January 20, 2010


Energized Republicans threaten Deval Patrick’s re-election chances (Hillary Chabot, January 20, 2010, Boston Herald)

The crushing momentum of state Sen. Scott Brown’s popular U.S. Senate campaign should be a wake-up call for Gov. Deval Patrick’s already shaky hold on the Corner Office , as Patrick’s three formidable challengers seek to cash in on a surge of voter discontent, said Beacon Hill observers.

“There’s no question that the Senate race significantly heightens the prospects of Deval Patrick’s challengers and it certainly only adds more to the worries that have already existed among Deval Patrick supporters,” said Paul Watanabe, political professor for the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Bet we won't be hearing anymore like this about how Mr. Patrick is the canary in the Obama coalmine, Patrick, Obama campaigns share language of 'hope' (Scott Helman, April 16, 2007, Boston Globe)
Of all the things Deval Patrick's Republican opponent threw at him in last year's governor's race, one charge that stuck in his craw was that his speeches were more fluff than substance -- that they were, in Patrick's telling, "just words." So he devised an artful response.

" 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal' -- just words," Patrick said at a rally in Roxbury right before Election Day. " 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself' -- just words. . . . 'I have a dream' -- just words. They're all just words."

The crowd erupted as it got Patrick's point about the power of language. But perhaps no one at the rally understood the point better than Barack Obama, who had joined him on stage that night.

Not five months later, Obama, his presidential campaign gaining steam, had this to say about legendary Chicago organizer Saul Alinsky in The New Republic: "Sometimes the tendency in community organizing of the sort done by Alinsky was to downplay the power of words and of ideas when in fact ideas and words are pretty powerful. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.' Those are just words. 'I have a dream.' Just words."

In the midst of his improbable run for office, Obama and his advisers have evidently studied Patrick's up-from-nowhere victory in Massachusetts and are borrowing themes, messages, and even specific lines for the presidential campaign.

It's the latest chapter in a symbiotic friendship between Obama and Patrick that continues to shape their political careers, according to admirers, observers, and associates of the two men.

That symbiosis continues, no?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 20, 2010 6:27 AM
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