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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, July 22, 2010

Where in the world is Deval Patrick?

The last time Deval Patrick slipped from sight with during a debate over gambling, he went to New York to negotiate a book contract.

So naturally tongues were wagging when Patrick's public schedule took him to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington -- and then off the grid -- as House and Senate conferees battled over the latest gambling proposals.

This time the trip turned out to be Iraq. And it sounds as if Beacon Hill offices saw more combat.

Patrick had little say in the timing of the took with four other governors to visit with soldiers from their home states. And accounts, it was appreciated by the men and women he spent time with.

Meanwhile, the battle of Beacon Hill continues to be stalemated, leaving Patrick with the cards to play as lawmakers have allowed negotiations to slip into pocket veto time -- the waning days of the session when a governor can kill anything he doesn't like simply by not acting.

While conferees are slipping closer to compromise -- based on the leaked proposals about some combination of casinos and slots parlors -- the heat is clearly rising by way of leaks declaring one side has rejected a compromise while the other side denies it.

Pointed fingers are being sharpened. But in the end it's still hard to see how we reach the end of next week without a compromise. Too many other key pieces of legislation -- economic development, health care cost and criminal record laws reform to name three -- are on the line. Too many political necks as well.

And ironically Patrick is in the driver's seat to shape whatever agreement is finally reached.

A day in Iraq may have seemed like a nice break from a day on Beacon Hill. It might have even been a bit cooler.

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Blogger Brian Flaherty said...

I don't think he had control of when he went to Iraq but I find it very ironic that his visit to Iraq and Marshall's retirement came on the same day as the Board of Education vote. Seemed liked an affort to bury that story with other ones.

July 22, 2010 8:12 AM  

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