As you know last Wednesday night Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley were asked when they had last cried or if they cried. I’m not sure of the exact wording of the question but it related to crying. Charlie Baker announced in a faltering voice that he may not be able to get through the story and choked up a bit. He told not with ease and with no little tearing up of hugging a huge fisherman in New Bedford. He demonstrated holding his arms wide out as if hugging a tree. He told us the fisherman started crying. He pointed to two men on a boat and said they were his sons. He told how the business of being a fisherman was getting harder and harder each day. Worst of all, those two sons had athletic scholarships to go to college and he told them they had to be fishermen like their father and grandfather. Charlie’s sadness was palpable and effective.
A good story deserves a good follow-up. The media wanted to find the fisherman and his sons. There was a problem however, the Globe’s now editor Brian McGrory smelled a rat. He had heard a similar story about five years ago. One of his reporters asked Baker about that. He said it did happen five years ago but the memory lingers on, as do the tears. He said he’s told the story many times over the years. He must have been a lot of fun to be around with all that crying, but that’s another story.
Now it turns out Baker said when asked about the story in Attleboro: “There may be a detail or two that I got wrong, but obviously the image and the message from him has stayed with me for a very long time.” Eyebrows were raised. Several search teams were sent out but no one seems to be able to locate the mountain-size fisherman. No one seems to remember the two brothers in New Bedford who turned down athletic scholarships. Did Baker fake the story? Fake tears, fake story equals one big fake of a man.
The Globe article went on: “Look, I had the conversation,” Baker said Thursday. “I remember it. And I’ve been telling the story for a number of years. And, as I said, I may have gotten some of the details wrong, but the essence of the story is true.” Baker blasted Coakley for questioning the authenticity of his recollections, saying, “That’s because they don’t have a positive message or a positive vision for the people of Massachusetts.”
No one was buying it. It’s gone from “a detail or two: to “some of the details: being wrong. Baker was seeing that the ruse was being unearthed. He was pressured by the media to come up with more details. He agreed to go under hypnosis to do that so he could prove the veracity of his story and tears. Here’s the report from that session.
“Mr. Baker , the time you cried. Do you remember.”
Baker groaned, scowled and said: “Charlie, call me Charlie.”
“All right, Charlie, you told about crying. It was near a body of water with boats. Do you remember?”
“Do you remember you were in New Bedford?”
“No, no, it wasn’t there, it was somewhere else?”
“Where, Charlie, where was it?”
“Boston, I remember crying in Boston.”
“Near the water and some boats?”
“Yes, there was water and there were boats.”
“Where in Boston was it, Charlie. In the Seaport District?”
“The Gardens, the Public Gardens.”
“Charlie think, you said there were boats.”
“Yes, there were, swan boats, two or three going across the water.”
“Charlie, the fisherman, what about the fisherman?”
“There was a young girl, I mean woman, she was from Fisher College, I remember now.”
“The fisherman told you a story! Do your remember.”
“It was the woman from Fisher. She told me. I remember now.”
“Charlie, what happened.”
“I was running against Deval Patrick – I saw this attractive lady standing down by the grass. She was next to other people feeding the ducks. I noticed she was wearing a “Baker for Governor” button. I went down to her. We began to talk. She told me she went to Fisher college. She pointed to one of the swan boats. She said two of the girls on the boat were her classmates at Fisher. There were three boats out there with lots of girls on them. I asked her which one. She said the one with the big burly guy paddling.”
“Charlie, you talked about young men not getting athletic scholarships.”
“No, those two women were on scholarships. This lady told me they were Democrats and were planning to vote for Patrick. She said they treated her poorly since she was a member of the young Republicans.”
“Charlie the hug, do you remember the hug.”
“Yes, when she said that I gave her a hug to comfort her. She started crying. She said life was unfair that some got scholarships while others had to pay their way through college. I started to cry with her thinking how unfair that was that the rich have to pay and the poor get a free ride. Each time I think of it I start to cry.”
“Wake up, Charlie, Wake up!”
Charlie woke up. “How did I do?” he asked.
He was told it would be best not to tell anyone of the session and go into hiding. He could use Mayor Menino’s death as a reason for not campaigning. All agreed it would be best.