Patrick v. Obama

Rising Stars 

If you came here looking for a detailed analysis of tonight’s debate, you’re not going to get it. It’s not that I was on NewsNight with Jim Braude for the first half hour, which I was. It’s that I caught most of the debate and have moved on. Healey’s eyes were glassy. She looked tired to me while Patrick looked great.  (Advice to candidates: talk to voters. Never tell an opponent they need to look at your plan.) The emotional toll is setting in. I suspect she’ll play out the next couple weeks like a good soldier, but, otherwise, she’s done too.

If Patrick wins on election day as it looks like he’s going to, he will immediately become a national figure. With the beating Harold Ford is taking down in Tennessee, Patrick will join Barack Obama as the highest profile African American government officials in the country. Add the possibility that Obama is testing the presidential waters too soon and Patrick could become the Man, period.

My view is that Obama did himself no favors with Patrick when he missed a scheduled fundraiser on Friday (“bad weather”) and showed up at a low visibility Saturday morning press availability. And to add insult to injury, he sandwiched this appearance in between his own announcement of presidential interest. This sent Democratic insiders in Massachusetts the message that it’s all about Obama. I’m sure he’ll regret this when Patrick is on the cover of Time or Newsweek or in a front-page feature in The New York Times.

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One Response to “Patrick v. Obama”

  1. The Road Ahead « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] Regarding Masschusetts, Governor-Elect Deval Patrick’s victory was historic on a number of levels. Not only does he become the second highest profile African-American official in the country, which you read here first, but his peformance was the best by a Democrat in Massachusetts since 1986. This was the famous Greek v. Greek election that launched Michael Dukakis on the path to a presidential run. For a sense of how long ago this was, it was only days after this dark, dark moment in Boston sports history. […]

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