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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, March 08, 2007

The education of Deval Patrick

Personally, I don't think I'm a moonbat. But then again, I consider the Herald to be a publication for right wingnuts.

Insults aside (something incredibly tough to do when engaged in politics), the continued meltdown of Deval Patrick -- he now needs to urge people to "don't give up on me" -- is a sorry thing to behold. Especially when compared to his newly elected counterpart next door, New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer.

Then again, Spitzer is being assailed by the Service Employees International Union and a lot of the state's political establishment for proposed cuts in state health spending. The TV ads are vintage negative campaigning.

But at least that discussion is over substance. Spitzer is using his political capital to argue for an unpopular change he believes will help the state financially. Patrick is squandering his political capital over Cadillacs, drapes and telephone calls.

Perhaps we were a little starry-eyed over the new man on the political scene. Sixteen years of Republican governors, culminating in the fiasco of Myth Romney using the office as a stage set for his national ambitions, created an awful lot of cynicism.

Patrick represented real significant change -- from the color of his skin, the contrast of his upbringing to that of Romney's and, most of all, the tone of his lofty rhetoric. We were willing to overlook the lack of specificity in his proposals.

The grassroots nature of the campaign certainly worried entrenched interests -- from Senate President Robert Travaglini to Massachusetts High Tech Council President Chris Anderson -- and those guns have been drawn over tax policy statements. The media has been highly wary of his desire to go around them and use modern communications tools.

But to overuse the gun metaphor, the greatest damage has come from self-inflicted wounds to the feet. And the Phoenix's David Bernstein is spot on in looking at the lack of Beacon Hill experience in the team Patrick assembled. I previously noted that communications team in particular is short of veteran reporters used to playing Beacon Hill hardball.

Symbols cannot be overestimated in their importance -- why else is Barack Obama coughing up cash for 19-year-old parking tickets? And the Bartley Burger Cottage "Cadillac of Burgers" is something he's going to have to live with.

OK Governor, I won't give up on you -- yet. But you really need to stop squandering your political capital, start thinking and get some experienced Beacon Hill voices on your team. You don't need to sell out those principles that attracted us -- but you do have to live in the real political world.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Ryan Adams said...

Let's not lose ourselves yet, okay? This story, yet again, is totally media driven. I'm sorry, but it does not warrant 3 days of front page articles - especially as the headline over Scooter Libby's conviction on 4 accounts.

Let's also not forget that Deval made this phone call on Feb. 20th, at the same time he bought his drapes, etc. So, it's not as if he's made yet another mistake after having had time to learn from his mistakes.

He doesn't get to make unlimited mistakes, but we can't remove this from the environment these stories are taking place in. They're terrible examples of journalism written mostly by the inept Frank Phillips, of Killer Coke fame.

We need to rally around Patrick right now, to help him get his proposals fast. He needs our support now more than ever, or his ambitious agenda won't ever see the light of day. If that happens, Massachusetts loses - and why? Because of drapes and a nice car, which he paid for anyway? Let's all get a grip here.

March 08, 2007 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it. His campaign was a complete farce and he duped you all. You voted for the smile and the face. He's doing exactly what I expected and nothing more. Building his empire, spending the tax payers money and helping his cronies. What more would you expect from a Dem from MA? Come on, did you really buy the "together we can" crap? Give me a break man, he's a polished lawyer with a good vibe. He's got an agenda and its very liberal in nature. The problem is, he's no different than Healy or Romney, he's just spending the money of the tax payer on different causes that he feels are more righteous and 'liberal'. The one thing you have to remember about politics is that its completely a popularity contest and nothing more. If you believed that this guy was going to change things for your world and make them better, then I know this guy named Santa, and he delivers toys during Christmas...
The wheels are coming off the wagon a lot quicker than even I expected.
The good news for MA tax payers is that this guy might not last 4 years if Obhama decides to run. Good luck to him, another carpet bagger with ties to every left wing nut group... the fed's can have him

March 08, 2007 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should warn Deval right now: Do not, repeat, do not start putting your name on Mass Highway, MBTA, DCR signs and other public signs around the state. Romney - for once doing something sensible -- actually had the good taste to not broadcast his name on every public sign in the Commonwealth. (The mayor of Boston could take a hint from this.) If Governor Patrick now causes every sign to be repainted or to have decals put on with his name, he will be accused again of wasting taxpayers money, and he will be outflanked on matters of good government by his predecessor.

March 08, 2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spitzer's battle with the SEIU should be a warning to Democrats who have been in bed with that union -- like helping them pass federal legislation to eliminate union certifying elections. Help them out, folks, and then they will turn on you in a New York minute -- using the millions of dollars in union dues that you have helped them collect to buy TV ads against your positions.

Right, Pelosi and her gang voted to eliminate unionization elections. What does this say about the rights of people to debate and vote? Do the opinions of all workers matter, or only the ones who choose to (or who are coerced into) signing authorization cards? Is that their proposal for American foreign policy, too -- let's support governments that don't want their citizens to vote?

I can't believe I am saying this, but thank goodness there are still lots of Republicans in the Senate and a Republican President in the White House.

March 08, 2007 5:36 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I come down somewhere between Ryan and Anon 12:20. This story is not totally media driven -- that would imply that no one is talking about it in bars, restaurants and offices. They are -- and not just because the Globe is running the story up high. Patrick has made a series of moves that are just plain not smart.

But Anon 12:20, no one was duped (except for people who believed Myth Romney when he promised everything and delivered nothing). It was the frustration of being dealt with so deceptively by Romney that helped stoke the Patrick fires. A little disillusion is normal when you learn your "hero" is not perfect (good thing Tom Brady can afford multiple child support. And hey Tom, protection is more than what your linemen provide!)

Anon 3:42 -- I would add pictures on billboards to your suggestion! (Sorry Ryan!)

March 08, 2007 7:36 PM  

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