March 18, 2007

IF MA HAD NUKES WE'D HAVE TO INTERVENE:

The most powerful governor in America?: Deval Patrick, according to one nationwide analysis, holds the strongest governorship in the country. Does he have what it takes to wield that power? (Dave Denison, March 18, 2007, Boston Globe)

Governor Patrick made it clear on his first day in office that he was thinking like a muscular governor: He told reporters that he would seek direct control over independent quasi-public authorities such as the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority -- a goal no governor has achieved, though many have tried.

But after a string of missteps and misfortune, Patrick suddenly seems to be at the helm of a diminished governorship. Headlines about lavish spending for office furnishings and a state car -- and about an ill-advised phone call on behalf of his former business associates -- have hurt his image. News that his wife is suffering from exhaustion and depression means that Patrick will have important family priorities to attend to in coming months.

Clearly, if there were a power-meter for Massachusetts politicians, Patrick's reading would be down several notches from where it was when he took office in January. And yet a governor's power takes many forms. There is the personal influence often referred to as clout, which can be augmented or squandered, and there is the fixed, constitutional power of the office. And it's worth noting that when it comes to the latter -- the inherent powers of the governorship -- the Massachusetts governor is among the strongest in the nation.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 18, 2007 9:00 AM
Comments

This is complete BS. The political power in MA has rested with the legislature for decades. Finneran, Bulger, etc. were the ones in charge, not the governor. The best the governor can hope for is peaceful coexistence.

That said, Deval has gotten off to a pretty poor start.

Posted by: AWW at March 18, 2007 9:10 PM

That statement must be among the most ridiculous ever to appear in the press. MA had a series of Republican governors. Does Denison mean to say that these Republicans were the most powerful governors in the country?

Posted by: erp at March 19, 2007 8:06 AM
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