Howie Carr Shares Wisdom, Encouragement With NU College Republicans

Photo by Philip Kravtsov, Journalism 2016
Photo by Philip Kravtsov, Journalism 2016

At the end of his talk with the NU College Republicans Wednesday night, Howie Carr handed out refrigerator magnets. One featured Tamerlan “Speedbump” Tsarnaev, as Carr referred to him, bloodied on a coroner’s table after his brother Dzhokhar “Shipstain” ran him over in a stolen getaway car in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. The other was a picture of Patrick Kennedy and his father, the late Senator Ted Kennedy (“Patches” and “Fatboy”) wondering if they had enough beer for an afternoon on the water in Hyannis Port.

These magnets are an appropriate introduction to Carr for those not from New England. As perhaps the biggest conservative media personality in the area, Carr pulls no punches when attacking what he refers to as the “hackorama,” the Democrats who have run Massachusetts as a one-party state for the better part of a half-century (the occasional Republican governor notwithstanding). During his talk, he informed the audience that when former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Tom Finneran, who resigned from the post after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, got a job at WRKO (where Carr works), Carr wore a shirt which read “I Am Not A Felon.” Carr made the point that outside of WRKO and the Boston Herald (Carr is employed by both), there are very few media members willing to report on the frequent corruption in Massachusetts’ state government. The list, which could be a column in and of itself, includes mediocre lawyers paying off politicians in exchange for judgeships[1], and three consecutive Democratic Speakers of the Massachusetts House being convicted of a felony[2].

Carr attributed some of this corruption to politicians becoming complacent in their seats, as Republicans often don’t bother to run candidates against entrenched Massachusetts incumbents. Rather than one-party rule, Carr said he would prefer a state where one party controlled the state House by a couple seats, and the other party controlled the Senate by a couple seats. This would put legislators in a position where they needed to pass good legislation in order to keep their seats, rather than following orders from party leadership. Carr cited two recent House votes on casino gambling, one for, one against. The difference? One speaker was in favor of casino gambling, and one wasn’t. The Democrats fell in line and voted in large majorities to rubber-stamp the wishes of the current Speaker[3].

Why don’t these scandals cost elected officials their jobs? Carr pinned the high rate of re-election on certain media outlets (such as the Boston Globe) not reporting on them, but also on voter apathy. Carr referred to these people as “low-information voters,” not because of a lack of intelligence, but due to their choice to focus on other, less important aspects of life. Reality TV, drugs, video games, and other diversions, according to Carr, take up more and more time in American life, taking the place of reading a newspaper or watching news programs on television.

In order to combat this “hackery,” Carr encouraged graduating seniors to find out if their state representatives are running unopposed this fall and, if so, to run against them. The Democrats contested every seat until they finally gained a majority in the Massachusetts House in the 1950s, and have not relinquished that majority since. Carr used this anecdote to further his point that no elected official should run unopposed, as they should be held accountable during every election. Carr also predicted a relatively successful 2014 election campaign for Republicans in Massachusetts, fueled by a lackluster economy and widespread dissatisfaction with the implementation and results of Obamacare. The GOP caucus in the state House more than doubled to 33 members after the 2012 elections, and Carr forecasted even more momentum for the GOP moving forward.

After Carr completed his monologue, he took questions from the audience, who touched on a wide variety of subjects. When one female student asked Carr how she should respond when liberals claim that the GOP is full of anti-woman politicians, Carr responded with a list of prominent Democrats accused of various sexual crimes and deviancies: Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner (“Carlos Danger”), Ted Kennedy, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer (“Client No. 9”), and fomer San Diego Mayor Bob “Filthy Filner,” among others. Pressed on his ideal presidential candidate for 2016, Carr said he liked Rand Paul, but chose Ted Cruz due to his “fearlessness” in taking on the establishment of both parties in Washington.

After working for years to expose the illegal doings of mobster Whitey Bulger, Carr was, at one point, targeted by Bulger himself. Although not nearly as serious, being a known conservative on a liberal campus comes with a different sort of target on one’s back. During his talk, Carr praised the members of NU College Republicans for their courage in being open with their political views, however unpopular they may be on campus. Just as Democrats took over the state legislature in the 1950s through relentless pursuit of every seat, Carr warned those in atmosphere not to be discouraged, but to work tirelessly to turn Massachusetts (“the bluest of blue states”) into a place where both parties have enough power to hold each other accountable.


Patrick O’Neil
Finance 2015


[1] Carr, Howie. “New batch eyes bench – of course they’re qualified.” Boston Herald, February 21, 2014.

[2] LeBlanc, Steve. “A tale of 3 Speakers – Salvatore DiMasi, Thomas Finneran and Charles Flaherty: Is lure of power too tempting?” Associated Press, July 4, 2011.–_salvat.html

[3] Phelps, Dan. “Flip-flop on casinos costs state 3 years of extra cash.” The Lowell Sun,” April 15, 2010.

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