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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Friday, December 15, 2006

Say what?

The barbarians were already surrounding the gates, criticizing Deval Patrick for his inaugural plans and his rumored appointments. No doubt there was a contingent of critics ready to assail his wife's inaugural dress and his decisions on what personal mementos to put into the Corner Office.

And then came Trav.

In a what has to be an unprecedented attack -- weeks before the inaugural -- the Senate President dropped the gauntlet at what was expected to be just a routine breakfast speech, telling the governor-elect: my way or the highway.

What was in your coffee, Bobby?

The Globe reports:
According to the notes of one audience member, Travaglini said: "I told the governor-elect, if you're willing to share and you care and you prepare and are ready to deliver, then everything will work out. If not, I have senators across the state who share my vision and my approach and if forced to choose, I'm comfortable with whom they'll choose."
It's an astounding display of power politics and an unbelievably undiplomatic maneuver from someone who rose to power by choosing his words carefully. The back story that prompted a Senate President rumored to be heading out the door only to change his mind -- allegedly to work with a Democratic governor -- must be truly amazing.

Travaglini cannot be unmindful that he has just turn the spotlight back onto the Legislature and made Patrick, who appeared to be floundering in some eyes, the landslide hero once again. I strongly doubt that was Trav's intention though.

Speculation runs to Travaglini's disappointment over the handful of appointments either announced or rumored. If he wanted to make a case for his friend James Aloisi, to be the next transportation secretary, he probably could not have done him more damage, with the Herald now in Day 2 of Aloisi as hack-a-rama.

Trav puts up a feisty exterior, saying he knows senators forced to choose will back him -- and that he and Speaker Sal DiMasi as close as "Velcro brothers."

But the Senate President, at least in these remarks, appear to be totally blind to the reality that the public may like their own lawmaker but holds the Legislature in something close to utter contempt; and that Patrick received a lot more votes than any other person on the ballot.

Plus, nothing will unite the right wing nuts of talk radio and the lefty blogosphere more quickly than a common target like the Legislature -- which didn't acquit itself admirably last year by failing to finish its business, allowing Mitt Romney a partisan cheap shot in the form of 9C cuts that hurt their constituents.

Old fashioned power politics, like that practiced by Senate President Billy Bulger and House Speaker Tom Finneran is a thing of the past in the online age. I suspect this post may be one of the kindest receptions Travaglini gets.

Patrick holds the keys to power as a landslide winner with an appealing public persona, a significant grassroots organization that has just been re-energized and most significantly, the keys to Corner Office. Travaglini and DiMasi would lose any public spitting contest -- and the pressure on their individual members to buck them would be intense.

Trav should probably stick to decaf and come up with a very public kiss-and-makeup session with Patrick -- and soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong. Trav was giving Patrick an appropriate heads-up. You can't go around saying you are going to cut hundreds of millions in waste from the state government when you don't believe it is true. You can't continue the pretense of "for-it-all Deval" once you are Governor. You can't promise 1000 policemen statewide (btw, that's three per town!) and call it a crime program.

Trav has been at the forefront of big issues for many years, and he was just reminding the new Gov that there is another branch of government. Good for him.

Also, who chose the word "rebuke" in today's story? Not Trav. It was the usual create-a-stir reporters for the Globe.

December 15, 2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trav was just upset that his buddy Aloisi didn't get the Transportation job in the new administration. This is just the usual local Boston stuff.

December 15, 2006 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, really, Trav wasn't threatening to sick his sleazy minions on Deval becasue he's a sleazy power crazed old school hacktacular scumbag, but because he's a true man of the people. Hey, he and his cronies are people! He'd rather have Romney because they're both functional Republicans and both just in it for themselves and their own glory and to stick it to the rest of us poor saps.

December 16, 2006 1:03 AM  

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