Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker delivers farewell address

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The governor was scheduled to speak at 2 p.m.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is slated to deliver a “thank you” message to the people of Massachusetts at 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon as he prepares to leave office Thursday.

The Swampscott resident will end his two-term tenure as the nation’s most popular governor, making way for Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey to take the reins.

And unless otherwise asked, Baker plans to be hands-off with the incoming administration once he leaves Beacon Hill.

“If the governor-elect and the lieutenant governor-elect want to talk to me about anything, I am going to be available,” Baker told Politico in an exit interview. “But it’s their show.”

In fact, Baker’s next act is — technically — outside of politics, although his acumen for bipartisanship will certainly come in handy.

Beginning in March, the by-then-former governor will become the next president of the NCAA — a job he landed apparently in large part because of his political problem-solving abilities amid multiple unique and substantial legal and political challenges the association is facing.

“College athletics is one of the most significant human potential development operations we have for young people … and it’s going to go through a very transformational period here,” Baker told Politico about why he’s taking on the job. “… I think I have the kind of work and life experience that can help work through some of that.”

But asked if he’d ever run for Congress or president, Baker didn’t rule out a potential return to public office.

“I have a new job I’m very excited about … [but] nobody ever should say never when it comes to public life,” he said.

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