Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift Drops Bid for Reelection

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Anne Thompson
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Embattled Massachusetts governor Jane Swift announces she's not running for reelection. Meantime, Mitt Romney, fresh off his successful management of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, announces he's running for the post.



"Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift Drops Bid for Reelection." Anne Thompson, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 19 Mar. 2002. NBC Learn. Web. 16 January 2015.


Thompson, A. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (2002, March 19). Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift Drops Bid for Reelection. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift Drops Bid for Reelection" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 03/19/2002. Accessed Fri Jan 16 2015 from NBC Learn:


Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift Drops Bid for Reelection

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

It was a wild day in Massachusetts politics today even by that state's rough and tumble standards. Mitt Romney, fresh from running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, announced that he's running for the GOP nomination for governor. The surprise came just hours earlier when acting Governor Jane Swift, after weeks of saying that she would not step aside, did just that. Here's NBC's Anne Thompson.

ANNE THOMPSON reporting:

Even before she became Massachusetts' first woman governor, controversy and Jane Swift were never far apart. As lieutenant governor, she earned the dubious title "Queen Jane" for having staffers babysit her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, and using a state police helicopter to visit the child when she was sick.

Acting Governor JANE SWIFT: I'm not going to apologize for trying to be a good mother and a good lieutenant governor.

THOMPSON: Appointed acting governor last April when Paul Cellucci became ambassador to Canada, Swift made headlines again, giving birth to twins, the first governor to do so in office. The babies gave the beleaguered politician a burst in the polls, but it didn't last.

Her ratings dragged down by a billion-dollar-plus budget deficit, criticisms about security at Logan Airport where the two planes that hit the World Trade Center originated, and pundits say her own lack of political skills.

Ms. MARY ANNE MARSH (Democratic Strategist): Jane Swift absolutely had one of the biggest political tin ears ever in Massachusetts' political history. Sixty-five percent of the voters had an unfavorable view of her, and that's a death sentence for any politician.

THOMPSON: And so today, Swift, the nation's youngest governor, dropped out of the race to lead Massachusetts.

Gov. SWIFT: Serving as governor of this great commonwealth has been an honor and a privilege.

THOMPSON: Fighting back tears, Swift conceded she could not run the state, raise her three children and battle Olympic Committee Chairman Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.

Gov. SWIFT: The hard part was emotionally deciding to entertain the question. The answer wasn't all that hard in the end.

THOMPSON: Poll numbers tell the story. A weekend survey by The Boston Herald gave Romney an astonishing lead among Republican voters, 75 percent to Swift's 12. Denying any party pressure or betrayal, tonight the woman once regarded as a fighter and a trailblazer steps aside, a working mother now pondering her uncertain political future. Anne Thompson, NBC News, New York.