GOP Resurgence Predicted

Unnamed photo
Sophia Wen

Former Massachusetts Governor A. Paul Cellucci addresses the Harvard Republican Club and Harvard Law Republicans last night.

The Massachusetts Republican party is “alive and well” and “poised to take the governorship in two years,” said former Massachusetts Governor A. Paul Cellucci last night while speaking for a joint event held by the Harvard Republican Club and the Harvard Law Republicans.

Cellucci, who is also the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, spoke for a little over an hour in Emerson Hall in an event attended by students from colleges throughout the Boston area.

His remarks hit on the current presidential race, the state of the Massachusetts Republican party, and his experience as an ambassador to Canada.

HRC President Colin J. Motley ’10 said Cellucci is a “pretty unique political creature” due to his success in Massachusetts politics as a Republican.

Cellucci, a spokesman for Senator John McCain’s campaign, began his remarks by talking about the current presidential race.

“You’d think this would be a Democratic year,” he said referring to the perceived Democratic advantages this year.

But he said, “I think it is going to be very close... I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Cellucci called the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “brilliant.”

According to Cellucci, the Republican base wasn’t completely sold on McCain before the pick. With the Palin selection McCain motivated the base of the Republican party, he said.

Cellucci also discussed the important role the next president will have in appointing judges to the Supreme Court.

He emphasized the importance and the difficulty surrounding judicial appointments by reflecting on an appointment he made as governor to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court who later voted to allow gay marriage in Massachusetts. The vote, he said, surprised him.

Cellucci served as governor of the bay state from 1997 until 2001 and as ambassador to Canada from 2001 until 2007.

HRC treasurer Andrew L. Schlafly ’10 said he thought Cellucci’s “analysis of some of the presidential politics was very encouraging.” He said it also inspired him “to have faith” that Republicans could succeed in politics in Massachusetts.

Jordan W. Leu, an officer for the Harvard Law Republicans, said he thought Cellucci was “pretty good.”

After giving his remarks, Cellucci opened the floor for questions.

One audience member asked, “How should we prepare ourself in the case of a Democratic victory?”

“The pendulum swings a lot in American politics,” Cellucci said, but he was hopeful that it would not be so extreme as to lose the Republicans the presidency.

Asked what issues Republicans should focus on, Cellucci said cutting taxes, fiscal discipline, and regulations that are fair and effective.

Motley said Harvard students could work to elect McCain by attending weekly phone bank trips. There will also be a campaign trip going to New Hampshire on Saturday.