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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, March 28, 2008

This couldn't have waited?

It's not as if he was Client #10. Or that he checked into the Days Inn on W. 94th Street.

The storm of consternation raised by Deval Patrick's decision to skip the casino gambling vote last week to take a trip to New York to pursue a book deal is a bit over the top. The "personal business" wasn't as nefarious as the kind that landed Eliot Spitzer in the unemployment line or started the David Paterson jokes immediately afterward.

Patrick, of course, left the state in the hours before the House killed his casino gambling bill last Thursday. The vote wasn't in doubt. For that matter, neither was the timing after the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies had sealed its fate a day earlier.

No amount of lobbying or arm-twisting was going to change that fate. And Patrick remains a human being, not a prisoner, with the right to have some time for himself and personal pursuits. He was elected governor, not sentenced to the job -- although it may feel like a sentence at times.

With all that said, two questions arise -- where are his advisers? Or, why won't he listen to them? Because appearances DO matter.

You can be sure a book deal was the furthest thing from reporters' minds when they heard that personal business was the only answer for an out-of-state jaunt. The body of Spitzer's political career wasn't even cold yet because of his activities on an out-of-state trip.

And it was the biggest vote yet in an ongoing and increasingly nasty war between Patrick and House Speaker Sal DiMasi. A statement of reconciliation or (from a reporter's perspective) an angry blast across DiMasi's bow, was expected.

He's a governor with an admirable story to tell. Publishing house executives are, well, publishing house executives. They are the ones that usually hand out rejections and this wouldn't have been one of those. It would have been a postponement because something came up at work.

We can be forgiven if we assume, all protests aside, that Patrick is getting wanderlust. Every one of his predecessors since Michael Dukakis (except Jane Swift, for obvious reasons) exhibited an urge for going.

But I agree with Charley over on Blue Mass Group that Patrick does need to get out more: to Worcester and Fall River and Pittsfield and Lawrence and Northampton. Even Florida. The man who showed a great understanding for the yearnings of Massachusetts residents has developed a tin ear, the kind that made Michael Dukakis a temporary one-termer.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would any publisher think that DP's life is interesting? What really has he ever gotten DONE?

March 28, 2008 9:25 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I'll guess we'll have to read it to find out.

March 29, 2008 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll wait for the movie . . .

Wait, we are watching the movie now, and it is not pretty.

March 29, 2008 9:38 AM  

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