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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, December 13, 2010

Deval in charge

The Globe seems fascinated that Deval Patrick, fresh off a surprising and strong reelection, is shaking things up on Beacon Hill. Why? Could it be because he is the first governor in decades not to appear bored by the job?

Think about it. You need to go back to Mike Dukakis's second term in 1982 to find someone seemingly energized by having the keys to the Corner Office in his possession again. And that enthusiasm came in large measure because of a four-year hiatus, compliments of Ed King.

By the start of his third term, Dukakis had the wanderlust that led to his 1988 presidential campaign. Then came Bill Weld, one full-term, a Senate loss and a resignation to pursue a quixotic bid for Ambassador to Mexico.

His designated hitter, Paul Cellucci, finished the Weld term but bolted late in his own less than four-year turn for the Canadian ambassadorship, leaving a lame duck Jane Swift to bail out at the return of Mitt Romney.

Then there's Myth, who lost interest halfway through his four years and set out to run for the White House -- without turning over the keys to Kerry Healey.

So it is somewhat unusual for Patrick to not only reject suggestions that he will challenge Scott Brown in 2012 but to actually make moves like an executive who has learned from his rookie mistakes and intends to take a stronger role in the next term.

Second chances don't come around that often and most of his predecessors threw them away. Thankfully he doesn't appear to be as cynical as we are. Yet.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Advisers say Patrick wants to take advantage of what he perceives as his political standing and send a clear message to Cabinet secretaries, agency heads, the state bureaucracy, and even lawmakers that he plans to push hard for the reforms he believes in."

Huh? Don't the cabinet secretaries and agency heads work for him? He doesn't need "political standing" to tell them what to do.

December 13, 2010 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yawn. Another attack, and another day's work done.

December 13, 2010 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the purpose of this blog to attack? An occaisonal retort seems in line.
But coming from the right I actually applaud Deval for taking on some of the fights he has made. I never thought I'd see a Democrat who would even attempt to reform state pensions, kudos to him. Now if I could only actually see one of those mythical civilian flaggers (I'm in central Mass and have yet to see one) I'd die happy.

December 14, 2010 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose isn't just to attack, it's to discuss. A daily attack is different than an occasional retort. Sometimes presenting a different opinion instead of lunging and parrying would be welcome.

I'd be glad to see a lot more of those flaggers, too, and pension reform needs to go a much further than currently discussed. I can't collect my private pension until I'm 65, and even Social Security has more stringent restrictions. Why should government employees be allowed to start collecting in their mid 50s, regardless of how many years they have in the system? If they want to leave their state jobs then, fine, but either get another job, or live cheaply until 65 when the pension can be drawn on. Merry Christmas from the other end of the spectrum.

December 14, 2010 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, we need to simplify the legislative process. Propose one common sense solution (like the one you stated) vote on that and dissent will be held to a minimum. Bills could pass and be signed in two days. Merry Christmas.

December 14, 2010 3:44 PM  

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