Charlie Baker still hasn't said if he plans to seek a third term as Governor of Massachusetts next year and seems to be getting testy about being asked about it. Come on, Charlie, are you in or are you out?

For much of the seven years that the Republican Baker has served as Massachusetts' governor, the ride has been a sweet one. The tall, handsome Baker has been the darling of the Democrats and independents but a disappointment to many Republicans who consider him a RINO – Republican in Name Only. I happen to fall into the latter group.

Baker was toodling along nicely, not rustling too many feathers, when the pandemic hit from out of nowhere. No longer able to control his inner desire to be a left-wing dictator, Baker implemented restrictions and mandates. He closed things and fired front line employees who refused to abide by his executive orders. Suddenly, the once-popular governor was facing a primary opponent.

Before the wheels began to fall off, Baker promised a decision about his re-election after Labor Day. Well, Labor Day has come and gone, and still no announcement from Baker. When pressed this week by NPR's Jim Braude, a testy Baker responded, "It's a very complicated issue, Jim, for all kinds of reasons."

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Recent polling indicates that Baker could have a tough time against potential primary opponent Geoff Diehl. A rough party primary could leave Baker bruised and battered facing a fresh Democrat opponent next fall. Democrat Attorney General Maura Healey is waiting to see what Baker will do before showing her cards.

A month ago, I would have believed Baker would be a candidate for re-election, but now I am not so sure. By delaying an announcement, Baker keeps the rest of the pack at bay and buys himself some time. But something tells me ol' Charles has been reading some tea leaves and isn't happy with what he sees.

Come on, Charlie Baker, it's time to decide: are you in or are you out?

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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