Deval Obama

04Apr10

The precursor for Barack Obama was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Also handled by David Axelrod, Deval rolled out and proved effective the platitudes that Obama used to surf into the White House – the “Yes We Can,” and “Hope and Change” nonsense.

This November, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick will stand for re-election. The national media have long treated Patrick as Obama’s political doppelgänger: they share Chicago roots, they both rely on political consultant David Axelrod (as well as some Axelrod-tested talking points) and they are both African-American.

And Patrick is in big trouble.

Deval was elected in 2006, two years before the president… so he could be viewed as a leading indicator.

“The same things that attracted me to Barack Obama attracted me to Deval Patrick,” Axelrod said, “this sense of public service as a calling and not a business and the sense that we have to break out of the old political paradigms of hyperpartisanship and special interest-dominance and bring about real change.”

So is the president heading down the same path as stablemate Deval? Take a look at the money being raised by the front runner to unseat the Governor.

The ticket of Charlie Baker and Richard Tisei raised $733,869 in the month of March according to the Office of Campaign and Political finance deposit reports as of last night.  This figure includes approximately $592K raised by Charlie Baker and approximately $141K raised by Richard Tisei.  With this total they have outraised all of the other declared candidates for governor and lieutenant governor combined.

Baker, a visible but relatively unknown health insurance CEO, worked behind the scenes in the administrations of Governors Weld and Cellucci. But he is known to political insiders, and political insiders are voting for Baker.

The Democratic team of Deval Patrick and Tim Murray raised a combined total of $444,177.61.  The Patrick Committee raised $308K of that amount with Tim Murray raising the balance.

State Treasurer Tim Cahill quit the Democratic Party a few months ago so he could challenge Deval as an independent. Cahill’s ability to siphon votes away from the Republicans is viewed as Deval’s only chance at reelection. While Cahill isn’t raising much cash, he spent years stockpiling $3 million for this run.

The dynamic supposedly conservative duo of Tim Cahill and Paul Loscocco raised a combined total of $80,054.  $75,631 of that total came from Tim Cahill’s fundraising while Loscocco raised the balance.  The $80,054 is less than the down ballot treasurer candidate Karyn Polito raised in March.

In their most recent poll on the race, Suffolk University pollsters declared the Governor essentially out of the race – even though he was leading!

“This race is really between Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which conducted the poll. “Whoever emerges between the Baker-Cahill race is likely to be the winner.”

Structural issues revealed in the poll, such as the percentage of undecided voters who called themselves independent, lead Paleologos to his bold assertion, as independents lean so strongly against the incumbent. He also saw a powerful trend away from Patrick.


So, what does this tell us about the president’s fortune? Perhaps not much. But WBZ political reporter John Keller reports that Democratic political operatives he talks to about Deval Patrick offer a pretty consistent narrative about the Governor that goes like this:

He pretends to listen, but really doesn’t. You meet with him about something important, and think you have a reached agreement on the way forward, and the next day you read in the paper that he’s done the opposite. He needlessly antagonizes you, then acts shocked and offended when you call him on it.

It does sound a bit like how the president is treating voters. More important, though, is the hope that both candidates offered to voters that they could cut through the weeds of partisan bickering.

One important characteristic defines them both, however. Each was elected promising not just to enact a specific set of proposals but to change the very way business is conducted. Each has found it much harder than he’d expected to fulfill that promise.

The lesson for voters just may be that inexperienced outsiders are no panacea. That might make well-respected insiders like Charlie Baker look like the sort of “Change” America is needing.



One Response to “Deval Obama”

  1. 1 Upsetter's Revue

    You certainly drew the parallel connections for the reader.

    There are a few points that I think could make this more accurate though. You said that “insiders” are voting for Baker. I do not believe that to be true. As a Republican Party Insider, I can say that is not the case. There is a conservative movement within the party that has taken serious issue with Obama’s health care bill. Those in the know, know that Romney-care was developed and written by Charlie Baker. The astute noticed that while Tim Cahill was on Glenn Beck issuing a stern warning about Obama-care, Charlie Baker and his Campaign manager where tweeting away like nothing was happening. Many in the Republican party saw this as an endorcement of obama’s health care plan.

    Tim Cahill has been out in front on health-care in this state for sometime now (as far back as perhaps 2008.) He is absolutly the most conservative candidate in the race, evidenced by how he is essentially fracturing the Republican Party.

    On one side you have Tim Cahill and Paul Loscocco who can credibly say that they will lower the Sales and the Income tax back to 5%. They can also credibly make a play at the “family values/MFI/Mass Resistance” types because with Paul Loscocco they have the only pro-life candidate running.

    On the other, you have Charlie Baker, CEO of the Big Dig. He was the guy who came up with the financing scheme that has crippled our states infrastructure (roads, bridges etc. etc.) as well has burdened anyone who lives in Central Mass & Metro-West with inequitable and regressive tolling. He is now reaping the profits that he bought for pennies on the dollar when he mandated that everyone in the state purchase his health insurance. His running mate is far worst, he is the guy who VOTED AGAINST the sales tax rollback in 2000. Beyond that he is co-sponsor/Author of the so-called “bathroom bill.” This nonsensical bill would allow “gender confused” men and women use which ever bathroom they “gender identify” as that day.

    Everyone knows that Baker cannot win with a true conservative in the race.


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