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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Peace, love and understanding

For those of us inside 128 who are quick to write off the future of Deval Patrick, a gentle reminder, there are people who live beyond the Boston area -- and they don't carry the same venom as the talk show listeners and newspaper commenters.

The Globe's Matt Viser spent some time in western Massachusetts with Patrick and surprise, the rhetorical volume is a lot lower. The cuts are just as painful, but the scorn and abuse heaped upon the governor is far less.

There's Boston-based scorn over the fact that Patrick regularly visits his vacation home in Richmond -- which will become the Corner Office in absentia as he recovers from his hip surgery. He must be dogging it, some pundits suggest.

The problem is the term vacation home conjures up images of a fishing camp, like the one in the Adirondacks where Bill Weld used to disappear. Heck, do they even have running water in the Berkshires? Yep. And broadband access too, although not as plentiful as elsewhere in the state.

And it is in Massachusetts, as opposed to Mitt Romney's New Hampshire getaway.

Nor is Patrick helped by the image of the last governor with western Mass. roots -- Jane Swift. The memory of the governor taking the state police helicopter to North Adams to tend to her sick kids did not do a lot for her image or that of the region.

As the Globe notes, the western counties only provide 13 percent of the vote statewide. Patrick could carry every vote west of Worcester and still lose.

But we are looking at a potential free-for-all -- a GOP primary and/or an independent third candidate -- wild cards that could scuff up his opponent or reduce the needed margin of victory below 50 percent.

And for now, all the talk about Republican Charles Baker is just that -- talk. His intentions to run garnered headlines but little else. He will be running on the record of 16 years of GOP governors, and an eight-year career within those administrations.

Patrick has real problems -- unlike the media-generated hype that now appears to be swirling around Barack Obama. But there is also a year until the next election.

It might be a good idea for all of us to just cool our passions a little and head out past 495. There's a whole world out there. We might just find it isn't as crazy as we are.

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Blogger Readwriteblue said...

Governor Patrick is destined to be a single term governor. There is a sea change coming and politicians that aren't getting ahead of it will be retired.

August 18, 2009 9:31 AM  

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