Why Women Don't Like Kerry Healey (Part One of Two)
Howard Lawrence Carr, ‘the most expensive Carr on OUR lot', Oct. 1, 2006
It’s too late, Howie. You created the Monster, and now you have to live with it. You may be more to blame for a negative outcome of the 2006 election than Christy Mihos.
Back in 2002, Mr. Carr favored arch-conservative Jim Rappaport for the Lt. Governor slot, and began calling the head of the Mass. GOP 'Muffy' to indicate that she is a cold, nasal, uninvolved, unintelligent cosmetic device used by Mitt Romney to enhance his own charm and electability in his contest against Shannon O'Brien. Hey! How can he be anti-woman? He bought the sleekest model available!
The problem is that Muffy never existed, although that would not be the first time Mr. Carr refused to let facts get in the way of a good story line. But, Muffy has become the public perception of Kerry Healey, a powerful imaginary figure, and Carr's mea culpa may be too little, too late. This mischaracterization is particulary potent with women, most of whom do not listen to Mr. Carr's show and may be unaware of the genesis of it, but are acquainted with the stereotype he created, and among whom the Lt. Governor is struggling to find an audience.
As we all know, Muffy is a multi-millionaire, born and bred in tony Beverly, with a perfect husband and two perfect blonde children. Doubltess her hobbies are riding to the hounds and exclaiming over supermarket scanners now that she has been forced to mix with the hoi polloi.
In reality, at the same young age that Deval Patrick won life's lottery and was whisked off to the boarding school Milton Academy and thence to Harvard, Clinton's Adminsitration, and Glory - without his feet ever touching the ground except for vacations ever again - Army brat Kerry Healy's father suffered a crippling heart attack. She was living then with her parents in a far from ideal neighborhood in Daytona Beach, and took a second and third job to help her mother with the rent so they wouldn't lose their home. As Deval began his prep school life, Kerry was working to graduate from public high school in Florida, and only went to college because of her exceptional scholastic ability which earned her a scholarship, which helped while she worked her way through school.
When she arrived at Harvard, she had never seen snow and had no winter coat. Anyone who knows how - patronizing - Bostonians can be towards a person with no upbringing or heritage can imagine how - welcoming - her enviornment was. Her reserve was born there, even as Deval was encouraged to be outgoing and pampered. She persevered, and was awarded a full scholarship to Trinity College.
Kerry Healey has worked hard all her life - and because she and her husband Sean were successful, the Muffy label was hung around her neck. It makes you wonder why you bother to get out of bed in the morning.
Porcupine rememers the first time he met Kerry Healey. She was the new head of the Mass. GOP and Minority Leader Fran Marini was giving her a hard time about meeting with the GOP caucus. She was on the far from glamourous fourth floor in the State House, in a tan coat, a little diffident, a little uncertain. Porcupine immediately took her to the offices of a half dozen Republican legislators and introduced her, mainly to annoy Mr. Marini and make his opposition to her appouintment a moot point. But what Porcupine remembers is her quiet determination in unfamiliar surroundings, and how gracious and warm she was when given half a chance.
Women have seen only the stereotype, not the person who has worked at jobs just like theirs, or the mother who is as concerned about her kids as they are (unlike Gabrielli, she has strongly resisted having them in campaign commercials), or the leader who is not afraid to take and stick to a stand, and works to build bridges rather than float from above.
Women don't like Muffy - will they find out that isn't who Kerry Healy is?
(to be continued)