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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, February 10, 2011

Fighting the last war

Journalists, like most human beings, like the comfortable and familiar. That's why we often get canned stories that reflect the last great trend.

Which brings us to the suspicious coverage of Deval Patrick's trade mission to Britain and Israel and the dire warnings that Democrats are in danger of losing the US Senate in 21 months because one Democrat has announced his retirement.

Like any political pundit, I start with the proviso I could be wrong. OK, so maybe they don't. But I'm not ready to jump on bandwagons just yet.

The Patrick cynics have good reason to feel that way. After all, every governor since Michael Dukakis has checked out physically or mentally for part of their term. But Patrick has not been shy about announcing his plans to travel on state business -- and on a book tour. He has steadfastly insisted he will serve out this term with no intentions to seek a third.

I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt -- at least until the next slow week on Beacon Hill rears its head.

The national political press corps is even more of a creature of habit than the local one. So it's no surprise the Pollyannas are seeing the sky fall already. Only the cries are ignoring clear signs already on the ground that Republicans are not marching in lockstep.

And that maybe, just maybe, new will take place in the ensuing months that could alter the political equation.


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