Weld and Fried: New darlings of Massachusetts liberals

Yesterday’s separate endorsements of Barack Obama by former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld and Harvard Law School professor Charles Fried add to the growing roster of prominent Republicans who have jumped over the wall to back to the Democratic nominee. But Weld and Fried share more than that connection. Fried was a Harvard Law School professor of Weld’s, and in 1995, Weld nominated his mentor, a former solicitor general in the Reagan administration, to a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. 

Meet the Author

Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

Fried faced a bruising confirmation battle, with a coalition of women’s groups, union leaders, and liberal activists vigorously opposing the conservative legal scholar’s nomination. Fried squeaked by on a 5-4 confirmation vote of the Governor’s Council, with then-lieutenant governor Paul Cellucci casting the tie-breaking vote. "This is a guy who slithers around and changes his position when convenient," Sarah Wunsch, head of the anti-Fried "Committee for a Just Supreme Court," told the Boston Globe at the time.  Today’s position change by Fried is being lauded by liberals as a principled act of courage. 

Fried, who left the court in 1999 to return to Harvard, had served on several McCain campaign committees until his announcement this week, in which he cited McCain’s selection of running mate Sarah Palin as one of the factors that drove his decision.