Limited Taxation
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Barbara's Column
February 2001 #2

Cellucci's leaving Jane out in the cold
by Barbara Anderson

Sometimes I think that men and women really are different.

Take last Saturday, for instance. I gave a luncheon speech in Boston, and as Chip and I were driving home we were hit from behind as we approached a red light and were pushed into, first, a stopped pick-up truck, and second, a giant lightpole. The latter snapped off and flew through the air as we spun across the road again, coming to a stop in a car that can only be described as "totaled."

Aside from the soreness where the seat belts grabbed us, and my sprained hand, we seemed to be OK, so we came home after the car was towed. I put on flannel pajamas and went straight to bed with my cats. Chip went straight to the phone, eager to tell family and friends all about the accident: "You should have seen that pole fly!"

He was celebrating survival, and I was still expecting to die.

I'm not complaining here; he did bring me my Valentine chocolates knowing that they would make me feel better. But he couldn't understand why I remained upset a day later. If you are a woman reading this: do you understand? If you are a guy, are you thinking: "wow, totaled?"

Maybe I'm still not focusing, but I can't help relating this to the reaction to Governor Cellucci's possible new job as ambassador to Canada.

All the political guys, Republican and Democrat, are excited about the potential new landscape and new battle line-ups. All I can do, however, is think about Jane Swift, pregnant and abandoned, though granted the same man isn't responsible for both the pregnancy and the abandonment.

My women friends are quite sure they would not want to be pregnant with twins, in labor with twins, or the mother of three babies, and acting governor at the same time. However, we are not politicians, so it's possible our empathy is misplaced. I for one wouldn't want to be governor even if I were single and childless.

Jane Swift might be more like Sandra, the woman who has been cutting my hair for the past decade or so. She loves her job and works right up to delivery, then comes back to her grateful clients a short while later, leaving the children with her mother and daycare. She does work only part-time, though; I don't think an acting Governor has that option.

Still, look at Queen Victoria: she had nine children while running the entire British Empire, including Canada, ambassador to which might be better than, say, governor of the Finneran Empire here in Massachusetts.

Canada: Land of the Maple Leaf, not to mention maple candy and those wonderful maple cookies in the red box. Rose Marie, Anne of Green Gables, and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. English when one needs the familiar, French when one wants the exotic. An exchange rate that boosts the American dollar salary.

And the downside: High taxes. Almost total gun control. Socialized medicine. Very long, cold winters. If I were appointed ambassador, I think I'd put on my flannel pajamas and go to bed with my cats and maple cookies for most of the year.

But Governor Cellucci, being a guy, will probably call his friends and celebrate his survival from Massachusetts politics; and his guy friends will get all excited about the new political battles to come.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem Evening News and the Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in other newspapers.

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