Peanut butter and jelly at chamber breakfast


December 4, 2015
By Thor Jourgensen/The Daily Item

Gov. Baker likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. He is partial to playing air guitar. He likes “Forever” by the Dropkick Murphys and he wouldn’t mind George Clooney playing him in a movie.

Massachusetts’ chief executive and Swampscott resident shared those personal trivia tidbits with a Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce audience Thursday and talked about his first year in office and Lynn’s economic promise.

His Porthole Restaurant speech was the second visit by Baker to Lynn in two weeks. He headlined a Nov. 23 public unveiling of a city, state and federal economic development collaboration that, Baker said, will produce a list of local projects.

“We expect to be able to do great things with that,” Baker said.

Baker addresses the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce at Porthole Restaurant in Lynn.

Gov. Baker

Baker addresses the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce at Porthole Restaurant in Lynn. 

“They still have a long way to go but they have a good eye to the future,” Foye said.

Baker said state officials are already helping to new business startups in Lynn and he said General Electric’s well-advertised shift from industrial manufacturing to technological innovation fits perfectly with the direction Massachusetts’ economy is taking.

He said statewide economic growth depends on boosting workforce skills across the state and reviewing the state’s massive regulatory code. By July, 2016, Baker wants to see “hundreds” of regulations consolidated and help cities and towns streamline review processes that benefit residents and businesses.

State officials will also explore potential advantages of purchase excess capacity hydroelectric power from Canadian firms in order to reduce Massachusetts energy costs.

“It’s clean and renewable. Let’s see if we can’t take advantage of the excess capacity they have,” he said.

During a question and answer period with Chamber executive board chairman Taso Nikolakopoulos, Baker drew applause when Nikolakopoulos referred to polls underscoring the governor’s popularity. Baker acknowledged he was elected in 2014 by a narrow margin of 44,000 votes.

“I rarely run into people who say they didn’t vote for me, but a lot didn’t. I think the reason we have such high favorability numbers is we don’t play politics,” he said.

Baker said he makes sure people he works with understand compromise “is not a dirty word.”

He made light of the trials and errors marking his first months in office. When reporters asked him early last January if the state had enough money to pay snow and ice removal costs, he recalled answering, “‘Look out the window, it’s 50 degrees.”

Subsequent record snowfalls sent Baker and top officials scrambling to bring out-of-state help into Massachusetts to clear snow but eventually led, he said, to a “no-muss, no-fuss” approach to combatting winter.

He drew laughs when he cast Clooney to play him in an imaginative Baker biography movie.

“Liam Neeson would be good too,” he added.

Thor Jourgensen can be reached at

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