When the news came out a few years back that former Governor and Ambassador to Canada A. Paul Cellucci had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Massachusetts residents of all political stripes were saddened at the prospect of our always-vigorous former chief executive being struck down by this dreaded disease with no cure.
Paul Cellucci exemplified what our former publisher, the late Andrew P. Quigley (who himself was a State Senator, Mayor, and School Committeeman in a political career that spanned 42 years) termed, “The ability to disagree without being disagreeable.” Although Cellucci was a Republican in a heavily Democratic state, he got things done by understanding that, “Politics is the art of compromise,” the words of Henry Clay which long have been forgotten by this generation of Republican officeholders. Paul Cellucci’s service as a selectman in his hometown of Hudson and as a state senator prior to ascending to the governorship made him keenly aware of the important roles that state and local governments play in the lives of every citizen.
In addition, Paul Cellucci had a great respect for individual rights, particularly championing the causes of women in their struggle against domestic violence (we recall a visit he made to Winthrop in support of a local group on that issue).
Paul Cellucci loved Massachusetts. We had our disagreements with him on many issues, but we never doubted his sincerity in working to make our state a better place. He will be missed by all who knew him.