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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Part-timer -- or short-timer?

The Globe's look at Deval Patrick's schedule shows he puts in more time in the Corner Office than Mitt Romney did while pursuing the presidency.

And his work habits seem more on the heavy-lifting side than those of the Great and General Court.

But that's called damning someone with faint praise.

Brian Mooney's look at the Patrick schedule can't be called anything less than politically devastating. For a governor with a popularity rating as low as Patrick's the only thing that could save his skin, if the election were held today, is for him to single-handedly restore the world economy without lifting a single tax.

I'll be the first to agree to public schedules are less than ideal measures of job activity. But that is all the public has to gauge an elected official's productivity.

It's nice that he spends more time in western Mass. than any predecessor than Jane Swift -- and doesn't take a helicopter to get there.

And we all know that there are days when we can be more productive from home -- wearing slippers and sweats -- than if we trudge into the office.

But we aren't elected to lead a complex state apparatus.

Appearances count -- and it's a part of the job Patrick has utterly mishandled. From the drapes and Cadillac, to the visit to the New York book agent on the day of the House casino vote, Patrick has muffed the symbols.

Those are what voters remember when it comes time to assess job performance. Think Christy Mihos and Tim Cahill aren't jumping for joy this morning?

Patrick also muffed the response to the story. It's all well and good to have Administration and Finance Secretary Leslie Kirwan say he's in constant touch with her. Where is Patrick himself?

I know there's a tenet of public relations that says a spokesman should take the heat on a bad story. But when the story is the person's work habits, it would have been wise to offer Mooney an interview at Patrick's desk, preferably with budget documents all over it. Or in the car during a busy day of out of office meetings. And a visit to the home office at Sweet P Farm. Again, a messy desk would have been a plus.

Deval Patrick has a remarkable story to tell in his rise from the South Side of Chicago to the corporate boardrooms to the Corner Office. He did it his way through perseverance and determination.

And in carrying that independent streak into the Corner Office, it's likely it will land him back in Milton and Sweet P Farm far sooner than he planned.

UPDATE: Fox 25 reports Patrick is not the only one with interesting work habits.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "Deval Patrick has a remarkable story to tell in his rise from the South Side of Chicago to the corporate boardrooms to the Corner Office." True, but have we ever really heard about his job performance elsewhere?

People everywhere, including his supporters, are talking about how disappointing he has been in this job.

May 12, 2009 6:23 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

No question he's been inconsistent and disappointing. Part of it is the nature of the executive proposes, legislature disposes model. But part is his ability -- or inability -- to generate the support he needs to deliver.

Whether that's because of bad advice -- or a failure to listen to advice -- is something a part-time blogger can't answer!

May 12, 2009 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Iron Mike said...

You expected performance? Silly you. Deval “Together we can” Patrick was merely David Axelrod’s crash-test dummy. Patrick’s gubernatorial race was a test run for OBummer’s presidential run.

You’re getting exactly what you voted for: a feel-good image, a lot of words, a sprinkling of platitudes, and of course, - the crowning glory – more social programs and more taxes.

Why are you angry or disappointed?

We elephants told you what to expect, - and you said that was exactly what you wanted. It’s that old Greek saying – “be careful what you pray to the Gods for, for they may actually grant your prayers”. Enjoy!

/s/ Iron Mike
Old Soldier,- Still Good for Parts!

May 17, 2009 11:26 PM  

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