Baker says personal moments at inaugural stick with him

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By Colleen Quinn

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

STATE HOUSE — Catching glimpses of friends and neighbors as he made his way through the red-carpeted State House to be sworn-in as governor are the moments that stick out most in Gov. Charlie Baker’s mind, he said Thursday during a radio interview.

Baker, who spent eight years working for Govs. William Weld and Paul Cellucci, said he is very familiar with the building and “some of the pomp that comes with it,” but that is not what struck him during his own inauguration ceremonies last Thursday.

“And so what I guess I would say is amidst all the stuff that went on, the stuff that really sticks with me is the really personal stuff,” Baker said during his first “Ask the Governor” segment on WGBH.

He told host Margery Eagan that his favorite photograph of the events is one of he and his wife Lauren dancing at the convention center to the same song they danced to on their wedding 27 years ago, “Stand By Me.”

“It’s just a solo black and white photo of the two of us, and there’s really nothing around us; it’s just the two of us, and for me that’s kind of the most important part,” he said.

Baker talked about his mother, who is in a nursing home because she has Alzheimer’s, and was unable to attend the inauguration. During the 2010 campaign, his mother knew he was running for governor. Last year, her condition had deteriorated and she was likely unaware, he said.

“I think she knows something big happened, but I’d be hard-pressed to think she knows what that big thing is, which is obviously bittersweet for me and for him (his dad), and for my brothers, and for those who know my mom because I am very much my mother’s son,” Baker said.

Baker talked about his children, saying “I should ask them” when asked how they feel about him being governor.

“For them it is a new experience and we’ll see how it plays out over time. My kids are a lot older, so it makes a big difference,” he said.

His son Charlie lives and works in Virginia, while his son A.J. is a junior at Union College in New York and his daughter Caroline is a senior in high school.

“I think for my kids it’s a slightly different exercise than it would be for Karyn Polito’s kids, who are 10 and 8,” he said.