Biden Eyes Gov. Charlie Baker For Cabinet Post: Report

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BOSTON — Joe Biden is considering Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker for a cabinet post if the Democratic presidential nominee wins the Nov. 3 election.

"It wouldn't be a shock for Biden, especially given the kind of campaign he's running as a unifying figure to find a Republican figure to put in his cabinet," David Hopkins, associate professor of political science at Boston College, said. "Baker would be the kind of Republican Biden would want: a moderate Republican who is not a Trump supporter."

Politico reported Tuesday that Biden's team is looking into the backgrounds of some Republicans as they put together shortlists of candidates for high-profile positions. Baker, a moderate Republican who was handily re-elected to his second term in office 2018 in the majority Democrat state, was the only official currently in office on the list, according to Politico.

Still, Baker brushed aside the suggestion during a news conference Tuesday.

"Lieutenant Governor and I said when we ran for re-election two years ago,"Baker said. "We were going to serve our terms, and I intend to do that. And you're going to be stuck with me for at least the next two years, anyway. I'm flattered to be considered, but I like the job I have."

Although Baker has not endorsed Biden, he has been critical of Trump, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

"In the past it's often been common practice for presidents to have token members of the opposition party in their cabinet," Hopkins said.

Democratic President Barack Obama tapped centrist Republican former Republican Rep. Ray Lahood as United States Secretary of Transportation. He also kept on Bob Gates, who was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush as Secretary of Defense. And the younger Republican Bush tapped California Democrat Norman Mineta to head the Department of Transportation.

The Politico report comes a week after the governor said he could not vote for the president. Last month, President Donald Trump criticized Baker in a tweet regarding the governor's support of mail-in voting, calling him a "Republican In Name Only."

"RINO Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts is unsuccessfully trying to defend Mail In Ballots, when there is fraud being found all over the place," Trump tweeted. "Just look at some of the recent races, or the Trump Ballots in Pennsylvania that were thrown into the garbage. Wrong Charlie!"

A spokesperson for the Biden transition team told Politico these types of decisions aren't being made before Election Day, but said "diversity of ideology and background" are a focus.

Whether Baker changes his apparently made up mind and accepts an appointment depends on where Baker wants to go in his career, Hopkins said.

"Going into Biden's cabinet would be something that would take him out of Massachusetts politics, so if he wasn't interested in being governor much longer it's a good easy path out of that position. But it also closes off some opportunities for him down the road as a Republican," Hopkins said.

Jenna Fisher is a news reporter for Patch. Got a tip? She can be reached at Jenna.Fisher@patch.com or by calling 617-942-0474. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@ReporterJenna). Have a something you'd like posted on the Patch? Here's how .

This article originally appeared on the Boston Patch