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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A slow start

For someone who says he knows how to take a punch and also throw a punch, Deval Patrick has been doing a pretty good impression of Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope. Let's hope this newest commercial represents the start of his effort to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

And that Kerry Healey turns out to be Sonny Liston.

Taking a few days away, I thought I would return to find a rejuvenated Patrick, ready to blast away at Healey for the Romney-Healey hypocrisy of rejecting taxes while promising the sun, moon and stars. The transportation finance commission proposal to raise the gas tax and reinstate Mass Pike tolls would reflect the emptiness of the GOP free lunch promise.

But Healey has so defined this race with the GOP mantra of crime and taxes that Patrick could not take the honest road.

Let's hope the newest commercial -- finally hanging the Romney-Healey administration's failures around her neck starts to shift the focus. But while outlining her "record" it is not enough. We need to see details about the loss of jobs, residents and lives caused by the Romney-Healey administration's failures to turn the negative tide in Massachusetts or provide for adequate public safety and public health.

You don't need to get down in the gutter with her Deval, but you do need to highlight the differences. And remember, there are similarities between "comparative" ads and "negative" ads. Healey has defined negative with her below-the-belt shots. It's time to counter punch.

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