered for a position. 

Walsh is a friend of Biden, and the former vice president spoke at Walsh’s inauguration after he was reelected in 2017. But Walsh told the Boston Herald last month that he “is not going to speculate.” 

“Too many people, four years ago, we’re picking what offices they wanted,” Walsh said. “The night of the election, they all got a shock when Donald Trump won.”