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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Loud message

Gov.-elect Deval Patrick should have ended any questions about his intentions of being beholden to the Bay State power structure with his announcement that patronage will not guide his decisions in filling positions in state government.

Ironically, it's a move that does raise the charge repeated during the campaign that he was a Mike Dukakis clone. But changing times and a serious mandate should help prevent what happened when Dukakis made the same pledge in 1975.

The last Democratic governor suffered the slings and arrows of outrage from the Legislature, which went out of its way to disrespect him. It also led to the emergence of conservative Democrat (and later Republican) Ed King to beat him in a classic primary in which, a King aide memorably said, "we threw all the hate groups into one pot and let it boil."

But it is important to remember that bad fiscal times and Dukakis' breaking of his "lead pipe guarantee" about not raising taxes is eventually what weakened him to the point of losing the race, not his anti-patronage stance.

This is a governor-elect with a strong mandate in a climate where the Legislature is held with suspicion if not outright disdain. And he projects a warmer image than the Duke, something else that will help his public image.

That said, it is also worth noting that Bill Weld made similar noises about "walruses" before shifting direction. But somehow, this one feels different.

Time will tell.


Blogger phil_in_ny said...

Im still having trouble figuring out how Romney was even elected there.

November 16, 2006 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Lynne said...

Salesmanship and good marketing. The guy is wicked smooooth.

Didn't fool me, but it did fool a lotta people. No one knew him well back then.

November 16, 2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I was going to say "me too"but Lynne hit it on the nose. Actually (s)he is too kind. I was going to say he did it by lying about his stand on issues, particular the social ones.

November 16, 2006 8:03 PM  

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