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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, February 28, 2011

Kiss of death

Pundits generally agree that Mitt Romney may be the most formidable Republican jockeying for the 2012 presidential nomination. Apparently Barack Obama does too, which is why his team ordered a nationally televised hit.

The unusual thing abut the attack is it varied from the routine political modus operandi. Romney was killed with kindness, a blow delivered by Deval Patrick, his successor in the Massachusetts Corner Office -- and someone ticketed to play a key role in the re-election bid. Speaking on ABC's This Week, Patrick said of his predecessor:
“One of the best things he did was to be the coauthor of our health care reform, which has been a model for national health care reform."

Our Man Myth has been busy backpedaling from "RomneyCare," which his conservative opponents label the parent of "ObamaCare," the health care reform law they oppose as a matter of faith if not fact. Listen to Mike Huckabee, the "nice" 2012 contender, put words in Myth's mouth without worrying about the facts:
"We thought this might be a way to fix the crisis we had in health care. Our experiment did not turn out as we had hoped. It cost more, waiting times were higher, quality of care went down, people were greatly dissatisfied and it ended up having almost the polar opposite effect of what was intended."
Polar opposite? Come take a look Huck.

Enter Patrick, who has taken a much more confident tone since the star of his second term. A key piece of the new Deval has been sweeping out of the heads of many of the state's quasi-public agencies, some of whom were run by Romney appointees. He has also agreed to take on an advisory role to his fellow Chicagoan, having already walked the same path at the state level that Obama now treads.

Patrick continued the damning with faint praise later in the day, insisting there is no political scheme at play:
“It’s just the truth,’’ he said, and insisted that he was doing nothing more than paying Romney a deserved compliment. He signed our bill. That’s all I said, and I congratulated him for it. I told him so at the time, and I’ve said it publicly,’’ Patrick said. “It was a great thing. It showed that there was another choice than the usual two, which is the perfect solution or no solution.’’
Republican Party political tradition suggests the runner-up in the previous campaign gets the presidential nomination four year later. But the sharp rightward lurch within the GOP makes that proposition dicey for the Mittster, who as we all know has managed to take just about every stance possible on every issue.

The usual flip-flop has been more pronounced with health care reform, as Myth attempts to walk a fine line with taking credit for accomplishing something during his four years as "leader" of lefty Massachusetts without becoming the bete noire of the Tea Party.

Removing the one "adult" in the race, someone who is already suspect to the hard right true believers, is undoubtedly a foundation of the Obama reelection effort that Patrick discussed with top adviser David Axelrod a couple of weeks ago in Chicago.

Stay tuned. This is going to be fun.

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Anonymous Joel Patterson said...

It was fun watching Deval administer a blessing with holy water and imagining Mitt flinching & hissing...

But while running against an extremist Republican worked for LBJ in 1964, in 1980 Carter's people were convinced Reagan was too extreme to win.

February 28, 2011 8:58 PM  

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