Weld: ‘All of this is totally unprecedented’

As a young lawyer working for the congressional committee investigating President Nixon, Bill Weld’s job was to study every impeachment that had previously occurred in Great Britain and the United States.

Now he’s running in the Republican primary against the third president ever to be impeached by Congress: Donald Trump. He has some perspective.

“All of this is totally unprecedented. We’ve never had a president who came anywhere near this,” said Weld.

The former federal prosecutor and twice-elected Massachusetts governor visited The Codcast on Friday to share his thoughts on President Trump, the impeachment, and his campaign.

Weld plans to compete in every state where he is legally permitted to be on the ballot, and he thinks it is “looney tunes” that the Massachusetts Republican party  suggested he should not be eligible for the ballot here.

Taking on his party’s incumbent, he would consider it an “achievement,” but not a victory, if his sole effect was to torpedo Trump’s re-election bid.

Although he fundamentally disagrees with him on numerous matters, Weld found Trump “refreshing” in the earlier days of his last campaign, and he said he can see why people supported him.

“He had the universal reputation of being the most dishonest businessman in New York, so I was surprised to see him kind of shining in these debates,” Weld said.

In the 1990s, Weld hired Charlie Baker to serve in his cabinet, and then Baker was elected Massachusetts governor in 2014. Baker still speaks highly of Weld’s brand of Republicanism, but Weld hasn’t yet asked Baker about the possibility of an endorsement.

“I try to make it a point never to ask anyone to do something that’s not in their own best political interest,” said Weld, though he didn’t clarify what he thought would be in Baker’s political interest.

Weld is concentrating his early efforts on New Hampshire, and somewhat ironically looks at Pat Buchanan as a precedent for his campaign. In 1992, Buchanan, running on similar themes that Trump would pick up a generation later, lost the Granite State primary but took more than a third of the vote in the contest with President George H.W. Bush, wounding the incumbent’s campaign, which ended in defeat later that year.

ANDY METZGER

 

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Newly released emails show that a White House official ordered a hold on aid to Ukraine about two hours after President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the center of the impeachment case against him. (Washington Post)

ELECTIONS

David Rabinovitz says the Cumberland Farms ballot question has marijuana side-effects — meaning more stores selling alcohol could mean more stores selling pot. (CommonWealth)

Elizabeth Warren’s three older brothers play a key role in her campaign narrative, but they shun interviews are “frozen-like set pieces” for her campaign speeches. (Boston Globe)

Larry Edelman writes that history is on President Trump’s side in his coming reelection bid with the economy growing. (Boston Globe)

Lou Antonellis of Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says his union backs Joe Kennedy III because he’s younger. (CommonWealth)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Alex Krieger and Matthew Kiefer ask whether we have the will to embark on big public-minded projects in the face of Boston new gilded age of inequality, as we did in the last one in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (Boston Globe)  

Boston-based sports gambling company DraftKings will merge with SBTech, a gambling tech firm, and go public. (Boston Globe)

WBUR looks at how cannabis manufacturers are ramping up production on vaping products after the ban ended.

EDUCATION

The Worcester schools begin serving after-school meals. (Telegram & Gazette)

Efforts to create more diversity in the teaching ranks are falling short. (CommonWealth)

Jane Swift says solid implementation will be the key to success for the state’s new education law. (CommonWealth)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Federal regulators have denied a request from state Attorney General Maura Healey to stay the license transfer for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station from Entergy Corp. to Holtec International until officials and the public have had an opportunity to weigh in. (Cape Cod Times)

Phil Goldberg says a New York judges decision in an ExxonMobil case is a warning to Attorney General Maura Healey. (CommonWealth)

A study from the University of Delaware showed fishing jobs in New England’s coastal counties declined by an average of 16 percent between 1996 and 2017 due to climate change. (Cape Cod Times) 

CASINOS

A Globe editorial says the state should take a cautious approach to the idea of licensing a third casino in light of the disappointing performance of the two that are already up and running.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

A high-ranking member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club from Massachusetts was indicted on a firearm charge, according to US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office. (Herald News) 

Walter Levitsky was sentenced to serve nine months of two-and-a-half-year jail term for groping the breasts of a patient who sought treatment from him for alcohol dependence. (Gloucester Daily Times)

MEDIA

Media critic Dan Kennedy takes a look at how paywalls have revived the idea of a newspaper bundle. (Media Nation)