Giving Credit Where It's Due

If you arrived at this blog via Governing's home page, you'll note that Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi adorns our current cover, which celebrates our ...
by | November 2, 2006

Govcover If you arrived at this blog via Governing's home page, you'll note that Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi adorns our current cover, which celebrates our picks for "Public Officials of the Year." We recognized DiMasi for his role in getting the state's landmark health insurance law passed this year.

It's always a little bit of a challenge to select an individual winner among the many people who had something to do with a big project or piece of legislation. This case was no different.

The Boston Globe today mocks us a little bit for "gushing" over DiMasi while paying short shrift to other lawmakers who had a lot to do with the bill. Governor Mitt Romney has certainly taken credit for the bill on the presidential hustings -- one of the few things about Massachusetts that he admits liking. State Senate President Robert Travaglini also got out ahead of DiMasi in pushing for a major health bill, as we noted in earlier coverage.

But does that mean picking DiMasi was a mistake? Obviously, we think not. The whole point of the profile was that DiMasi successfully steered a course toward passage, crafting a surprising compromise out of seemingly irreconcilable approaches favored by Romney, Travaglini and others.

DiMasi certainly didn't invent health care or universal coverage as an issue in Massachusetts. But forging a winning compromise on a tough and contentious problem is achievement enough for a legislator. That's what they're supposed to do, and DiMasi did it exceptionally well.