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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fear and smear, local edition

True to form, Massachusetts Republicans did not wait for the formal announcement before launching an attack on Deval Patrick as an out-of-touch radical liberal who will destroy Massachusetts.

Watching former Treasurer Joe Malone work through his talking points during an early evening "analysis" spot on NECN was to watch the Republican attack unfold. Faced with the record of 16 years of one-term or disinterested Corner Office residents, Republicans plan to use the same game plan they used successfully in 1990 with Bill Weld -- taxes and fear. Then it was crime. This time it will be the ill-defined "liberalism."

There's a big problem with that scenario and some of its refinements, like attacking the Democrat as an insider. As an (ineffectual)#2 to a governor with rising negatives, Kerry Healey IS the insider and she will be hard pressed to run on a record that leaves 48 percent of Bay State residents feeling the state is heading in the wrong direction.

She showed her willingness to attack with the salvo she launched against Chris Gabrieli. The difference is Gabrieli was vulnerable to some extent on the rich man charge, having personally bankrolled his campaign.

In Patrick she will face a far different opponent -- one she is truly concerned about despite all the bluster about Gabrieli. The Democratic nominee truly has an inspiring story to tell -- from the "rough side" of Chicago to Harvard, the federal government and the corporate boardroom.

Far from a wild-eyed liberal -- how could he make his way into corporate boardrooms if he was -- Patrick represents the true outsider in the race. He has no ties to the Legislature that has been the traditional GOP straw man. He created an impressive field organization that brought him impressive vote totals in places where liberals should not do well. Winning every county is a VERY impressive showing.

So what's next? Patrick needs to stress his freedom from the inside power structure of the Commonwealth. More importantly he needs to constantly remind voters of the lackluster performance of the Romney-Healey administration, the false promises and failures that culminated with Romney abandoning Massachusetts while blaming others for failures on his watch.

Christy Mihos will help that effort with his quirky campaign to prove himself right about the Big Dig, the biggest liability around the GOP neck.

Oh, and Deval, avoid being seen with Sal and Trav.

UPDATE: True to form, Healey came out swinging on taxes, crime and cronyism -- trying to tie the litany of GOP failures around Patrick's neck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deval Patrick is not being smeared in any way, shape or form. In fact, all the negative slants upon him in my opinion are nothing more than truths coming to the fore. I am a centrist who does not truly think Kerry-Healey is a strong candidate for governor, yet I am opposed to most of what Deval Patrick stands for; being soft on crime and his readiness to accommodate illegal interlopers in this State are not exactly policies that I can agree with. Deval Patrick does nothing more me, despite my reading stories about how he can drive people to teary eyed frenzies when he gives a speech in front of a left leaning crowd chanting "yes we can". Not Not Not for me thank you. I believe there will be an election surprise in November for the yes-we-canners.

October 11, 2006 9:44 AM  

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