Kerry Healey, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts and GOP candidate for Governor in 2006, reflected on her career in politics and last week’s election at an event hosted by the HLS Republicans and the Abigail Adams Society. A self-proclaimed moderate, Healey spoke of the need to focus the party’s message on economic issues rather than the social issues championed by evangelicals.
She further lamented the hemorrhaging of Republicans in New England, noting the ouster of Representative Chris Shays (R-CT) from Congress last week. Healey called for moderates and conservatives to support each other rather than fight amongst themselves for the party’s future.
Healey also addressed the Vice Presidential candidacy of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. While she noted that Palin “was not adequately prepared,” thereby potentially taking women “back a step or two,” Healey praised Palin’s charisma and her ability to break with previous norms for female politicians. Palin embraced her motherhood despite the attention devoted to her daughter’s pregnancy and “did not alter her femininity,” Healey observed, thereby strengthening her candidacy.
While “time will tell” whether Palin will run again for national office, Healey did not hide her desire to see her former boss, Governor Mitt Romney ’75, reenter the public arena. Until then, Healey urged the audience to hope for President-elect Obama’s success in the interest of the country.