Baker eyes NH in 2020, but just to ‘watch’

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Gov. Charlie Baker didn’t mind his trip to New Hampshire Saturday to campaign for his preferred presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. It seems he rather enjoyed himself.

“One of the great things about New Hampshire is they do get to kick the tires on these folks over and over and over again over the course of that first-in-the-nation primary season,” the governor told Boston Herald Radio on Tuesday.  “Having been up there myself on Saturday and had a chance to see just how much energy there is up there and how much fun people are having, I’ve got to tell you that not ever being really part of that kind of presidential scrum is kind of too bad for all of us down here in Massachusetts.”

Finishing behind the top vote-getters in the Granite State Republican contest Tuesday, Christie is reportedly headed home to New Jersey to consider his next move.

Baker, who until the last few days has mostly refrained from publicly discussing presidential politics, continued: “We down in Massachusetts we don’t often get a good look at what a real presidential contest looks like.  And for me anyway it was an eye-opener.  I may decide four years from now to spend a little more time up there just to get a chance to watch it.”

The Herald Radio crew pounced on that last comment, and Baker sought to extinguish any notion of being a candidate in 2020.  “Don’t you go anywhere with that – I said watch!” the governor said.

Baker also noted that his wife Lauren has already seen most of the presidential candidates’ commercials multiple times in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary.  “I know she’s ready for her TV to go back to looking normal,” Baker said.

The Massachusetts presidential primary is March 1 and the field is more unsettled than in previous cycles, fueling the possibility that Bay State voters could play a more significant role this year and draw more visits from the candidates themselves.

— Written by Michael P. Norton

Copyright State House News Service